PDO Buffalo mozzarella from Campania is one of the main ingredients of a true Neapolitan pizza. It is a fresh dairy product made of spun paste, obtained from buffalo whole milk. According to the protocol included in Presidential Decree 28/9/1979, only buffalo milk can be used to produce buffalo mozzarella. Even partial use of cow milk is forbidden, in order to denominate it buffalo mozzarella.
In this case, one must carefully examine the denomination: only the product sold with the complete lettering “Buffalo mozzarella from Campania” is the original one, while the product sold as “Buffalo mozzarella” is produced all over Italy, with buffalo milk coming from breeding farms in locations other than the protected one.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESSES OF BUFFALO MOZZARELLA
The coagulation is made by adding veal calf liquid rennet, then milk heating is obtained by directly injecting steam.
The ideal temperature range spans from 34 to 38 °C; the coagulation time lasts for thirty minutes.
Curd cutting is manually realized through a wooden “ruotolo” (a stick with a convex disk at the end) or a metallic curd knife to obtain lumps of about 3-6 cm. Two phases are carried out: the first cutting reduces curd into cubes; after half an hour, it is time to cut again.
Curd extraction is performed manually. It is then cut into thick slices with a knife or a traditional sickle. Curd is solid and with regular holes at this stage; it is then left to clean out on a table for about 15-30 minutes. After the cutting, curd is acidified thanks to whey. In handmade processes, acidification lasts for 3-4 hours; however, is it not uncommon that this phase reaches 8 hours.
If the so obtained paste can be stretched for more than a meter without fraying, it is ready to be spun.
Spinning is the phase that most influences the texture of the final product.
Traditionally, spinning has to be manually done. The paste, once mature enough, is cut into thin slices with a shaper machine and put in a wooden vat, in which it is fused by pouring hot water.
Subsequently, thanks to specific utensils (traditionally a wooden stick and a bowl), the paste is spun until it is shiny and uniform.
In handmade processes, Buffalo mozzarella from Campania production is manually performed by two workers, the former using its thumb to separate pieces of about 2-3 kg and the latter helping. Spun paste is carefully kneaded, thanks to characteristic movements that end with shaping and cutting off. Some peculiar shapes can only be obtained manually (let’s think of mozzarella braid), by braiding every fiber to obtain the final shape.
Salting is achieved by immersing the mozzarella in salines (concentration may vary, the range is typically 10-20 %). Salting time varies depending on cheese factories. Once brine process is over, the cheese is immersed in its governing liquid and its salt concentration is balanced. Thanks to a diffusive process, salt concentration decreases in the external layers and rises in the internal ones, but it comes to balance in the end.
PummaRe, the true Neapolitan pizzeria in Rome, offers only PDO Buffalo mozzarella from Campania.