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Water Buffalo Mozzarella

Bufala di Vermont

2749 Church Hill Road
S. Woodstock, VT 05071
802-457-4540

Part of: Vermont 08 – Cheese & Tasty Things Tour

Mozzarella is a soft cheese that is best fresh. I got water buffalo mozzarella before from Vace that was flown in from Italy. It was very tasty and creamy but it lacked the “freshness” of really fresh mozzarella. When it is fresh, mozzarella should also be a little squeaky like cheese curds. With this in mind, we made it a mission to try and get some fresh water buffalo mozzarella from one of the few places you can in U.S. This stuff should be the schiznit, did it live up to expectations?…read on!

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Water buffalo are not something you expect to see grazing the Vermont countryside. They are hairy, horned animals that would look more at home in a rice paddy in Asia.

Water buffalo milk is much thicker than normal cow milk. It contains much less water and more protein and fat. This all makes for very yummy cheese. The best mozzarella is made using water buffalo milk, and it is prized by Italians. The higher percentage of solids in the milk means you can get more cheese from a gallon of milk. The bummer is that water buffalo produce less milk than cows. A dairy cow will produce between 50 and 70 pounds of milk a day, while a water buffalo will produce 10-12 pounds a day.

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Bufala di Vermont is one of two places in the U.S. were water buffalo are raised for their milk and the only place making water buffalo mozzarella. Up until recently Bufala di Vermont was known as the Woodstock Water Buffalo Company, which unfortunately closed. Luckily, an Italian born Canadian named Frank Abballe took up the reins and tried to make a go of it. Abballe plans to diversify offerings and improve distribution. I am hopful we can start getting their products down in DC.

They are not quite set up to for tourists yet. Right now you drive up dirt road and park and then go up to a building opposite their barn. This building houses the cheese making facilities and their office, which is upstairs. Luckily someone was in! He invited us to look around the barn and also say hi to the new baby calves in their pen. They are curious and beyond cute. He said they just took one of the calves down to a Boston Whole Foods for a little publicity tour. I am sure he won over more than a few hearts.

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After saying hi to the water buffalo, we went back to the offices and bought a ball of mozzarella. The guy went and got it right from the cheese making plant. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! He also threw in a container of their Water Buffalo Yogurt, which was a real bonus.

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The mozzarella was amazing! The texture was airy and soft, yet creamy, and had a real structure instead of just being a blob. There was also so much more mozzarella flavor than ordinary fresh mozzarella. To me, fresh mozzarella is usually pretty bland; this cheese tasted like cheese, not a piece of styrofoam. It is possible to get the same flavor with imported mozzarella or the same texture with fresh, artisan mozzarella, but this brought both aspects together perfectly. We ate half of it straight from the container. It was that good. When we got home we tossed the rest with some tomatoes, olive oil and salt.

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The yogurt they gave us was equally amazing. It was almost as thick as a custard and creamier than you could believe. That is because there was lots of fat in it. Whatever, it was better than ice cream. If you ever see their mozzarella or yogurt, you MUST buy and try.

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23 thoughts on “Water Buffalo Mozzarella

  1. For everybody pleasure…i’m happy to announce our first store opening in Tampa, check our site and facebook.com/MozzarellaBarTampa as we raise, milk and produce cheeses from our own herd!
    Ciao.

  2. For all wanderer….there’s still hope.
    Bufalina AC alias Cheeselicious.net is the one producing local Italian cheeses from his own herd of Water Buffaloes.
    (Shabbir thumbs up!!!)
    We produce Mozzarella, Burrata, Yogurt and other goodies, from naturally raised WB, no growth or other hormones with Kosher and Halaal rennets.
    check us out…..

  3. Great to hear about Bufala di Vermont; it´s just graet to know these wonderfule Water Bufalos are all over the World and growing in number. I work in Colombia , South America in a farm 600 kilometers North o Bogota the capital and right by the Magdalena River. We started with water Bufalos some 14 years back after having cebú cattle for 35 years. We just had the biggest floods in our country in more than 100 years and thes water bufaloes did GREAT!!! We started milking the Bufalas and even thow they produce less than Holstein or others and quality has no comparison, they produce more than cebú´s which is what we can raise in these very hot and tropical areas.We started a small cheese production of very simple Cheese type called Queso Costeño, but we hope to go into other types of Cheese and maybe yogurt’s. Our production should be fully Organic because we have enough tropical pasture “gramalote” and a lot of natural pastures which go very well for feeding Water Bufaloes. Our “Bufalas Tapias” herd wil be almost 900 by the end of 2012 and we do all our work on horseback and canoes. So any feed back we can get let us know in our mail bufalastapias@gmail.com , and if you travel in south america let us know an we will arrange an adventur trip to our farm.Hope to hear from you . Felipe D’Costa

  4. I dont know if you can help me. I was wondering how much does water buffalo semen sell for I have 2 heifers and I am trying to find out how much it will cost me.

    Thank you and have a great day

  5. I’ve been reading up on mozzarella and the expansion of its production worldwide. I’m wondering why water buffalo haven’t been seen as a ideal new introduction to the coastal south. Vermont and Quebec sure seem odd places to be setting up water buffalo dairies. Texas would be ideal!

    • That’s a great question. I think that traditionally there has been lots of dairy production there, but I would be curious to hear why there aren’t more water buffalo in Texas.

    • The reason being is that in north america, its all about quantity and not aquality as the Holstien cow gives around 3000 Litres of milk a year and a water buffalo gives around 2200 litres per year. Also the water buffaloes have be treated as pets to get that kind of volume, its not just that they are in the barn you keep milking them. If you look up on Google to compare Cow;s milk vs Buffalo milk, you will be shocked nd surprised that the calcium is 48% more, 45% more protein and half the cholestrol then the cow’s milk. So now you know how the dairy industries work in north america or should i say the Corporate world in north america

  6. Pingback: Vermont Ayr, Crawford Family Farms « Cheese & Champagne

  7. Hi Jlin, I am not a water buffalo pro, but it seems like they were very well taken care of. The barn is closed off to visitors and there are posted signs saying to stay away from the buffalos, so as to not spread disease. I think they would still have the waterbeds, I was not able to get close enough to see. I just used a zoom lens to get a close-up of the buffalos. All of the buffalo looked very healthy though. The calves were in a temporary pen outside. I could be wrong but I would guess there is a bigger danger of the Buffalo contracting cow disease than human diseases. Let me know if you find out me.

  8. My naturopath turned me on to the Vermon Woodstock Waterbuffalo. I purchased mine at Wegman’s. I am a little concerned, however, because she went to visit the waterbuffalo a couple of times per year before the business exchange. First off, they (original owners/producers) did not allow the general public to interact with the waterbuffalo. The reason is that they can be a bit frail when it comes to infectious diseases. She also showed me pictures of how the waterbuffalo had special waterbeds. They are not from this area or climate; so they had to make special accomodations to keep them healthy.

    When I found out that the Star Hills Dairy went out of business, I asked her what happened to the buffalo, and are they being treated the same way? She said she did not know. She only knew that a Canadian company took it over, and she didn’t know if the yogurt would be the same (all waterbuffalo or a combination with cow’s milk some other animal like sheep’s milk). The yogurt formulation has NOT be availabe in my area for quite some time, and it’s the only decent yogurt we are directed to eat. We can have some soy yogurt, but it’s not the same, and sometimes the estrogenic effects of too much soy is problematic.

    I would love to know what the status is on the waterbuffalo, the forumlation of the yogurt, and the availability of the product–that is, if it is the same. I was wondering why the waterbuffalo are now open to the general public. That concerns me. I also did not see the same environment (waterbeds, etc) set up for the waterbuffalo.

    I would appreciate a response. If not here, at least to my email.

    Thanks,

    jlin

  9. Hi – I have had the yogurt from Wegman’s in Buffalo, NY when they were operating under the Woodstock name. It was GREAT!!! I get migraines from cow and goat dairy and findig this yogurt has been wonderful! Water Buffalo milk cheeses and yogurt don’t give me the headaches. I am thrilled to find it. Keep up the good work!

    Cathy from Grand Rapids, Michigan

  10. Thanks for taking us along on your trip! I remember seeing water buffalo in China and wondering if they ever tried making mozzarella there.

    Anyway, now I have a craving for a caprese salad with fresh mozz. Although I don’t think it’ll be as fresh or tasty as yours.

  11. Gizmar – I totally hear you, as a guy without a lot of hair, I am a little jealous of the nice head of hair they have.

    Lydia – I grew up in W. MA and I think our next cheese tour is going to be around there. If you are around Hadley MA, you should try Cook Farms. They have the best ice cream and it comes from the cows next door.

  12. This is my favorite kind of travel/food experience! I buy goat cheese from a farm in Western Massachusetts where, many years ago, I had the same experience, driving down a dirt road to find the farm, which didn’t really have much of a retail set-up. Now they have a fridge, and an honor box where you leave your money, and a list of what’s in the fridge. And if you want to visit the goats, you just walk over and say hello!

  13. I love this animal – and the babies are soooo cute. But there’s something about a water buffalo having nicer earrings than I do and check out the trendy look – a different one on each ear.

  14. Hi Luke & Carolyn,
    Thanks for such a great post about Bufala di Vermont! I love all the pictures. We’re glad you enjoyed your visit and our products. We’re getting ready to launch our new web site next week and I’d love to include a link to your blog in the “What People Are Saying” section. Would that be ok with you?

    Thanks again. Hope you can visit us again soon.
    Carey
    Bufala di Vermont

  15. I hadn’t realized Woodstock went out of business, I had gotten their yogurt at Whole Foods occasionally. Glad someone else is taking over. The calves are too cute.

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