Close  
  • share this

Made-in-Britain mozzarella on the rise as Brexit looms

/ 05:21 PM February 11, 2019
Britain mozzarella

A dairy production assistant hand rolls the mozzarella cheese in the dairy at Laverstoke Park Farm, which is becoming a domestic delicacy in the UK. Image: AFP/Adrian Dennis

Buffalo mozzarella made from the milk of a herd roaming the green rolling hills of southern England is hoping to dethrone the Italian original in the UK thanks to Brexit.

Some 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Campania in southern Italy is Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire — owned by the 1979 Formula One motor racing champion Jody Scheckter.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The difference with the Italian mozzarella is that ours is better!” the South African, 69, boasted to AFP on a tour of his farm.

Come milking time, the buffaloes leave their barn, straw still stuck to their hooves, and head to the milking sheds.

FEATURED STORIES

Their milk, rich in protein and calcium, is transformed into white balls of mozzarella which are then sold to customers including supermarket chain Waitrose, online delivery giant Ocado and Pret a Manger sandwich shops.

Scheckter turned to mozzarella 10 years ago with the aim of making it “better tasting, without compromise.”

Nowadays he produces 150 tons of organic mozzarella a year on his 2,500-acre (1,000-hectare) farm.

The buffalo are pampered, grazing freely in pastures filled with different types of grass and clover.

In winter, they can get a massage in the barn from a giant rotating brush.

Scheckter said it took a while for the British palate to adjust to the new domestic delicacy.

“At the beginning, it was difficult because my mozzarella was fresh and most of the people in England had never tasted fresh mozzarella. They tried Italian mozzarella, which is five days old and starts to get soft,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Switching sources

With just weeks to go before Britain leaves the European Union on March 29 and much of the country in a state of confusion, Scheckter is optimistic.

Potential new clients have been in touch, assessing their options as no deal has yet been agreed between London and Brussels on keeping goods from the EU flowing.

“The interest is there,” said Scheckter.

Around a third of the food eaten in Britain comes from the rest of the EU and the industry fears supply chain disruptions if the UK crashes out without a deal.

Some companies are stockpiling, while others are changing to domestic suppliers.

Tim Martin, the chairman and founder of the UK pub chain Wetherspoon, has decided to stop selling champagne and other European products in favour of British equivalents.

UK mozzarella exporter

The Azzurri restaurant group, which owns the Zizzi and ASK chains, has switched from Italian to British suppliers for the 650 tons of mozzarella it gets through each year.

The group’s restaurants are now supplied by Glanbia Cheese, one of the largest mozzarella producers in Europe, which exports from the UK to more than 30 countries worldwide.

The firm has two production sites, in Wales and Northern Ireland, and announced last year that it was investing 130 million euros ($147 million) in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Republic of Ireland.

It will be able to produce 45,000 tons of mozzarella a year.

“We did blind taste-tests and the British mozzarella came out as a winner. It had much better texture and much creamier profile,” Kathryn Turner, director of food development at Zizzi, told AFP.

“It is a really good product and not just from a taste and flavor profile… It is a more local product.

“Brexit always comes into consideration at the moment with daily changes. It wasn’t the sole reason why we did it but it was a consideration.” CC

RELATED STORIES: 

Cheesy music: Swiss experiment with sound to make cheese tastier 

Artisan cheese fair at Conrad Manila 

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Brexit, cheese-making, dairy, England, Laverstoke Park Farm, mozzarella cheese, Waitrose
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.