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Food and wine

Campania

Margherita pizza according to Franco Pepe

14 November 2022

2 minutes

1. History of buffalo mozzarella, the icing on the pizza margherita

buffalo mozzarella

Buffalo mozzarella from Campania is recognisable by its taut and “stringy” skin, it is also an inimitable cheese in terms of taste. Produced only with fresh, whole buffalo milk from the Mediterranean-Italian breed, to be certified as buffalo, it must have been produced from the milk of animals entered in a special registerand reared according to local custom, i.e. in semi-freedom and open pasture. The Italian Mediterranean buffalofrom whose milk mozzarella is produced, is a native and unique bovine, as evidenced by the presence of a DNA that is different from that of any other kind of buffalo.

Historically, the first document to mention mozzarella from Aversa dates back to the early 15th century. It is no coincidence that Aversa is still one of the main production centres for Campania's buffalo mozzarella.

There are many different hypotheses about the birth of mozzarella, but they all take us back to the Middle Ages.

Put on the market in different formats, we can find buffalo mozzarella di bufala campana PDO in round, bite-size, braided, beaded or even cherry shapes, twisted into knots, tightened into pearl shapes, and with weights ranging from 20 to 800 grams.

2. Buffalo mozzarella and pizza margherita

pizza with buffalo mozzarella

Usually buffalo mozzarella is not put on pizza, for one reason: it loses a lot of water, and therefore risks making a "puddle", or in other words, soaking the pizza while cooking. It is for this reason that in Naples fiordilatte is used as the cheese on pizza. Nevertheless, buffalo mozzarella can also be used, but using a few tricks. For example, those who use buffalo cheese in baking, before placing it on the pizza, cut the cheese into pieces and leave it to drain in a colander: this process serves to drain off the excess liquid, and preserve the margherita from the effect described above. 

Still talking about pizza, the buffalo does not necessarily have to be placed in the oven: perhaps the flair of the master pizza chef will decide to place it in small slices on the pizza once it is out of the oven, or to place a nice, whole buffalo ball right in the centre of our pizza, leaving us to carve it and distribute it as we please. In any event, we can enjoy it in all its goodness. 

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