The buffalo mozzarella from Campania is also called the white gold of our region and it is no coincidence. This is thanks to its fine food and taste qualities. It obtained the protected designation of origin (PDO) in 1996.
Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, how it is made
The term “mozzarella” derives from the name of the cutting operation carried out to separate the dough into individual pieces. In 2020, 50,677 tonnes of PDO buffalo mozzarella were produced in Italy, of which almost 20,000 tonnes were destined for foreign markets.
This cheese is produced only with fresh and whole buffalo milk of Italian Mediterranean breed. It is released for consumption in various forms: round, morsels, braids, beads, cherries, knots, ovoline, with weights ranging from 20 to 800 g. The color of the rind, smooth and one millimeter thick, is porcelain white, while the thin sheet paste is elastic.
Easily digestible, with a reduced content of sugars, cholesterol and lactose, it is also an excellent source of protein, in fact it is particularly nutritious: the energy intake is 288 kcal / 100 grams due to the presence of 16.7 g of protein, 24.4 g of fat, very little lactose (0.4 g%) and a mine of micronutrients (vitamins and mineral salts), among which calcium (210 mg%) and vitamin B12 (1.7 μg%) deserve a mention.
The history of buffalo mozzarella is closely linked to that of buffaloes. One of the most accredited hypotheses claims that the spread of these animals in southern Italy took place in Norman times. The buffaloes came from Sicily, where they had arrived at the end of the tenth century, following the invasions of the Saracens and the Moors. The first documents attesting to the production of mozzarella date back to the Middle Ages.
According to some manuscripts, the monks of the monastery of San Lorenzo in Capua and also of Aversa used to offer a cheese called mozza or provatura (when smoked), accompanied by a piece of bread, to the pilgrims members of the Metropolitan Chapter, who went every year in procession to the church of the Convent.
But it is in the eighteenth century that mozzarella reaches its splendor. This process is accelerated by the Bourbons, who realize in the Royal Palace of Carditello, in the province of Caserta, an important buffalo farm and an adjoining experimental dairy for the transformation of fresh buffalo milk. In the dairy there is a stable register in which the most important events for buffaloes are noted, each of which has a name, which usually resembles court characters.