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Official Sole Distributor of Buffalo Ridge Produce in the KwaZulu Natal Region

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Fior di Latte & how it's different

There is considerable confusion between the difference between Fior di Latte and Mozzarella di Bufala (Buffalo Mozzarella). Fior di Latte is made form cow’s milk, while Mozzarella di Bufala (Buffalo Mozzarella) is made from 100% pure water buffalo milk, and cannot be described as Buffalo Mozzarella or Mozzarella di Bufala if it is produced from anything BUT 100% pure water buffalo milk.

Mozzarella di Bufala is Italy’s traditional, speciality authentic cheese and is considered a delicacy around the globe, especially in Europe and the United Kingdom.

In Italy, last year (2014) a cheese factory was closed down and 13 people were arrested for counterfeit buffalo mozzarella that was found to be laced with cow’s milk! “Italian officials closed a cheese factory and arrested 13 people, saying its buffalo mozzarella cheese was made in part from cheaper cow's milk.”

Fior di Latte is made using cow’s milk and additives in an attempt to emulate the taste and structure of Buffalo Mozzarella. In some cases, it is even bleached to try and replicate the pristine pure white colour that is a natural characteristic, unique to Mozzarella di Bufala. Water buffalo’s process the beta-carotene they absorb into Vitamin A, which is what eliminates any coloration of their milk, and that carries through to other products, besides Mozzarella di Bufala produced using the milk of the water buffalo.

Fior di Latte cheaper and much less superior than Mozzarella di Bufala, in more ways than one. Not everyone in South Africa is even aware of this, because up until now, Mozzarella di Bufala has been virtually impossible to obtain and consistently supply. Why? Because importing this product all the way from Italy to Southern Africa is not exactly viable, considering it is a fresh cheese that has a limited shelf life, which – on top of this, is also a very strictly regulated traditional, authentic speciality product in Europe (Italy).

What is scary, is how un-aware some South African’s are – regarding the facts of this cheese. While Mozzarella di Bufala is a very versatile cheese, it is world famous for being the key star ingredient in the simple yet popular dish, Insalata Caprese (the Caprese Salad). This is a fact that many South African’s have been deprived of, as the lack of availability of this authentic delicacy has resulted in most ‘just not knowing any better'.

Most restaurants will specify ‘Fior di Latte’ on their menus or will simply describe ‘mozzarella’ as an ingredient, which means cow’s milk mozzarella. Yes, Fior di Latte does sound ‘fancy’ however it is actually a very common product.

Mozzarella di Bufala is a premium product and is what makes a Caprese Salad, a traditional and authentic Caprese Salad, so popular in Italy and European cuisine. It is what makes a Caprese Salad unique and once tasted, one will never go back.

In South Africa, there is only one single local producer of Mozzarella di Bufala; in fact, there are only a handful of Mozzarella di Bufala producers (Water Buffalo Dairy’s) in the entire Southern Hemisphere and Caprese Trading are proud to have acquired sole distribution rights for their products in KwaZulu Natal.

There is no doubt that visually, these two cheeses look quite similar and aside from the colour difference, which we explained above (and on based on the condition that Fior di Latte has not been bleached), there are distinct characteristics of Buffalo Mozzarella that simply cannot be replicated.

Cows milk mozzarella (Fior di Latte) has a different texture being that it is more ‘dense’ and rubbery whereas Mozzarella di Bufala has a much softer, lighter ‘spongy’ feel. If you were to cut through a ball of Buffalo Mozzarella, it would glide through like a hot knife through butter. On the other hand, to cut through a ball of cow's milk mozzarella more pressure would be required.

If one had to squeeze a ball of Buffalo Mozzarella they would 'feel' the moisture content within and upon tearing (recommended) or cutting this cheese, the moisture content (the whey) is apparent as it oozes deliciously. Fior di Latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) does not boast this classic characteristic of Buffalo Mozzarella and is a lot ‘dryer’.

In terms of taste, Mozzarella di Bufala has a deep and complex flavour to that of cow’s milk mozzarella and literally melts in your mouth. It has a delicate, slightly salty tangy taste.

Highly nutritious, water Buffalo Mozzarella kicks Fior di Latte right out of the window. Water Buffalo Mozzarella boasts a whopping 43% less cholesterol levels than cow’s milk mozzarella, naturally! It also contains 40-per-cent more protein and 58-per-cent more calcium than cow’s milk mozzarella. It also contains high levels of the natural occurring antioxidant tocopherol.

Another added benefit is that Buffalo Mozzarella (and all other water buffalo milk products) can be safely consumed and is recommended to those who have milk allergies or are lactose intolerant, unlike Fior di Latte (cow’s milk).

About Caprese Trading

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Buffalo Ridge Farm

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About Mozzarella di Bufala

Europe's favourite cheese

A Banting Buddy

Nutritious Banting Treats

About Water Buffalo's

A far cry from the African Buffalo

About Fior di Latte

Theres a difference

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