The origins of this cheese are directly linked to the introduction of buffaloes to Italy: according to one of the most credible suggestions, it was the Norman kings who promoted buffalo farming in Southern Italy, in around 1000 AD, beginning from Sicily, where the animals had been originally introduced by the Arabs.
Used initially as working animals, because of their hardy constitution, the buffaloes became valued over time for the quality of their milk.
Buffaloes being milked
The Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is a fresh spun curd cheese whose characteristic features mainly derive from the fresh buffalo milk produced in the area of origin, which is particularly flavourful, digestible and rich in proteins and minerals.
Known for its typical spherical shape (up to 800 g), it can be produced in different sizes, such as morsels, cherries, little eggs, knots and braids (of up to 3 kg), and also in smoked varieties.
The packaging must display the “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) trademark.
If not consumed immediately, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO can be stored in a cool place, kept immersed in its preserving liquid. If placed in the refrigerator, it should be removed ahead of time and served at room temperature, to allow all its flavour to be fully appreciated.
The Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO trademark is restricted to southern-central Italy: the Region of Campania (the entire provinces of Caserta and Salerno, part of the province of Naples and Benevento); the Region of Lazio (some municipalities in the provinces of Latina, Frosinone and Rome); and a small part of the province of Foggia (Apulia) and Venafro (Isernia).
Map of the production area
Since its appearance in Italy, the buffalo has not been subject to any influence from other breeds. This rare example of genetic purity has rightly earned it the specific name of “Italian Mediterranean Buffalo”.
A female buffalo weighs an average of 500 kg, gives birth to one calf at a time, and has a gestation period of 10 months, with 270 days of lactation. Fresh forage, silage, and mineral and vitamin supplements form the basis of their feed.
The term “mozzarella” comes from “mozzare” (to cut off), a process that consists in severing the spun curd with the use of the thumb and forefinger.
Curator—Consorzio di Tutela della Mozzarella di Bufala Campana