Pomodori e mozzarella – Mozzarella and tomatoes in the USA

A serving of Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella di Bufala della Campania
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How to make Pomodori e mozzarella – Mozzarella and tomatoes

The preparation is very simple, easy, and strathforward.

Slice the tomatoes in thick slices.

Put them on a plate, with a slice of mozzarella di bufala on top.

Dress with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

The shape of the tomatoes from the Farmer’s market can be irregular: it’s how they taste that counts!

What do you need to make a perfect Pomodori e mozzarella

  • 1 – the tomatoes are better if they come from the farmer’s market. The tomatoes available in most USA supermarkets have been grown for their look, not for how they taste.
  • 2 – make sure that the mozzarella di bufala comes from the Campania region of Italy: there is a sale of mozzarella produced in the South American Andes in many supermarkets. While it’s not bad at all, it’s not the same. You cannot compare the two. For example, three supermarket chains sell South American buffalo mozzarella in the DC area where I live. Only one specialty store (that I am aware of) sells the real Buffalo mozzarella from Campania: Rodman’s.
  • 3 – Use ONLY extra virgin olive oil. The quality of the oil is paramount to the success of this simple dish. The better is the oil, the better the dish. As you can see from the picture, I used “Antichi Uliveti del Prato,” a specialty extra virgin olive oil produced in Sardinia by a small farm. It is available in North America online from Gustiamo.com. Its exquisite taste enhances the dish, but any excellent extra virgin olive oil would be acceptable.
Campaia Bufalo – Stephen Sommerhalter CC BY 3.0

Mozzarella di bufala della Campania : Why?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buffalo mozzarella (Italian: mozzarella di bufala; Neapolitan: muzzarella ‘e vufera) is a mozzarella made from the milk of Italian Mediterranean buffalo. It is a dairy product traditionally manufactured in Campania, especially in the provinces of Caserta and Salerno.

The term mozzarella derives from the procedure called mozzare, which means “cutting by hand,” separating from the curd, and serving in individual pieces, that is, the process of separation of the curd into small balls. It is appreciated for its versatility and elastic texture and is often called “the queen of the Mediterranean cuisine,” “white gold,” or “the pearl of the table.”

The buffalo mozzarella sold as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana has been granted the status of Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC – “Controlled designation of origin”) since 1993. Since 1996 it is also protected under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin or DOP Denominazione di Origine Protetta scheme. The protected origin’s appellation requires that it may only be produced with a traditional recipe in select locations in the regions of Campania, Lazio, Apulia, and Molise.

Mozzarella di Bufala della Campania – Popo le Chien CC BY-SA 3.0

History in Italy

The history of water buffalo in Italy is not settled. One theory is that Asian water buffalo were brought to Italy by Goths during the migrations of the early medieval period. However, according to the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, the “most likely hypothesis” is that Normans introduced them from Sicily in 1000 and that Arabs had introduced them into Sicily. The Consorzio per la Tutela also refers to fossil evidence (the prehistoric European Water Buffalo, Bubalus murrensis) suggesting that water buffalo may have originated in Italy. A fourth theory is that water buffalo were brought from Mesopotamia into the Near East by Arabs and then introduced into Europe by pilgrims and returning crusaders.

“In ancient times, the buffalo was a familiar sight in the countryside, since it was widely used as a draught animal in plowing compact and watery terrains, both because of its strength and the size of its hooves, which do not sink too deeply into moist soils.”

References to cheese products made from water buffalo milk appeared for the first time at the beginning of the twelfth century. Buffalo mozzarella became widespread throughout the south of Italy from the second half of the eighteenth century, before which it had been produced only in small quantities.

Production in and around Naples was briefly interrupted during World War II when retreating German troops slaughtered the area’s water buffalo herds. They recommenced a few years after the armistice was signed.

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