Bruno & Alfio Gritti are breeders of Mediterranean water buffalo and they have a sustainable farm and cheese dairy in Cologno al Serio, in the province of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy. Since 2001, it’s where the buffalo have been grazing and producing the milk used to make Quattro Portoni’s Blu di Bufala featured this month. The Quattro Portoni creamery makes more than 15 types of fresh, semi-seasoned, aged cheeses and yoghurt, all strictly produced with the milk from their herd of buffaloes. But we like Blu di Bufala… and apparently so do quite a few others as it’s taken home the Gold at the 2013 World Cheese Awards.
We’re truly excited to feature this aged buffalo milk cheese in The Rare Cheese Club. It first caught our attention in 2012 when it won a super gold at the World Cheese Awards and then was runner-up for Best of Show with a score that was identical to the champion’s. It’s truly rare to source an aged buffalo milk cheese. You’re in for a treat.
The first thing to note is that water buffalo have twice the butterfat of traditional cows, so the cheeses made from their milk have an extra richness and creaminess to them. A semi-firm cheese, Blu di Bufala is translucent in color with deep blue veining throughout the paste, offering a bold, full-bodied, distinctive and savory flavor profile. You’ll find it delightfully creamy, earthy and slightly herbal with a classic blue flavor profile offering a balance of sweetness and racy spiciness in the finish (piccante rather than dolce). The slightly tangy finish lingers nicely. We loved it!
On a cheese platter, as a bolder flavored cheese, you might try pairing with briney olives, salty crackers or a washed rind cheese for a balance of flavors. It will also pair nicely with bold red wines, milk stouts and farmhouse ales.
Experience International Variety
You might receive a Gaperon, originating in France during the 14th Century, an
authentic Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham, and an Italian Taleggio matured in the
caves of Valsassina…all in one shipment!