caseificio Nonno Benito, Bettole,Italy
I spent two hours yesterday sitting in the Union Office in downtown Camucia. This would be the first step in my quest to obtain the coveted Permesso di Soggiorno, which would then allow me to apply for the Residenza Elletiva, or Elective Resident, which would permit me to buy a car and do other fun things.
Thank god my friend Nicola was there to translate and basically hold my hand as we went from this office to the Tabacchi shop for a stamp then to the Post Office to make my next appointment in Arezzo. The soonest appointment I could get was July 20. By the time I've paid the appropriate people and eventually got my Residency permit in hand, I will be going back to the US for the holidays.
I can start the whole process over again when I return next year.
Nicola casually mentioned the best Buffalo Mozzarella in the area can be found at a cheese shop in Bettole.
My ears perked up.
Did you just say Buffalo Mozzarella?
Good god, I love this cheese.
He wrote down the name of the store and the address. I made it my mission to find this cheese shop even if I have to drive around Tuscany all day.
It turns out, it took me only an hour to find it....I didn't expect it to be housed in such an industrial looking building. I guess they take their cheese making seriously here. There was a line outside the door and people were leaving with traces of Buffalo milk on their lips..
I want Buffalo milk on my lips...or perhaps I can just sit in the vat of mozzarella while they make it.
I ordered 5 different types of cheeses in the display including a cannoli. I was worried I'd never find this place again. The woman behind the counter told me not to refrigerate the mozzarella, but just leave it on the counter in a cool area...in it's water. hmmm...
I'm not sure how long it can stay on the counter ( I didn't know how to ask that in Italian )
I guess I'll just have to eat all this cheese in the next couple days so it won't go bad.
I probably shouldn't have bought as much as I did in retrospect. Well, I know what I'll be eating the next few days...
I'm starting to feel like Lucy in the I Love Lucy cheese episode.
When I got home with my assorted cheeses, I set out to make a beautiful salad with fresh basil from my garden and locally grown tomatoes from the farm stand. I sliced a piece of the buffalo mozzarella cheese, it was smooth and custardy, with just the perfect amount of salt. I tasted it standing in my kitchen before I put it on the salad. I sliced another piece and ate it. I then took a fork and started eating from the container and ended up eating half of it. I was too full for anything else, so I put it back on the counter, covered it and took a nap.
ahhh...la dolce vita