Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Buffalo boy won't you come out tonight...

I needed a chill out day.... I've been all wound up since the "budget" meeting. Worrying, obsessing, anxious, can't sleep.  Hahaha, get used to it, I tell myself.  I was going to buckle down and work through it today, but I knew I needed a release.  Nothing like a good drive out to the coast to calm me down.  So out I went to see Craig Ramini and his water buffalo.

Leslie Russo, my accountant first told me about Craig.  Then John Czinczoll, who I contacted to do my concrete and plaster work told me about him.  "Oh, you must meet Craig", they all said.  He's an amazing guy with a big vision to make Italian styled Buffalo Mozzarella from water buffalo bred and raised in California.  I loved the idea immediately!  Brilliant, you know its all about the passion when someone takes on something this big.  So out I drove to meet Craig and his buffalo.

Just what I needed!  Once I left the town of Petaluma and started heading towards the coast, I could feel my nerves relax.  It was a beautiful day, and the horizon moved from rolling green hills to blue-gray clouds.  The smell of rain to come was in the air and I turned up my gospel rehearsal CD LOUD!  Nothing like a country drive and singing at the top of your lungs to push back a funk!

So I pull into the driveway and there's a few buffaloboys (you know, like cowboys) hanging out.  "Who's Craig?" I announced, and I proceed to meet Craig Ramini the proprietor and entrepreneur behind this incredibly brave venture.  I got a full on tour, the history, some rudimentary lessons in buffalo husbandry, and an introduction to the sweetest baby water buffalo you'd ever want to meet!  Van and Mick, all his buffalo are named after 60s/70s rockers (Morrison and Jagger).  Oh they were so sweet!  Van particularly liked having his jowls scratched. 

There won't be enough milk for production for  another 6 months, but I can't wait to be able to taste and buy this wonderful, local buffalo mozzarella to serve at Pizzalina.  It may be too good to melt on pizza.  I'm thinking a simple portion drizzled with great olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  Maybe a roasted pear or heirloom tomato to accompany, but you want the flavor of the cheese to ring through.  The rich, creamy butterfat and the herbaceous fields from which they graze, that's what you want to taste!  I have a feeling Craig's love and passion for what he's doing will produce a mozzarella that will rival the Italian's.

 So, I could kick my own A@%* for not taking pictures!!!  I was so excited.  I left out of there, got to the coast to meet my friend Leslie for dinner at Osteria Stellina and felt like an idiot!  I wanted to take pictures to put on the blog.  So, I hope you don't mind Craig.... I swiped some off the internet.  You can learn all about him, the cheese and the water buffalo on his website at http://www.raminimozzarella.com/.

Oh give me a home.....

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