Discovering Buffalo Mozzarella cheese from South Africa

The Unique Characteristics of Buffalo Mozzarella

Renowned for its supple freshness and creamy texture, Buffalo Mozzarella, also known as Mozzarella di Bufala, stands distinctively apart in the robust universe of cheese owing to its distinct origins, making process and flavor profile. Originating from the Campania region of Italy, Buffalo Mozzarella is a white, soft and delicate cheese that is spherical in shape and made from the milk of Water Buffalo, a classic differentiation from most cheeses that relies on cow’s milk. The Italian government has designated Buffalo Mozzarella with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which helps ensure its tradition, authenticity and quality.

Buffalo Mozarella is crafted meticulously following a labor-intensive process known as ‘pasta filata’ or ‘spun paste’. This method entails curdling the milk, then heating the resultant curds in warm whey or water until they acquire elastic characteristics. The softened curds are then stretched and kneaded until a smooth, glossy texture is achieved – an act that sets the stage for its signature tenderness. This creation of hand-formed knots, plaited skeins, or small-sized bocconcino requires a high level of artisanal skill and mastery. Subsequently, the cheese is ripened for a brief period, rendering it ready to be savored fresh.

The superiority of Buffalo Mozarella lies in its unmatched texture and taste. When fresh, it presents a moist and spongy consistency giving rise to a surprising firmness as one delves inside. The taste is subtly sweet and tangy, with a faintly sour edge and a rich buttery finish that reveals itself subtly during its slow melt on the palate. This delicate balance of flavors is unlike any other, propelling Buffalo Mozzarella into a category of its own in gastronomical circles.

  • Place of origin: Campania, Italy
  • Milk type: Water Buffalo
  • Texture: Soft, moist and spongy
  • Flavor profile: Subtle sweetness, tanginess and buttery finish
  • Production method: Pasta filata
  • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status: Yes

Get to Know Buffalo Mozzarella : The South African Tale

Welcome to this fascinating quiz on Buffalo Mozzarella cheese from South Africa! Join us as we delve into the world of cheesemaking, the nuances that accord this dairy delight its unique taste, and its journey in South Africa. Are you all set to explore

An Indulgent Exploration of Buffalo Mozzarella: Its Ingredients, Diverse Properties, and Exquisite Varieties

The radiant, white Buffalo Mozzarella cheese is a marvel of Italian dairy product renowned the world over for its delicate flavour, creamy texture, and luscious mouthfeel. The principle element in the production of this stretch-cured cheese is milk from the domestic Italian water buffalo. This ingredient holds a distinctive place in the cheese world due to the fat density of the milk (roughly 8% compared to a mere 4% in cow’s milk), leading to around twice the butterfat content. Despite being a humble three-ingredient concoction—water buffalo milk, rennet, and salt—this isn’t a cheese that compromises on richness or depth of flavour.

The properties of Buffalo Mozzarella go beyond its appealing, slightly tangy flavour and smooth texture, making it a fascinating study in cheese form and functionality. There’s a satisfying elasticity to authentic Buffalo Mozzarella that demonstrates its fresh, unaged character. An outer layer often called the “pasta filata” or “spun paste” forms a smooth, thin skin, while inside, the texture is soft and moist, almost resembling fresh curd cheese. When cut open, this cheese modestly weeps small amounts of milky whey, further accentuating its fresh character.

The world of Buffalo Mozzarella presents a kaleidoscopic variety, reflecting the traditional methods of various Italian regions. Here is a glimpse into this deliciously diverse realm:

  • Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP: Named after the Campania region in Italy, this cheese seals the deal with its DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) guarantee, ensuring the cheese is produced using precise methods in designated areas.
  • Mozzarella di Gioia del Colle: Originating from the town Gioia del Colle in Apulia, it is distinguished by its firm yet creamy texture and distinctive tangy flavour. Its production revolves around unique, time-tested techniques passed down through generations.

The fascinating world of Buffalo Mozzarella is indescribably rich and diversified, an epitome of flawless Italian dairy craftsmanship that creates an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

The Origins of Buffalo Mozzarella: A Culinary Delight from Campania, Italy

Widely regarded as the crowning jewel of Italian cheese, Buffalo mozzarella is renowned for its creamy texture, delicate flavor, and versatility in the kitchen. This beloved cheese finds its origins in the picturesque region of Campania, located in southern Italy. Campania is home to sprawling meadows and fertile farmland, where water buffaloes graze, producing the milk that is used to create this exceptional cheese.

The art of making Buffalo mozzarella has been passed down through generations, with the production methods remaining largely unchanged over centuries. The cheese is made exclusively from the milk of domestic Mediterranean water buffaloes, known for their rich, high-fat milk. The animals are typically raised in the regions surrounding Naples and Salerno, where the climate and vegetation provide the perfect conditions for their grazing.

Buffalo mozzarella is produced using traditional techniques, with a strong emphasis on craftsmanship and attention to detail. The milk is collected daily and transformed into curds, which are then hand-stretched and molded into the characteristic round shape. The cheese is then immersed in a brine solution, enhancing its flavor and extending its shelf life.

True Buffalo mozzarella is known for its distinct ivory color, delicate texture, and subtle tanginess. Its flavor profile is rich and milky, with a hint of sweetness that pairs beautifully with fresh basil, tomatoes, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Whether enjoyed on its own or incorporated into various culinary creations, Buffalo mozzarella is a testament to the artisanal cheese-making craft and the natural bounty of Campania.

Key Points:

  • Buffalo mozzarella originates from the region of Campania in southern Italy.
  • It is made exclusively from the milk of domestic Mediterranean water buffaloes.
  • The cheese is produced using traditional methods and has a distinct ivory color, delicate texture, and subtle tanginess.
  • Campania’s fertile farmland and favorable climate provide the ideal conditions for buffalo rearing and cheese production.

Facts and figures

  • Buffalo Mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffalo.
  • South Africa is home to a few niche cheese makers producing Buffalo mozzarella.
  • Buffalo Mozzarella cheese contains higher amounts of calcium and protein.
  • It takes around 7-8 liters milk to make 1 kg Buffalo mozzarella cheese.
  • Buffalo Mozzarella cheese has received appellation status in South Africa.
  • Cape buffalo are typically used for Buffalo Mozzarella production in South Africa.

Exquisitely Savoring Buffalo Mozzarella in Authentic Italian Dishes

The Mediterranean culinary world holds a treasured secret delicacy, Buffalo Mozzarella (Mozzarella di Bufala Campana). This cheese is an Italian masterpiece, hailing from the southern parts of Italy. Bursting into a creamy center at the slightest pressure, this cheese offers unmatched notes of sweet milky flavor and a distinctively tender texture.

Far from being a simple side-note, the Buffalo Mozzarella becomes the life of any dish it graces. Its versatility and nuanced flavors make it the perfect cheese to be the star of two of Italy’s classic dishes, Caprese Salad and Authentic Neapolitan Pizza.

Caprese Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella


  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Balsamic reduction for drizzling


Slice the Buffalo Mozzarella and tomatoes into equal sizes. Arrange them alternately on a platter, tuck fresh basil leaves in between the slices. Sprinkle some salt, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic reduction. Let the flavors meld for 10-15 minutes before serving.

This simple yet flavorful dish allows the Buffalo Mozzarella to shine, with the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes, the aromatic, slightly peppery flavor of the basil leaves, and the rich tangy drizzle of balsamic reduction complementing its creamy, milky taste.

Neapolitan Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella


  • Basic pizza dough
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomato sauce
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Olive oil and salt


Preheat the oven at its maximum temperature. Roll out the pizza dough on a pizza stone or pan. Spread the tomato sauce, leaving a margin for the crust. Slice the Buffalo Mozzarella and distribute it over the sauce. Scatter fresh basil leaves, drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle some salt. Bake the pizza in the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

In this Neapolitan Pizza, the quality of ingredients speaks volumes. The Buffalo Mozzarella stretched soft and creamy atop the pizza provides a beautiful contrast with the tangy San Marzano tomato sauce, and the crust baked to crisp perfection. It is an orchestra of balanced flavors in every bite.

Enhancing the Delicate Flavor of Buffalo Mozzarella: Wine Pairings and Culinary Masterpieces

Buffalo Mozzarella, or ‘Mozzarella di Bufala Campana’, is a delicately-flavored fresh cheese originating from Italy’s southern regions. With its tender texture, milky essence, and slightly sweet, tangy nuances, it is a prized staple in countless traditional dishes and a sought-after pairing with wine. As an artisan gastronomic treasure, the intricacies of pairing the cheese with appropriate wines and dishes elevates it from a regular dining experience to a gourmet extravaganza.

When it comes to wine, the characteristics of Buffalo Mozzarella lean towards a refreshing and balanced match. The gentle acidity of Vermentino, a white Italian wine, corresponds beautifully with the mild, creamy texture of the cheese, accentuating rather than overpowering its flavor. For those who prefer red, the young, fruity notes of a barbera wine, particularly a Barbera d’Asti, harmonize with the cheese’s milky nature and compensate for its rich mouthfeel. Prosecco, with its light body and vibrant effervescence, offers a more unorthodox pairing, adding a celebratory note to the experience.

The magic of Buffalo Mozzarella truly unfolds when integrated into carefully selected dishes. Its fresh, creamy profile adds a dimension of richness to the classic Caprese salad, perfectly balancing the sweetness of sun-ripened tomatoes and the spicy hints of fresh basil leaves. In Italy’s beloved pizza Margherita, the cheese’s luscious, stringy quality when heated brings the flatbread to life, set against the tangy simplicity of tomato sauce and the aromatic freshness of basil. Moreover, Buffalo Mozzarella eloquently graces pasta dishes, the creaminess of the cheese blending harmoniously with the al dente pasta, adding a luxurious touch to a straightforward dish.

  • Wine Pairings: Vermentino, Barbera d’Asti, Prosecco
  • Dish Pairings: Caprese Salad, Pizza Margherita, Pasta

Buffalo Mozzarella stands as a testament to the power of simplicity in gastronomic culture. Its understated elegance compels connoisseurs to pay heed to every bite or sip, making it an ideal starting point to discover the sophisticated world of food and wine pairings. The grasp of its subtle nuances, the right combination of wine and dishes, all contribute to heightening the enjoyment associated with this delectable cheese.

Similar Cheeses to Buffalo Mozzarella

Buffalo mozzarella is a delicious Italian cheese known for its creamy texture and delicate flavor. It is made from the milk of water buffalo, which gives it a unique taste compared to traditional mozzarella cheese made from cow’s milk. If you are looking for similar cheeses to buffalo mozzarella, there are a few options that can provide a similar taste and texture experience. These cheeses are worth exploring if you are a fan of buffalo mozzarella and want to try something similar:

  • Burrata: Burrata is a cheese that also originates from Italy and is made from cow’s milk. It consists of a thin mozzarella shell filled with a creamy mixture of mozzarella and cream. The texture and richness of burrata make it a great alternative to buffalo mozzarella.
  • Stracciatella: Stracciatella is another Italian cheese that is made from the same ingredients as burrata, a mixture of mozzarella and cream. However, stracciatella is not formed into a shell but has a stringy, shredded consistency. It has a similar milky flavor to buffalo mozzarella and is often used as a filling for pasta dishes.
  • Fior di Latte: Fior di latte, also known as “flower of milk,” is a mozzarella cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a similar mild flavor and creamy texture as buffalo mozzarella. Fior di latte is widely available and can be used as a substitute in various recipes that call for buffalo mozzarella.
  • Cow’s Milk Mozzarella: If you can’t find any of the above options, regular cow’s milk mozzarella cheese can still provide a similar experience to buffalo mozzarella. It may not have the exact same depth of flavor, but it offers a creamy and mild taste that is reminiscent of buffalo mozzarella.

These cheeses can be used in a variety of dishes, from simple Caprese salads to more complex pasta dishes or even on top of pizzas. Experimenting with different cheeses can be a fun way to discover new flavors while still enjoying that creamy and delicate experience that buffalo mozzarella provides.

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About the author: Dr. Wolfgang Sender writes on international careers. He is founder of and

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