Types of Water Buffalo Cheese

Any cheese made from the milk of a water buffalo is a buffalo cheese. In the United States, the term is commonly associated with buffalo mozzarella, a popular soft and flavorful cheese. However, buffalo milk cheeses are just as diverse and versatile as those made from goat or sheep milk, offering a range of varieties.

While many of these may be less familiar in the United States, they can occasionally be found in specialty stores and valued as novelties. These cheeses typically boast a soft or semi-soft texture, making them perfect for savoring on their own, pairing with fresh fruits, or adding to salads.

What Makes Buffalo Milk Cheese Different

Buffalo milk closely resembles cow’s milk but with significantly higher fat, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and protein levels. It also has some distinct nutty and acidic tones, but the two are otherwise similar in terms of flavors. This similarity allows any cheese crafted from buffalo milk to sidestep the need for extensive aging, as there are no odd, ‘goaty’, or potentially unpleasant tastes to mellow out.

The unique characteristics of buffalo milk cheeses are best preserved in their delicate and creamy state, making extended aging counterproductive. Hence, almost all buffalo cheeses come in soft or semi-soft varieties, having a short shelf-life.

Different Types of Water Buffalo Milk Cheese

NameTexture and TasteCountry of OriginCalories/oz.How to Eat
BurrataSoft, creamy exterior with a gooey center and mild, milky flavorItaly~90 kcalWith fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and crusty bread
BocconciniSemi-soft, mild, and milky with a slightly elastic textureItaly~80 kcalIn Caprese salad or with pasta dishes
Buffalo MozzarellaSoft, much more tender and moist than the cow’s milk variety, with a delicate, milky, and slightly sweet tasteItaly~80 kcalIn pizza, salads, and sandwiches
Stracciatella di BufalaSoft, stringy, rich, and creamy with a strong milky flavorItaly~100 kcalWith toasted bread, tomatoes, olive oil, and prosciutto
CaciottaSemi-soft, mild, buttery, and slightly tangyItaly~100 kcalWith crackers, figs, honey, and cured meats
Kesong PutiSoft; mild, fresh, and slightly saltyPhilippines~70 kcalWith pandesal (Filipino bread rolls), fruits, and traditional rice cake dishes from the Philippines
Rumi CheeseSemi-hard, nutty, and earthy with a slightly crumbly textureTurkey~120 kcalWith Turkish flatbread, honey, dried fruits, and walnuts
Casatica di BufalaSemi-soft, creamy, and buttery with a hint of tanginessItaly~110 kcalWith pear slices, honey, baguette, and olives
NguriSemi-hard, rich, and nutty with a firm textureNepal~130 kcalWith traditional flatbreads, chutney, grapes, and walnuts
DangkeSemi-soft, mild, milky, and slightly chewyIndonesia~80 kcalWith rice cakes, spicy sauces, and fruits like pineapple
DomiatiSoft, salty, and crumblyEgypt~110 kcalWith flatbreads, olives, and cucumbers
ProvaturaSemi-hard, smooth, and buttery with a mild flavorItaly~120 kcalWith grilled vegetables, Italian bread, and cured meats
Ricotta di Bufala CampanaSoft, grainy, sweet, and milkyItaly~80 kcalWith fresh berries or in dishes like cannoli, pasta, and various desserts
Surti PaneerSoft, mild, and slightly sweetIndia~100 kcalIn Indian curries, spinach dishes, and desserts

FAQ

Is there lactose in buffalo milk cheese?

Buffalo milk contains lower amounts of lactose than cow’s milk, leading to the cheese having reduced lactose content as well. To cater to individuals with lactose intolerance, many producers employ specific cheesemaking processes to diminish lactose in their products further. It’s advisable to check the product label or inquire directly with the manufacturer to confirm that a cheese is safe for those with lactose intolerance.