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Best Cheeses 2019: Buffalo’s Milk


Photographed by Nina Gallant; Styled by Erin Riley

BAFFALO BLU

CASEIFICIO DEFENDI

CARAVAGGIO, ITALY

The use of rich buffalo milk lends an intense, compelling flavor to this generously veined blue cheese from northern Italy. The Defendi family has been producing cheese since 1865, and their commitment to quality and tradition is evident in the prize-winning cheeses they make today. Baffalo Blu is one of their most decorated blocks, with a sixth-place finish among the top ten best cheeses in the world at the 2018 World Cheese Awards.


CILIEGINE IN INFUSION

BUF CREAMERY

EL ROSAL, COLOMBIA

The tropical lowland Andean climate that produces lush grass for BUF’s free-range water buffalo also yields high-quality basil, much of which is grown for export. These bite-size ovals are packed in an aromatic, basil-infused mix of olive and canola oils; each mouthful is a burst of bright herbal notes tempered by rich, creamy milk with a hint of lactic tang.


BUFFALO RICOTTA

THAT’S AMORE! CHEESE

THOMASTOWN, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

It’s easy to overlook ricotta as a simple cheese requiring only basic skill to produce, but when it’s this good—achieving a near perfect score in the Australian Grand Dairy Awards—it makes you think again. “Sensational,” is how Chief Judge Russell Smith described this cloud-like buffalo’s milk ricotta, made from leftover whey in Giorgio Linguanti’s “milk laboratory” north of Melbourne. Each mouthful is a dreamy dose of sweet milk with a hint of honey.

+ PAIR IT:

For a sweet treat with a Sicilian twist, mix the buffalo ricotta with icing sugar, add fine slivers of candied orange peel and fresh fennel fronds, and pipe into cannoli shells. For a sophisticated take on brunch, dollop onto shakshuka or huevos rancheros.


 

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