A World-Class Mozzarella

By Faith Willinger
willinger april17 mozz post.jpg

Photo courtesy PortaSirena.it


I love to visit Paestum. Great Greek temples, fantastic museums, Nonna Sceppa, which is a terrific restaurant, and the world's greatest mozzarella. Made by Vannulo, it's sold on-site only, never shipped.

On a recent visit, owner Tonino Palmieri showed me his latest technological advance: specially modified machinery, so his buffalo are milked on demand, when they feel like it. As a result, they produce more and richer milk, which means even better mozzarella. I was impressed.

After a mozzarella tasting (how could I resist?) Tonino took me to a restaurant at a nearby agriturismo, Porta Sirena, a farm that raises buffalo for cheese and meat, and also raises Angus beef.

I checked out the inexpensive and well-appointed rooms before lunch. Director Gianni Barlotti cares about wine and there's an enoteca wine shop where diners can choose from the lovely local or Italian selection (at reasonable prices) that he's assembled.

Chef Giuseppe Marazzini prepares lots of seasonal vegetable appetizers, tasty pasta with meat ragu, pasta e fagioli with sausage, grilled Angus beef or buffalo, and buffalo sausage. Of course, Porta Sirena's buffalo cheeses are all offered. There's a daily dessert special as well as a selection of gelati.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/04/a-world-class-mozzarella/13091/