MOZZARELLA DI BUFFALA
Buffalo mozzarella is a snowy-white, delicate fresh cheese with a slightly fibrous consistency. The fibrous texture is a result of the multitudinous layers from that form Buffalo mozzarella Made entirely of whole buffalo milk, it is inoculated with a starter culture of the previous day’s whey. After about 30 minutes, the milk begins to coagulate and the cheesemaker breaks the curd into small pieces to ripen for 5 hours, after which time the curd is transferred to a boiling vat for stretching. It is sold either in baseball-sized balls, or in smaller balls called bocconcini.
Some caseficie, or dairies, offer scamorza, a smoked version of buffalo mozzarella. No matter what form it takes, mozzarella di buffala has a slightly sour tang that is offset by a creamy, milky bite. The cheese is produced almost exclusively in Campania and Sicily, and has been protected under DOP status since June of 1996. It is an essential part of Naples wood-fired pizze, and is often served on its own, accompanied by a slice of grilled bread and perhaps a simple salad.