On Mozzarella: Buffalo and Burrata
Because we adore it, we believe we know all about mozzarella. Nevertheless, it may prove difficult for most to distinguish between two varieties: Buffalo and Burrata.
Mozzarella is a cow’s milk cheese of Italian origin, but is not only produced in Italy. Since there are no precise regulations on the requirement to inform the consumer about the origin of the milk, it is often hard to be sure of its place of origin.
On the best labels, we find the following ingredients: milk, salt, rennet, lactic ferment. In the worst cases, the mozzarella will not be an authentic mozzarella but a product made up of agglomerated cheeses (as often on industrial pizzas). In Italy, the designation fior di latte (“flower of milk”) guarantees a mozzarella using fresh, not frozen, milk.
The Mozzarella di Buffalo Campana benefits from an AOP which guarantees a high standard in terms of the mode of production and processing according to a traditional method. Also, the milk used can only originate from a determined geographical area, among others the Italian provinces of Casente, Salerno, Lazio, Naples and Foggia north of Puglia.
When selecting a Buffalo mozzarella it is important not to confuse the authentic Mozzarella di Buffalo Campana with imitations which are often made using non-Italian cow’s milk. Richer in fat and protein, the Mozzarella di Buffalo is much more flavorful. You can best appreciate it’s flavor without oil or any other seasoning.
Native to the region of the Puglia, Burrata arose from the cheese maker’s desire not to waste day-old mozzarella. He stuffs an outer shell of mozzarella with a mixture of cream and pieces of mozzarella and then closes it in a knot.
The relatively high price of Burrata is understandable, since the process of making it is still entirely by hand. If Burrata has been trendy in France for several years, it is only infrequently consumed in Italy and even less in Puglia where the pure white gold continues to take precedence.