Scottish buffalo mozzarella now on the menu
Cheese tasting: Nick Nairn and Steve Mitchell
Farmer Steve Mitchell has been given the go-ahead to start producing Scotland’s first buffalo mozzarella cheese.
The move comes 16 years after he set up the business at his farm in Fife with a small herd of water buffalo and began selling buffalo meat and burgers at farmers markets.
His plans endorsed by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay who joined him in making a trial batch of Buffalo mozzarella. At that point, Ramsay said he wanted to invest if he was able to go into production.
However, a major investor pulled out at the last minute – leaving him with no option but to sell a large part of his herd.
He raised £800,000 in a crowdfunding campaign two years ago, and has seen the Buffalo Farm become Scotland’s first and only producer of Buffalo mozzarella.
Mr Mitchell has built a dairy parlour near Kirkcaldy where production has begun.
Celebrity chef, Nick Nairn, a long time supporter, commented: “It’s been a long wait but it was worth it.”
Mr Mitchell said: “We are now embarking on the most exciting and the most terrifying part of the project. We now have to live up to the targets and expectations we have set ourselves and discover whether the market enjoys our Scottish Buffalo Mozzarella as much as we do
“I have been lucky enough to tour some of the most respected buffalo farms in Italy, tasting their wonderful produce, and we wanted to create a product which put Scotland on the map and could be considered as being world-class.
“Provenance is so important in food. Our cheese is produced in a matter of hours, from milking to finished balls of mozzarella.
“As a result, you can really smell and taste the freshness compared to one from an overseas producer that has had to travel for days – I am absolutely thrilled at the quality we have achieved.”
The Buffalo Farm has received notes of interest from a number of retailers, restaurants and wholesalers who are keen to take the new product.
Lucy Husband, market development and business engagement director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The ambition and drive of Steve and the team at The Buffalo Farm to produce Scotland’s first buffalo mozzarella has been nothing short of inspiring.”