Ricotta cheese: buffalo or cow milk? I have chosen a different product

by Enzo Coccia

Last year, it happened that my very dear friend Luigi Zecconi Turillo, buffalo cream cheese (Lattecotto) producer as well as my pizzeria supplier, and I talked about the different characteristics of the fresh buffalo and cow ricotta cheeses.

Buffalo ricottais creamy pearly white in appearance and texture, sweet and fresh in taste; cow’s milk ricotta has a more neutral taste, a more compact consistency and a pale yellow color. While mixed buffalo/cow’s milk ricotta is now a product that has been on the market for many decades just as the mixed mozzarella.

I had been searching for a product to put on my pizzas for long, which was neither too liquid nor too grainy when cooked; for this reason, we tried to add a small percentage of sheep’s milk to the mixed ricotta. A minimal amount of it because the sheep ricotta has an intense flavor and a stronger, sometimes pungent, odor due to what the ovine eats.

You can answer that it’s a marketing and communication strategy; others may say that we are playing like two children but the objective of this project is to find new ways in the path of taste. The new product, after various tries and tests done at first in the company and then in the pizzeria, has a velvety taste, it is not too caloric, it is solid and it has a high protein value. The result, when it’s cooked in a wood- burning oven (435°C), is great, it is neither liquid nor sandy, you can perceive the creaminess of the buffalo ricotta and the taste of the sheep’s milk that does not bother. The first pizza I made with it is the one that best represents me, it is not by chance that it is called Pizza Enzo: piennolo tomatoes, ricotta, smoked buffalo mozzarella, rocket and parmesan flakes.

It’s a comfort to think that the French also make great wines from a Bordeaux blend (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc wine varieties). It’s for you to judge!