ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – There is a one-of-a-kind farm in Rowan County, and one of the things it produces is mozzarella cheese. But there’s a catchâ¦ the milk they use doesn’t come from cows. And when the farm owners first tasted ‘mozzarella di bufala’ years ago, it literally changed their lives.
Fading D Farm is the state’s only ranch or water buffalo farm and one of only 6 in the country, and it all started with a taste of the unique cheese.
The owners of Fading D Farm, the family doctor, Dr David DiLoreto and his wife Faythe were on a family vacation in Italy when they ate a bite of buffalo mozzarella cheese.
âWe were like, it’s amazing, we should have it when we get home,â Faythe said. “We looked and watched and we couldn’t get any.”
So, they decided to do theirs.
âWe had bison about 8 years ago,â Faythe said. âWe were frustrated and said we will have our own animals; How hard can it be? Turns out it’s a little harder than you expected. In fact, we had to return to Italy to two buffalo farms where they shared their buffalo milk recipes with us.
There are dozens of them in the herd now, all on 64 acres in Rowan County. All the females have names like Feta, Brie, and Blue; named for various cheeses.
The DiLoreto have learned that the water buffalo are not like cattle. They’re bigger, but only give as much milk as a goat, and Faythe says they can be in a bad mood.
âAnimals can hold back their milk if they are upset,â Faythe said.
The milk of the water buffalo is different from what a cow produces. It contains 8 percent fat, compared to 3 to 5 percent for cows. Milk is richer in simple sugars with more easily digestible proteins. It’s also thicker and sweeter.
And from that milk comes the distinctive cheese. Once the DiLoreto started doing it, people took notice, including the State Fair judges who awarded blue ribbons.
âIf it’s good enough for that, we should share it with people,â David said.
This has led to a retail store, online sales, and outlet sales across the region. For David and Faythe, their new roles were a major transition.
âSort of 100%,â David said. âBeing a doctor is mostly cerebral and on the inside, farming, while still more cerebral than I realized when we started, is much more physical and takes place entirely on the outside. You are all dependent on yourself. Whether you fail or succeed, it depends on the decision you make, not outside decisions for the most part. “
âWe enjoyed working together,â added Faythe.
The retail store will be open on Saturday. It is located at 295 Fading D Farm Rd. In Salisbury. You can also find cheese and ice cream at Robert’s Family Farm in Denton. Crossings Farm in Lexington has gelato, meat and mozzarella Valle Bufala in Hendersonville has Gelato. The Roots on Main restaurant in Lexington serves mozzarella and also uses Fading D minced meat in a burger. Your Mom’s Bazaar in Davidson offers butter, ice cream, and mozzarella. The Deep Roots store in Greensboro offers ground meat. Childress Winery also serves Fading D mozzarella.
Note: This story idea was suggested to WBTV by a member of the Rowan Leadership Class sponsored by the Rowan Chamber. Thank you!
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