04 Jun Formula One champion and his Hampshire buffalo
Laverstoke Park Farm spans 2,500 acres of rolling countryside near Overton in Hampshire. It’s owned and run by ex-racing driver and Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter.
They wanted to create a farming environment that would follow nature as closely as possible, combining 21st century science with the most environmentally friendly farming methods available.
Herds of Asian water buffalo graze freely on organic pasture, full of 31 different herbs, grasses and clovers, producing protein-rich and nutritious milk.
As well as mozzarella, the farm also produces Buffalo Cheddar, ice cream and gouda. Their range includes wines and beers and a delicious black pudding, 100% free from added nitrates, preservatives and colours, slightly spiced with a rustic style and none of the fatty lumps that put me off black pudding for years.
The organic Buffalo Mozzarella and Bocconcini from the farm are amazing. Creamy and mild. Try them with Isle of Wight tomatoes, some basil, a little olive oil and some Dorset or Isle of Wight sea salt for a local showcase.
From Laverstoke Farm themselves…
How should you eat it? Consider the firmness of the mozzarella before deciding how you are going to eat it. If it is very firm, serve it as eaten in Italy, completely naturally – simply cut in half and eaten with your fingers! When mozzarella is really fresh, you will experience a burst of freshness, the milk will ooze out… southern Italians say that if you don’t have a mess on your face, you aren’t eating mozzarella! This is what fresh mozzarella is really about. If it is less firm it is best eaten as Insalata Caprese – with tomato, fresh basil and olive oil. A wonderful Italian antipasto (starter) – for variety you can add olives, balsamic vinegar, garlic. And if you haven’t managed to eat it whilst it was very firm, it is still lovely if you add it to your Tomato Pasta. In many cases people with aversions to cow’s milk can consume buffalo milk with no ill effect. However, anyone wishing to use buffalo milk as a prophylaxis should first seek medical advice.
Bocconcini are small individual balls of Buffalo Mozzarealla cheese which are ideal used in salads, as hors d’oeuvres, lightly cooked on the BBQ or just as a snack. These sachets come as 5 x 25g mozzarella balls. Very versatile. Mozzarella is best eaten at room temperature. Your cheese comes packed in salted water to keep it fresh and moist (no artificial preservatives!). Take the pot out of the fridge about 45 minutes before serving, and leave it in the packaging. Five minutes before serving, remove from the pot and drain in a colander.
Because our buffalo mozzarella is made fresh on the farm, you may find it has a different texture from the mozzarella usually found in the UK. Fresh mozzarella is quite firm and is best enjoyed on its own, simply cut into quarters. After about four days it becomes softer and is perfect served sliced with tomato, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, freshly ground pepper and a little rock salt.
So, for our latest #eatsouth challenge we delivered balls of loveliness to our team and got our simplest dishes yet back in return.
That’s what happens when you have great produce.