Manufacture following tradition
Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP is a simple product with a short and controlled supply chain, the result of centuries’ old artisan traditions.
The Regulations for the manufacture of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP do not allow for any exceptions. Dairy buffalo farms destined for the production of Mozzarella DOP must consist of heads of Italian Mediterranean Buffalo breed and require loose or semi-loose stabling of the animals in open air paddocks. There is a fundamental requirement for large watering places given the propensity of the buffalos to wallow in swamp environments.
Over the past few years, dairy buffalo farms have undergone considerable transformations. They have gone from extended to more confined area farms which, precisely because they are easier to control, are better able to satisfy the buffalos’ needs.
Why is Buffalo Milk so special?
Because, with respect to cow or sheep’s milk, it is richer in proteins, fats and calcium. These chemical characteristics allow those transforming fresh Buffalo milk to obtain a greater diary yield, equal to twice that which is normally obtained with cow’s milk.
Whole Buffalo milk pproduced on the farms is pasteurised and rapidly transported to the production plants. Before being transformed into Mozzarella DOP, it undergoes all the health and hygiene checks as well as the additional ones required by the Manufacturing Regulations of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP .
The special characteristics of buffalo milk, together with the still artisanal type of manufacture, are behind the success and which cow’s milk production has lost over the years, precisely because it is anonymous and produced with industrial methods.
After filtering, the whole Buffalo milk:
After the milk has thickened due to the addition of the rennet, the cheese lumps are broken up with a tool called a “spino” [a curd knife]. Then the separation process begins between the solid and the liquid phase of the milk (syneresis). The liquid element, removed by collection, is called the “sweet whey”, while the solid element is called the curd.
The curd is left to acidify in the whey up to point when it is considered “matured”. After a few hours, it is ready for the stretching that the cheese maker performs personally.
The second moment is an empirical but absolutely reliable test. It consists in added boiling water to around half a kilo of finely broken up curd, blending it to make it fuse and then stretching it by hand and with a wooden stick: if the mixture “stretches”, or, in other words, can be pulled uniformly without breaking up, the curd is ready for the subsequent stretching stage.
The now matured curd is poured onto draining boards for the exuding of all the residual whey. It is subsequently cut into strips and replaced into wooden tanks (mastelli) to which boiling water is then added. The heat surge causes the fusing of the mass which is continuously lifted and pulled until the mixture becomes a homogeneous whole
The last step in the production process of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP is making the forms. The mixture is portioned and moulded by hand by the cheese maker and his assistants or, more rarely, by mechanical form-makers. In this way, the smaller forms, the mozzarellas and the plaits of every size and dimension are created.
Thus produced, the Mozzarella di Bufala is left to rest first in cold water and then in salted water that gives the product the correct amount of sapidity.