History of the Mozzarella di Bufala2019-03-29T14:34:17+00:00

X CENTURY

The origins of mozzarella are directly linked to the introduction of buffaloes in Italy. One of the most likely hypotheses claims that the spread in Southern Italy occurred during the Norman period in Sicily, where the buffaloes had been brought around the end of the tenth century, following the invasions of the Saracens and the Moors.

XI CENTURY

Around the eleventh century, the swamping of the coastal plains of the lower Tyrrhenian side – Piana del Volturno and the Sele – was completed, thus reaching the environmental characteristics best suited to the breeding of buffaloes.

1189-1266

During the Swabian era, the buffaloes reached the current breeding areas.

XII – XIII CENTURY

In the XII century the first historical documents appear that testify how the monks of the monastery of San Lorenzo in Capua used to offer to the pilgrims of the Capitolo Metropolitano, who each year went in procession to the church of the monastery, a cheese called mozza or provatura (when smoked) with a piece of bread.

XIV CENTURY

There are several testimonies that prove the commercialization of buffalo milk products, usually destined to the rich markets of Naples and Salerno. For obvious viability reasons the only ones to arrive were “mozza” and above all “provatura”, which thanks to the smoking had a longer commercial life.

XV CENTURY

The first “bufalare” date back to the fifteenth century. These were characteristic masonry constructions, with a circular shape with a central fireplace, where buffalo milk was processed to obtain provola, caciocavallo, butter, ricotta and of course buffalo mozzarella.

1570

For the first time the term “mozzarella” appears in a famous text by Bartolomeo Scappi, chef of the papal court.

XVIII CENTURY

Mozzarella becomes a mass consumption product, also thanks to the Bourbons, who in the province of Caserta created a large buffalo farm, with an adjoining cheese dairy for the transformation of the milk. The most important events of the buffaloes were noted down in a book. Each animal was given a name which usually recalled court characters.

During the Spanish domination the buffalo was also used as a hunting animal. In fact, they organised “buffalo hunting” trips, during which the court went to the breeding areas of the Volturno and the Sele plain.

XIX CENTURY

After the unification of Italy, in Aversa, the “Taverna” was established: an actual wholesale market for mozzarella and dairy products, among which it is worth mentioning the ricotta, which established daily quotas in relation to production and demand. The trade was regulated on the basis of actual contracts, that entered into force from 1st September to 31st August of the following year, stipulated between the owner of the buffaloes, who also transformed the milk, and the “distributor” of the products.

1940

“… every buffalo has a name that is a verse, and the names of a herd of buffaloes are a poem”.

(Rocco Scotellaro)

XX CENTURY

The Lucan poet and writer Rocco Scotellaro, in his investigation on peasant culture in Southern Italy, Contadini del Sud, tells that the “bufalaro” (the person in charge of the breeding of the buffalo) knew his buffaloes individually, as if they were “Christians”. So much so that he gave a name to each of them: “Countess”, “Amorosa”, “Cambiale”, “Monacella”, “‘A malatia”, “‘ Ncoppe a paglia”. Sometimes the names were transformed into real mottos that arose from the behaviour of the animals and the close relationship they had with their bufalaro.

X CENTURY

The origins of mozzarella are directly linked to the introduction of buffaloes in Italy. One of the most likely hypotheses claims that the spread in Southern Italy occurred during the Norman period in Sicily, where the buffaloes had been brought around the end of the tenth century, following the invasions of the Saracens and the Moors.

1189-1266

During the Swabian era, the buffaloes reached the current breeding areas.

XI CENTURY

Around the eleventh century, the swamping of the coastal plains of the lower Tyrrhenian side – Piana del Volturno and the Sele – was completed, thus reaching the environmental characteristics best suited to the breeding of buffaloes.

XII – XIII CENTURY

In the XII century the first historical documents appear that testify how the monks of the monastery of San Lorenzo in Capua used to offer to the pilgrims of the Capitolo Metropolitano, who each year went in procession to the church of the monastery, a cheese called mozza or provatura (when smoked) with a piece of bread

XIV CENTURY

There are several testimonies that prove the commercialization of buffalo milk products, usually destined to the rich markets of Naples and Salerno. For obvious viability reasons the only ones to arrive were “mozza” and above all “provatura”, which thanks to the smoking had a longer commercial life.

XV CENTURY

The first “bufalare” date back to the fifteenth century. These were characteristic masonry constructions, with a circular shape with a central fireplace, where buffalo milk was processed to obtain provola, caciocavallo, butter, ricotta and of course buffalo mozzarella.

1570

For the first time the term “mozzarella” appears in a famous text by Bartolomeo Scappi, chef of the papal court.

XVIII CENTURY

Mozzarella becomes a mass consumption product, also thanks to the Bourbons, who in the province of Caserta created a large buffalo farm, with an adjoining cheese dairy for the transformation of the milk. The most important events of the buffaloes were noted down in a book. Each animal was given a name which usually recalled court characters.

During the Spanish domination the buffalo was also used as a hunting animal. In fact, they organised “buffalo hunting” trips, during which the court went to the breeding areas of the Volturno and the Sele plain.

XIX CENTURY

After the unification of Italy, in Aversa, the “Taverna” was established: an actual wholesale market for mozzarella and dairy products, among which it is worth mentioning the ricotta, which established daily quotas in relation to production and demand. The trade was regulated on the basis of actual contracts, that entered into force from 1st September to 31st August of the following year, stipulated between the owner of the buffaloes, who also transformed the milk, and the “distributor” of the products.

1940

“… every buffalo has a name that is a verse, and the names of a herd of buffaloes are a poem”.

Rocco Scotellaro

XX CENTURY

The Lucan poet and writer Rocco Scotellaro, in his investigation on peasant culture in Southern Italy, Contadini del Sud, tells that the “bufalaro” (the person in charge of the breeding of the buffalo) knew his buffaloes individually, as if they were “Christians”. So much so that he gave a name to each of them: “Countess”, “Amorosa”, “Cambiale”, “Monacella”, “‘A malatia”, “‘ Ncoppe a paglia”. Sometimes the names were transformed into real mottos that arose from the behaviour of the animals and the close relationship they had with their bufalaro.

“Quanne is auste facime cunti”

(when August comes we will settle it)

“Chi campa vere sta massaria”

(only those who survive will see this farm).