Origins of Mozzarella

In ancient times, the water buffalo was a familiar sight pulling a plow because of its strength and large hooves. European historical references to cheese products made from water buffalo milk appeared for the first time at the beginning of the twelfth century, as monasteries became centers of skilled cheese making.

Mozzarella originated in southern Italy where it is believed water buffalo have lived since the second century. Many competing theories surrounding their introduction exist. One theory credits the Goths with bringing Asian water buffalo in the early medieval period. Another claims the Normans introduced them from Sicily in 1000, and that Arabs introduced them to Sicily. A third theory states that Arabs brought water buffalo from Mesopotamia into the Near East. Then pilgrims and returning crusaders introduced them into Europe.



The Secrets to Great Tasting Cheese.

It should be noted that the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia are known to have made and consumed cheese as early as 3500 B.C. This could leave the Italian origin of Mozzarella in question. However, fear not, a forth theory sites fossil evidence of a prehistoric European Water Buffalo, (Bubalus murrensis) and suggests that water buffalo may have originated in Italy.

Wherever its origin, the secret of great mozzarella is the richness of water buffalo milk. To produce 1 kg of cheese, a cheese maker requires 8 kg of cow milk but only 5 kg of buffalo milk. Producing 1 kg of butter requires 14 kg of cow milk but only 10 kg of buffalo milk.

The digestive system of water buffaloes permits them to turn vegetation into rich milk which, due to its higher percentage of solids, provides higher levels of protein, fat and minerals than cow milk.


buffalo cheese

Rocky Mountain Water Buffalo

Mozzarella is soft, mild cheese made from water buffalo’s milk. Fresh mozzarella is a soft, white cheese with a sweet taste.

During fresh mozzarella production, curds (solidified milk proteins) are cut into strips and then further cut into pieces by passing the strips through a wire frame. The resulting pieces are placed into hot water, which causes them to clump together. The clumps are kneaded and then carefully pulled, folded, twisted, and shaped.

Fresh mozzarella with amazing taste starts with Colorado water buffalo milk from Juniper Valley Dairy.