Mozzarella di bufala will be produced in Miami for the first time from scratch - local water buffalo aside - when Mozza Re launches this fall from the Italian gentlemen behind Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante and the newly-hatched Casale Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar.

Owner Pietro Vardeu tells Short Order that he and partner Antonio Gallo have been developing the project for about a

year and are now working with a broker to scout warehouse space north of Downtown Miami, possibly on the outskirts of

the Design District on North Miami Ave. or N.E. Second Ave.

Offered alongside house-made-fresh-daily fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella, from free range bovine in Jacksonville) and pouches of creamy burrata bursting with soft curds, Vardeu and Gallo currently import their mozzarella di bufala from Campagna in Naples, Italy. There, the country's only herds of water buffalo, numbering some 7,000, produce a snow white milk lacking

the beta carotene that tints most cows milk cheeses.

Mozza Re is Born: SoBe Italian Restaurant King Pietro Vardeu Scouting for Local Warehouse to Produce Mozzarella di Bufala

Mozzarella di bufala, like the boot's other prized artisanal food products, is regulated by the Italian government through protected geographic status.  There are only 200 producers with the right to make, sell and market product bearing the "Mozzarella di Bufala Campana" trademark.

Vardeu adds that the team recently got approval from the USDA to import frozen water buffalo milk from Campagna, and they are preparing to purchase the pasteurization machinery from an Italian company with which they have formed a relationship. 

Mozza Re (Italian for king) may not be as pleasant a surprise to Mozzarita, a Pompano Beach company known

for supplying local restaurants with its own fior di latte and other mozzarella cheeses made with milk from local cows. 

But the more the merrier, we say!

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