Notes from our tour of Tenuta Vannulo:
History of Mozarella
- was made from the byproducts of making provolone (would go bad within a day or so, so wasn't popular)
- later (with refrigeration, etc) it became popular
Kinds of mozzarelle:
- bocconcini "little mouthfull" - small balls of <100 grams
- mozarelle "little cut thing" - larger balls, about orange/grapefruit size, of 100-250 grams
- aversana "aversa style" - big balls, 0.5-1.0 kilos
- trecce - braided mozarella
- raw buffalo milk is curdled
- cagliata (curds) cut up into little pieces by a machine
- add to hot (almost boiling) water, stir & soften curd into a "pasta filata"
- cooling & shaping into balls (or trecce, etc.)
- stalla nuova = new stables
- mungere = to milk
- each sector houses ~50 buffalo
- they have padded pens to lie down on, receive frequent showers (they love moisture), and there is even a yellow massage device!
- milking machines - Vannulo is the first farm in the world to employ them on buffalo (they were designed for cows)
- when an animal first arrives, a picture is taken, allowing the machine to know where the teats are
- buffalos all wear a computer chip hanging on their neck, allowing the computer to track where each one is
- the machines ensure that each cow is milked at most 3 times a day, with at least 7 hours in between milkings
- it automatically checks for blood or other impurities in the milk; if detected, the milk is directed to a separate container and the cow is sent to an "infirmary" pen.
- All the animals have names (Macarone, Berlusconi, etc.); each has its own personality
- There are about 25 bulls for around 250 cows...but most male vitelli (baby buffalo) are sold for meat