2 kgs of gleaming buffalo mozzarella

2 kgs of gleaming buffalo mozzarella

I have found a new thing splendiferous.  A new source of gustatory delight.  A new way to indulge.

It’s mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) and, folks, it is sublime!

This weekend I had the great pleasure of heading off on a Slow Food event which took me out to Buffalo Ridge Farm, just a few kilometres from Wellington.  

There I met my very first Mediterranean riverine water buffalo, and there I tasted my very first sliver of alabaster-white buffalo mozzarella.

Oh.  My.

baby water buffalo

a baby water buffalo

Cow milk mozzarella pales in comparison.  Fizzles out.  It isn’t even the same beast, really.  The texture of mozzarella di bufala is incredible – bouncy but not rubbery – and the taste is mouthwatering… that natural whey and salt flavour has me hooked!

Wayne Rademeyer, owner and passionate cheese-maker, explained the ins and outs of buffalo mozzarella, and how it compares with cow milk.  

What was immediately obvious, during the presentation, was Wayne’s total commitment to doing things the natural and sustainable way.

Some snippets from the farm info sheet:

  • The water buffalo (imported from Italy) are pasture-fed, which makes them healthier, and the milk more calcium-rich.
  • The buffalo are milked gently and naturally, and are not given any routine medication (ie no milk-yield-enhancing hormones, like so many cow dairies out there)
  • Probiotic cultures are used in cleaning the dairy, and the water used is recycled for irrigation of the pastures.
  • Water used in the creamery is also recycled and used for irrigation and only biodegradable cleaning products are used.
  • Buffalo Ridge mozzarella is preservative, additive and colourant free.
  • The farm is run on natural principles, and the milk is not adulterated in any way.
  • There are only 4 ingredients in Buffalo Ridge mozzarella:  100% water buffalo milk, selected cheese culture, rennet and salt.

And then there are the health benefits – high in natural anti-oxidants, high in protein and calcium, low in cholesterol, and plenty of iron, phosphorus, and vitamin A.

Healthy, natural, and it tastes delectable – it’s almost too good to be true.  But, there it is.  The only thing that’s going to keep me from eating it 24/7 is my budget.  Yep, it’s not cheap, but for something as good as this, I’ll definitely be keeping aside some spoil-myself funds for special occasions.

Buffalo Ridge Mozzarella is available at selected delis and restaurants around Cape Town, and can also be found at the Neighbour Goods Market in Woodstock (in the food court).  At the farm, we paid R50 for a tub containing a 125g ball – I don’t know what the retail prices are as yet. Their website isn’t up yet, but when it is, you’ll no doubt find the full list of retailers, so that you, too, can see why Buffalo Ridge won ‘best new product’ at the 2008 Eat In awards.

Buffalo Ridge Farm isn’t generally open to the public, but does cater for visits by special arrangement.  To find out more, contact Wayne Rademeyer on 082 375 0977, or email buffaloridge@iafrica.com.

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