Greek temples and buffalo? No one would expect to find them together, but that is exactly what awaits you when you visit Paestum, near Salerno in Southern Italy, home to the world - famous Buffalo Mozzarella. Emilia Delizia organises food and cultural tours around South of Italy. Do you hesitate to contact us should you need more information about the tours.
For many Italians fresh Mozzarella di Bufala is a most evocative food, associated with Summer, Coastal holidays and lovely summery Caprese salad! Often local people stop to buy fresh Mozzarella on their way home from a trip to the coast and many people make the trip from Naples just to get their hands on the really fresh product. Locals believe that by the time the cheese has been delivered to their area is has already lost the characteristics that make it special. Today, visitors to the Paestum area, near Salerno in Southern Italy, have the opportunity of visiting several water buffalo farms and dairies, most of which are conveniently situated along a stretch of the SS18, locally known as “Mozzarella Road”. Not only can you taste and buy the fresh product at source, but you can also take a tour to see the entire production process from raw milk to delectable cheese; (And you get to see some of the best preserved examples of Greek temples in the world…).
What is PDO Mozzarella di Bufala?
In 2008 the cheese was awarded PDO status, meaning Protected Designation of Origin. To qualify for PDO status a product must have qualities particular to a certain region (in this case the milk can only be sourced from local herds of buffalo) and in addition, the product must be entirely produced, processed and prepared only in that region. Several other Italian cheeses also have PDO status, including Parmesano Reggiano, Gorgonzola and Asiago.
Some of the best dairies near Paestum
You have a wide variety of dairies to visit near Paestum, so to help you choose here are a few of the best ones where you can not only taste and buy the cheese, but also see the production process. (However, you need to be there early – it is all over by 11am!) Farm Barlow – Barlotti cheese Azienda Caseiria Salati Caseificio e Yogurteria Il Granato and Tenuta Vannulo – possibly the best-known – offering tours in several languages and one of the few organic farms.
What you can expect to see on the Mozzarella Tour
You can expect to first visit some of the buffalo! The animals are very well looked-after; you will see their sleeping quarters complete with mattresses, and perhaps witness them being milked. You then watch the production process: the raw milk is heated and poured into a cream separator. It is then curdled by the adding of natural whey after which the curds are matured in large tubs. This is followed by the adding of hot water to soften the curds, (a process called Spinning). Now the curds are shaped and cooled by immersing in cold water. At most of the dairies the process is highly automated, but there are still a few where the cheese is shaped by hand. Finally the finished products are packed into pickling tubs containing some of the original whey. Then comes the best part – the tasting! Mozzarella di Bufala is best eaten immediately, and you will often see queues of people waiting for the fresh product which is usually sold out by midday. Most important – if you want an English tour phone ahead and book at whichever dairy you would like to visit. It is also possible to take an organized tour which includes a visit to one of the dairies as well as a visit to the Temples and archaeological musuem at Paestum. Several of the dairies also sell fantastic fresh yoghurts and ice cream and this experience is something you definitely should not miss.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.