Known as “the White Pearl of Campania”, buffalo mozzarella has a strong tradition and a deep cultural background among the Italian cheeses. The first historical documents that testify the existence of a cheese at the time called “mozza” in the area of Capua are dated back to the twelfth century. The “mozza” was offered to pilgrims together with a piece of bread by the monks of San Lorenzo.
The spread of the product in the regions of Campania and Lazio was favored mainly by climatic and local conditions, suitable for buffaloes breeding. The difficult preservation of the product shrank its availability to the places of production and for a long time it was, in fact, mainly spread in a smoked form, under the name of “provatura”, to increase its commercial life.
The term “mozzarella” appears for the first time only in 1570, in a famous text of Barolomeo Scappi, cook of the papal court. The name of this cheese comes from the Italian verb “mozzare” (to cut off), which is the action of working the curd and then tearing off each piece with index and thumb fingers, giving the mozzarella its typical round shape. Around the second half of the eighteenth century, the mozzarella became a consumer product, mainly thanks to the Bourbons, who built a big buffalo breeding farm with an adjacent experimental dairy for milk processing in the province of Caserta. Since then, the spread of the product increased at the same speed of the construction of infrastructures.
The ancient history of mozzarella was then handed down to the present day, thanks to the traditional method used for its production, supported by technological developments that favored its preservation and, consequently, the spread both at a national and international level.