Posted by: lisetta | February 3, 2008

La legge di buffalo

Recovering from the delicious Italian dinner that Nadia and Matt cooked last night – homemade gnocchi and chicken saltimbocca – comes with pleasures. What ‘s a better light dinner than a salad with high quality buffalo mozzarella? When I first wrote about this cheese in July, little did I know that I wouldn’t be eating it again until February.  SIX months ago? Could this be true? 

What the heck makes this cheese so damned delicious? I went a-looking and read through the ministerial decree defining the DOP label it wears. While explaining nothing more than the bureaucracy behind its production, I found it interesting nonetheless. Google has translated it for you here. I’m particularly impressed with Article 3:

Art.1 – It ‘recognition of the designation of origin “Mozzarella di bufala campana” cheese product in the area of Art. 2 and with the requirements set out in Articles 3 and 4.

Art. 3 – “Mozzarella di bufala campana” is produced exclusively with whole milk buffalo, from buffaloes reared in the area of Art. 2 and obtained in compliance with specific requirements relating to farming and the technological process, as conformant to the standard production following:

A) Breedings bufalini from which derives the milk must be structured in accordance with local custom with animals originating in the Mediterranean area of race, which must be subscribers to the appropriate registry.

B) The milk must be delivered to the dairy by the sixteenth hour after milking, possess title fat least 7% and be properly filtered heated to a temperature between 33 ° C to 36 °

C) Coagulation is achieved by the exclusive use of natural lactic ferment arising from previous processing of milk buffalo occurred in the same area of production. The rupture of curd is pursued to obtain granules the size of a walnut. The aging of curd takes the serum for a time variable in relation to the office of microorganisms present in ferment added, but oscillating around 5 hours after entering the rennet. After maturing the curd is reduced to strips placed in special containers where, with the addition of water at 95 ° C, is spun and then killed, in order to guarantee individual pieces obtained the shape and size provided. These are the first places in cold water for a few minutes and then in brine for being salting followed by the packaging.

D) Form: in addition to the round shape, are allowed other forms typical of the production area which bites, braids, beads, ciliegini, nodini.

E) Weight varies from 20 Ga 800 g, according to the form.

F) External Appearance: white porcelain, thin crust of about a millimeter with smooth surface, never sticky or scaled.

G) Pasta: structure and leaves thin, slightly elastic in the first eight to ten hours after the production and packaging, then to fuse: free from defects which očes, caused by gas or abnormal fermentation; no preservatives, and inhibitors dyes; cut scolatura presence in the form of mild sierosità whitish, fat, the scent of milk enzymes.

H) Flavor: distinctive and delicate. fat in the dry matter: at least 52%.

L) Maximum Humidity: 65%.

Art. 4 – II cheese with a designation of origin “Mozzarella di bufala campana” must bear affixed at the time of its release for consumption marking Annex A, which constitutes an integral part of this decree, which are identified geographical origin and the extremes of decretazione with which he recognized the name itself, a guarantee of compliance with specific regulatory requirements.

Apparently, others are concerned with the quality of this cheese as well. Not the sequencing of lists though. Pazienza!

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