I am going to begin Part 2, with one of our most beloved and common of Italian cheeses called Bufala di Mozzarella or Mozzarella di Bufala.
For most Italians, mozzarella only means bufala di mozzarella, the milk of the water buffalo.
True, there does exist a type of mozzarella called Fior di Latte, which is made from cow´s milk and is useful for economic purse strings, however it lacks the luscious characteristics of the original.
Battipaglia, Campania, south of Napoli and Caserta, just north of Napoli are the designation of origins of Buffala di Mozzarella.
True mozzarella di bufala is a complex cheese with a decided tang and a fragrance of lactic acid, along with what Italians call a mossy aroma that comes from the marshy ponds in which water buffalo graze.
You can recognize an excellent cheese by its thin, glossy skin exterior, springy texture and porcelain color and fresh milky aromas.
Fresh mozzarella is a splendid eating cheese with ripe red tomato and basil drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Modena Balsamic Vinegar. This salad is called Caprese.
Baked pasta dishes and Pizzas are splendid with bufala di mozzarella.
Cow Mozzarella ... Fiore di Latte ...
To make cow mozzarella, each morning fresh cow´s milk curds are stretched in hot water, and then the mass is shaped into balls and braids called Trecce. This stretching process of the curd, is the critical act in mozzarella making for it gives the cheese the springy texture and layered structure that is so desirable.
Many many centuries ago, Asiago was made from Ewe´s milk. Curiously, old timers in the Altiplano d´Asiago, a high Alpine plateau north of Vicenza, in the province of Veneto, still call the cheese Pegorin from Pecorino, even though it has been made exclusively from Cow Milk since sometime in the 16th Century. Traditions die hard in some rural pastoral zones of Italia.
Today, Asiago is also produced in the Trentino Province, which is part of northeastern province Trentino - Alto Adige.
It is made in two versions. It is widely available in the USA.
The most traditional type, Asiago d´Allevo ( means to rear or to bring up and / or to raise ) and refers to the care taken in crafting this cow variety. This cheese is made from Holstein and Swiss Brown Cows, and it is a sweet bland variety when young, becoming sharper when ageing.
To be continued.
Have a nice Sunday.