A couple of years ago now, Annie and Phil (Buffalo Phil) Armstrong and Annie’s mum and dad, Pam and Chris Wills imported a herd of 19 water buffalo and began the Whangaripo Buffalo Cheese Company just over the hills from Matakana north of Auckland.
Each week at the Matakana farmers Market they offer tastings of their Buffalo brie, creamy blue (Marin Blue), mozzarella, and Pecorino (St Malo) style buffalo cheese along with their lovely thick creamy buffalo yoghurt. Additionally, they are now producing Fresca, a soft, creamy farmhouse style cheese and Grado, which are little addictive balls of buffalo yoghurt, Himalayan rock salt and Italian herbs. Perfectly lovely on crusty fresh bread.
These cheeses are milder in flavour than their cow cheese equivalents and less salty. The milk doesn’t have an aftertaste to it, unlike cow or goats milk and makes excellent mozzarella.
Their buffalo herd (Bubalus Bubalis) are treated well and organically farmed; they are good producers of simply delicious cheese and yoghurt that is definitely worth sampling. If it's easiest, just give Phil a call to order.