Buffalo Mozzarella: Why the Best Cheese is So Hard to Find in the USA

Buffalo Mozzarella: Why the Best Cheese is So Hard to Find in the USA

Stephanie Barlow
Jun 25, 2012

If you've ever tasted real buffalo mozzarella, as in the stuff made with water buffalo milk, you know how much creamier and more delicate it is than the versions made with cow's milk. However, it's notoriously hard to find in the US. Why? Water buffalo weren't bred for dairy production here as they have been in Italy for hundreds of years. One former software consultant in California set out to change that. Read more on why this hasn't been an easy task!

Craig Ramini followed a dream to bring real buffalo mozzarella to the US. He thought it could be as easy as finding enough water buffalo and tinkering with a cheese recipe. However, the water buffalo native to the US produce a fraction of the milk of a dairy cow and are incredibly sensitive to their environment.

"The buffalo, he says, 'required a type of interaction that I've never had with any kind of animal, even a human.'"

He build custom milking troughs, dealt with injury (his own), and escape (theirs). Today, more than two years after Ramini started his water buffalo dairy, he's gotten the buffalo to produce enough milk to start making cheese. Will more follow in the uphill battle to bring real buffalo mozzarella stateside? We hope so!

Read more: It's Easy to Be Cowed When Trying to Milk a Water Buffalo at The Wall Street Journal

Related: Weekend Project: Make Your Own Mozzarella!

(Image: Allison Arevalo from Local Lemons )

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