Who knew buffalo could be so delicate?
by Lauren McDowellMay 6th, 2014
This buffalo’s milk wonder resembles a plush pillow, with a rich ivory interior barely contained under a white molded rind.
- Food: Fresh fruit for a celebratory Saturday brunch, or wet walnuts for a decadent dessert
- Drink: Dry and sweet sparkling Prosecco
The faint aroma of earth near the rind, where the paste exhibits triple-crème silkiness, transitions into that of fresh lemon curd at the custard-like center. Tasting reveals a sweet marshmallow and tangy yogurt contrast, an unexpected but pleasant combination.
A Short History of Casatica:
Casatica’s distinctiveness can be traced back to its innovative style. Italians love water buffaloes for the rich milk they produce, but rarely apply it to bloomy rind cheeses. It took two modern cheesemakers—brothers Alfio and Bruno Gritti—to take that risk to create this viable (and commercially successful) cheese shop darling. Their Quattro Portoni creamery, located in northern Italy, incorporates all aspects of the cheesemaking operation, from growing the crops that feed their animals to milking and onsite cheese making.
Currently home to 1000 water buffaloes, it’s hard to imagine the successful creamery wasn’t always full of the sassy, high-maintenance animals. Facing low milk prices at the turn of the 21st century, the pair of brothers added forty water buffalo to their dairy cow herd. By 2001, they were committed solely to making water buffalo cheeses, experimenting with traditional Italian styles that might accommodate their non-traditional milk type. The result has been a new contender for membership to the storied Italian cheese canon, and an excellent option for hard-to-please guests.
The Monger’s Cut:
A relative newcomer to the Italian cheese world, Casatica is a welcome addition to the tradition-obsessed nation’s already excellent roster of buffalo milk cheeses.