Buffalo Mozzarella: Will American Cheesemakers Master This Elusive Cheese
In this article Sam Anderson of The New York Times tackles the subject of buffalo mozzarella (or lack thereof) made in the United States. The elusive, seductive taste and texture of the real thing has yet to be replicated on American shores, claims Anderson, who pays a visit to a new buffalo milk cheesemaker in California as part of his research:
Italy is a quintessentially Old World country — a quilt of microregions, each fiercely loyal to its own traditions and cuisines — which means that it’s perfectly natural to expect your cheese to have been made locally that day. This expectation has been woven so deeply into the fabric of daily life, by so many generations of cheese eaters, that the market for it is guaranteed. And Italy is small enough that, if you do move a fresh product from one major city to the next, it takes only a couple of hours.
The conditions in the United States are the opposite of that. Our water-buffalo herds are sparse and, for the purposes of dairying, practically feral. They’re difficult to acquire and expensive to raise. They produce only a fraction of the milk you get from a typical dairy cow, and they are so psychologically fragile that it’s hard to even get that much out of them.