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Are there any buffalo milk cheeses BESIDES mozzarella

jumpingmonk Sep 5, 2008 01:39 PM

after reading a previos thread on this site I rembered a question that I had always wondered about namely is buffalo milk used to make any cheeses BESIDES mozzarella, I beive I heard of marscapone di bufala once (though tecnically marscapone is really a dairy product not a cheese). Likewise since I undersat that real Italian provolone is made by rubbing a large mozzarella with salt, tying ropes around it and leaving it hanging to dry and age, there should be such a thing as provolone di bufala(though I dont think I've ever seen such a thing). But what about other cheeses, are there buffalo milk granas (hard cheeses like parmesan) buffalo washed rind cheeses (a la tallegio) Buffalo Blues? buffalo bries? does anybody out there know?

  1. c
    cheesemaestro Nov 16, 2009 05:57 AM

    There are indeed aged cheeses made from water buffalo milk. Italy and England are the two countries that are best known for making such cheeses. Many of these cheeses are not available in the US, but a few are, even if they are hard to find. For example, I've had Buffalo Blue from Shepherd's Purse Dairy in Yorkshire England. From Italy, there is Quadrello di Bufala, a washed rind cheese that resembles Taleggio, and Moringhello di Bufala, a semisoft cheese that is just now finding its way to our shores.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheesemaestro
      wbuffalogirl Feb 12, 2010 03:25 AM

      In Ontario, there is a cheesemaker who makes different cheeses from water buffalo milk. Aside from the favourite mozzarella di bufala, they make ricotta, buffalo blue and my favourite scamorza. Scamorza is a soft cheese made by hanging the mozzarella by a string (moneybag style) and air drying it. They also make a smoked scamorza which is unbelievably tasty!

    2. r
      RGC1982 Nov 15, 2009 04:27 PM

      There is a wonderful hard cheese, used for grating over pasta like Grana Padano or Parmesan, from Argentina called Sardo. It was a staple in my house growing up. You can find it at some Italian markets.

      4 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982
        cheesemaestro Nov 16, 2009 05:48 AM

        To avoid any confusion, Sardo is not a buffalo milk cheese. It is made from cow's milk.

        1. re: cheesemaestro
          RGC1982 Nov 16, 2009 05:11 PM

          Are you sure? The one my grandparents used to buy in a market was absolutely sold as a buffalo milk cheese. Could there be different varieties like mozzarella? I haven't had it in so many years that I couldn't tell you, but distinctly remember that.

          It IS possible that the old people had it wrong. In fact, I'd probably bet you are right. Where can you buy it now? I'd love to see if it is the same thing. I knew that taste very well

          1. re: RGC1982
            greedygirl Nov 16, 2009 09:22 PM

            Maybe you're thinking of pecorino sardo, which is a sheep's milk cheese.

            1. re: RGC1982
              cheesemaestro Nov 17, 2009 08:02 AM

              Yes, standard Argentinian Sardo is a cow's milk cheese. Perhaps there was a buffalo milk variant of the cheese that your grandparents bought. I would tend to doubt it, though, as it's only been in recent years that we've been able to get a few aged buffalo milk cheeses here in the US. Your best best for getting Sardo is ordering it on the Internet. There are a few sites that have it. I haven't seen it stocked in supermarkets or in the cheese shops that I've visited.

        2. Phoo_d Jan 15, 2009 10:56 AM

          While it is quite similar to a mozzarella, burrata made from buffalo milk is divine. It's my favorite cheese. Fresh, grassy, and sweet - pretty much the essence of cream in a semi-solid state. Wonderful.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Phoo_d
            MacGuffin Jan 19, 2009 09:47 AM

            Burrata is usually made from cow's milk--are you referring to the buffalo burrata that's sold in the Union Square Greenmarket on Fridays? The makers are the folks who bought out the Vermont outfit that makes buffalo milk yogurt and mozzarella--they also do some cheddar-type cheeses now; the one that's more aged is REALLY nice (for that matter, the new owners, a father-sons group, are just as nice as the products). They also produce domestic buffalo ricotta (delicious). New Yorkers should definitely look for them on Fridays--I'd love to see them succeed because they seem very much committed to producing good products.

            1. re: MacGuffin
              greedygirl Nov 16, 2009 01:12 AM

              Burrata is made from mozarella and cream, and so can be made either from buffalo milk or cow's milk.

              My local farmer's market (London, UK) has a whole stall devoted to buffalo milk cheeses. They range from young, creamy cheeses to blue cheeses to aged cheeses that look like the crater of the moon,.

          2. JungMann Jan 15, 2009 10:40 AM

            The Filipinos also make a cheese from water buffalo milk called kesong puti (trans. "white cheese). It is a salty, slightly sour soft cheese with a flavor in between that of feta and goat cheese. The cheese is often wrapped in banana leafs, which not only protects the contents from spoilage, but also lends the cheese a slightly grassy taste.

            1. MikeG Jan 14, 2009 02:39 PM

              I've seen but haven't tasted a Parmigiano made from buffalo milk...

              12 Replies
              1. re: MikeG
                mbfant Jan 15, 2009 09:16 AM

                Where? Who dares to use the sacred name of parmigiano for something else? The generic term for parmigiano-like cheeses is grana. In any case, I'd be interested to know what it is you saw.

                1. re: mbfant
                  MikeG Jan 15, 2009 10:26 AM

                  Could be I've made a mistake, are you saying "Parmigiano" can only be made from cows' milk? Before I name the store I'll look again and pay closer attention...

                  1. re: MikeG
                    mbfant Jan 15, 2009 10:49 AM

                    Yes parmigiano, actually parmigiano-reggiano, is only cow, only from a specific area, and only a whole lot else. That doesn’t mean the name isn't misused, but it certainly isn't used in Italy for anything except the real thing. And the European Commission has recognized Parmesan as a translation of parmigiano, and so it can't be used for imitations either. Grana is the generic term for that kind of cheese, e.g., grana padano (also cow).

                    1. re: mbfant
                      jumpingmonk Jan 15, 2009 12:05 PM

                      I've seen that cheese too (in fact I've seen it for quite some time now, at least six months) and yes, every place where I seen it offered does indeed call it "Parmigiano di bufala" Where it ultimately comes from, I have no idea. To me it tastes more or less like the cow's milk ones, but I am not exactly a tastemaster of Parmigiano's.

                      1. re: mbfant
                        vvvindaloo Jan 15, 2009 12:52 PM

                        Parmigiano di Bufala sounds bizarre to me, but here are some results from a quick google search:


                        I have never seen this product (I'm in NYC) but it appears to be available in Australia and Spain...
                        I am curious to know your thoughts on this.

                        1. re: vvvindaloo
                          jumpingmonk Jan 15, 2009 02:49 PM

                          Try Todaro brothers on 2nd ave in the 30's, that's where I found it. I think I've seen it at Murray's too though whether are Murrays Grand Central or Murray's Bleeker I cant remember

                        2. re: mbfant
                          MikeG Jan 15, 2009 03:07 PM

                          OK, I know Parmigiano-Reggiano is a DOC (or equivalent) but I thought maybe the buffalo milk version was a niche subproduct or something. Will post back to more accurately ID what I saw the next time I see it, I might've mixed up the signage for P-R sitting right next to it or something - it was definitely a grana of some name, just not sure which at this point...

                      2. re: mbfant
                        MikeG Jan 19, 2009 05:03 AM

                        OK, I don't know if it's fair to compare its quality to the sacred Parmigiano-Reggiano's or not, but what I saw was Sovrano cheese with a sign identifying it as such in larger letters, but then also calling it "bufala parmigiano" -- like that, in quotes with a lowercase P -- underneath that. (There's a bit of blurb to go with it but I didn't stop to read that.) So, no serious profanity re the P-R DOC, and only moderate linguistic confusion re the "subtitle".

                        1. re: MikeG
                          mbfant Jan 20, 2009 12:47 PM

                          Evidently parmigiano is being used as shorthand to describe the kind of cheese in question. I found what must be the same cheese for sale on eBay, and the Italian-language offering was for hard aged cheese of buffalo milk, and under "type" was given parmigiano, grana, and something else, without ever suggesting the cheese could remotely be called parmigiano. The two links cited by vvvindaloo are not Italian. One is sort of Italian, an Italian menu in Barcelona, but neither can be taken as any kind of authority. Parmigiano remains a cow-milk cheese from a specific geographic area produced according to certain standards.

                          1. re: mbfant
                            vvvindaloo Jan 20, 2009 01:59 PM

                            While the two links I provided were not to Italian sites, the references to the cheese in these links implied that the cheese was a product in and of itself- not a 'style". This was perplexing to me, as I would never expect such an official product to exist. I also would not hold my breath while looking for Italian sites containing such a reference. It is clear to me that the term, "Parmigiano di Bufala" is being used very loosely as a marketing ploy to refer to a famous type of cheese. Italians know they won't get away with flaunting the strictly enforced rules concerning food origin certification.
                            I was surprised to find anything online at all.

                            1. re: vvvindaloo
                              vvvindaloo Mar 20, 2009 01:39 PM

                              Here it is:

                              The cheese, called Sovrano, is produced by Granamore in Lombardia... as suspected, it is cheese being promoted as made in the "parmigiano style" (with some cow's milk mixed in), and not actuall called Parmigiano.

                              I picked up a piece at Citarella today, in case anyone is curious about where to find it. I can't say I'm too crazy about it- I agree that the texture is similar to a young Reggiano, but the flavor is much less rich, and it leaves a somewhat sour aftertaste.

                              1. re: vvvindaloo
                                fjbrad Nov 15, 2009 10:52 AM

                                This cheese is being sold at the Italian market in Windsor ON as "PARMEGGIANO SOVRANO
                                CON LATTE DI BUFALA"
                                Yes they really spelled it that way.
                                It's not Parmesan but I rather like it.

                    2. p
                      pengcast Sep 7, 2008 07:37 AM

                      There is fair amount of bison farmed (ranched?) near me so I can get several kinds of bison cheese. Recently I had a great buffalo smoked gouda that was amazing just melted onto baguette. Also the lovely little bistro in my neighbourhood often makes a salad with buffalo blue cheese which is pretty ymmy but tres cher (expensive).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pengcast
                        jumpingmonk Jan 14, 2009 12:51 PM

                        while at Murray's today (the Bleeker street branch) I bumped into a buffalo milk blue cheese. Was a bit to mild for my taste (a bit like a younge Blue d' Auvergene or Fourme d' Ambert) but at least it's a start

                      2. almansa Sep 5, 2008 01:52 PM

                        I've had buffalo ricotta that was excellent, and I've seen an English cheese called "Buffalo" which is one of the only hard buffalo cheeses. In Italy they make a buffalo caciotta and burrata, as well as more variations on aged mozzarella, but not provolone. And in India buffalo milk is sometimes used for paneer.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: almansa
                          babette feasts Sep 5, 2008 07:40 PM

                          Is paneer buffalo or water buffalo? Is there a difference?

                          1. re: babette feasts
                            almansa Sep 6, 2008 07:18 AM

                            Water buffalo. As far as I know, there aren't any readily available bison cheeses, but I'm sure anything's possible on the web.

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