Monday, November 9, 2009

Mozzarella di Bufala

After a long sunday of walking around the Colesseo and checking out churches, The Mixmaster and I found ourselves nearing dinnertime with no place to eat. While perched on a ledge at the Colesseo, surrounded by tourists, I peered into one of our guidebooks and found the perfect place. A pizzeria in Testaccio, the same neighbourhood where we partied with hundreds of queer Italians at Gorgeous I Am the night before. We dragged our tired legs and our growling bellies onto the metro system, and made our way to Pizza Remo (44 Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice).
...Only to find it closed, as many restaurants were, on this, the holy day. By now we were very hungry and my hypoglycemic self was getting a little concerned. Luckily, we found a mercato just around the corner, and decided to shop for a little picnic dinner. We were blown away by the affordable prices, particularly of the cheeses and the wines. The Mixmaster was shocked that chunks of parmigiana half the length of her arm were 1/4 of what they would cost in Toronto. We picked up two bottles of wine, one for about 3 euros, a frizzante (sparkling wine) called Primo Amore by Zonin, some salami and panna (bread) to last a few days, and then, I saw it: mozzarella di bufala. I couldn't wait to get it back to the hotel to try it.
The Campania region of Italy is famous for mozzarella di bufala, or fresh, buffalo mozzarella. These are several theories about the introduction of the water buffalo to the region, and many believe that Arab traders brought them to Italy from the Middle East. Our mozzarella di bufala came refrigerated in a bag with clear-ish fluid. It had a lightly salty taste, and was creamy, and very easy to cut. You could scoop it with a spoon even, and yes, it seemed to be perishable. It was very white, and it melted on the tongue; you barely had to chew it.
We got back to the hotel and made sandwiches of the salty, sliced salami and the mozzarella and we cut some apples. Despite her name, after a glass or two of Primo Amore, The Mixmaster got a little tipsy. Hey, it's just another night in Italy: watching news in a language we didn't understand, resting our tired feet, eating the best salami and mozzarella sandwiches known to humans, and getting drunk on frizzante.