girella brioche and possibly the worlds best chocolate ice cream
... when mum told us we were coming to Italy for her 70th birthday I knew I was in for a culinary feast but I had no idea just how close to food-heaven I would actually come. We're staying on the western coast just south of Napoli and Salerno which just so happens to be mozzarella country. You should know at this stage that I simply adore buffalo mozzarella, that wonderful creamy cheese that tastes so beautiful served simply with tomato and olive oil, or melted into pizza... but I naively had no idea just how versatile it truly is.
making the mozzarella by hand and the glorious beasts taking a shower
We've just spent the morning at Tenuta Vannulo, an organic buffalo ranch where they have a heard of over 600 majestic beasts. It's quite an incredible lesson on how to do animal husbandry in a most spectacular fashion. They treat the animals so well, using avant-garde techniques such as playing them soothing music, hanging large brushes from the ceiling that they seem to adore rubbing up against, plus they use an amazing milking robot that allows the buffalo to self-milk so that they're not stressed out by the rigorous process that many industrial-sized dairies use to produce the massive amounts of milk that we globally consume. I was very impressed and of course this all meant that the mozzarella itself was without doubt the finest I had ever tasted... creamy with a beautiful texture.
The great thing about the farm is that they also make sure there is no wastage, so as well as churning butter to make glorious cakes and brioche, they make stunning ice-cream and yoghurts as well as using hide from the un-wanted male calfs to create leather products. They are also in the process of building a chocolate factory but sadly we were a year to early to see the completion of this building... Naturally I was drawn to the cakes and ice creams. The chocolate ice cream was honestly un-like any i've had before. The richness of the milk produced by the buffalo was clearly evident and they had spared no expense on the quality of chocolate used.
and of course, the mozzarella itself!
Being the nosey food-writer that I am I managed to tease a recipe for the wonderful Girella - a kind of ultra-soft swirly brioche cake, from the chef in the cafe and I will of course be attempting to make this and share the recipe with you good people on my return... until then you;ll have to be satisfied with these pictures and the promise that they tasted spectacular!
... even though I didn't make the ice-cream myself I am entering the picture into two blogging challenges this month... the first is for the wonderful Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog and her brilliant we should cocoa challenge - hosted this month by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary who set the theme of ice cream... and of course this goes out to Kavey from Kavey Eats and her brilliant BSFIC challenge... I hope they can both forgive me my lack of actual self-production...
eat and of course, enjoy!