Is buffalo mozzarella vegetarian?
There are only a few vegetarian stalls on the street for vegan options in the wide and bustling cheese community where hundreds of thousands of cheeses are made and sold daily.
You know it; I know it.
There aren’t much of an options out there. The majority of the cheese, especially traditional European cheeses, are made with animal rennet – a product from the stomach lining of calves.
And that puts them off the menu for many vegetarians and lactose intolerant.
This might get you to wonder if buffalo mozzarella cheese is a vegetarian choice.
The answer is both yes and no! There are animal-based buffalo mozzarella cheeses, which are not suitable for vegetarians. Whereas some are made with a microbial rennet, making them vegetarian-friendly. So, it all depends on the one you’re buying.
Is Buffalo Mozzarella Vegetarian?
As said before, all dairy-based cheese uses milk stolen from a sheep, cow, or goat.
But, not all.
Some varieties were from “water buffaloes,” like Buffalo mozzarella and feta cheese.
Sadly, that doesn’t make it a vegan choice. Don’t let the holy name “water buffaloes” fool you — it is just another breed of Buffalo.
Besides, rennet is later added to break down the proteins, so they are kneaded and pulled into alignment, which gives the cheese a springy feel.
Strict vegans will rather drink soy or other plant-based milk than milk from cows or other animals, no matter how appealing the name may sounds.
Aside from that, the law governing the DOP Buffalo Mozzarella clearly states that the cheese preparation MUST strictly follow animal rennet usage.
This is why vegetarians and lactose intolerants never consume mozzarella and most European cheeses due to this restriction.
But all hope is not lost yet.
Vegetarian mozzarella cheese exists and is made using coagulants such as lemon juice, yeast, mold, or even thistles.
Although, it might not give the cheese that all-important stretch due to the absence of rennet.
84% of Vegetarian cheese never provides that gushing unctuous, explode-in-the-mouth moment because they don’t have that stringiness or melt satisfactorily.
But keep reading. What will come next is a shocking comeback.
How Would You Know a Vegetarian Mozzarella Cheese?
Most cheese manufacturers, especially top brands now use vegetarian substitutes in place of rennet, so everyone can enjoy the cheese.
And this is so brilliant because you won’t even notice the difference if you weren’t told it was made without rennet.
The vegetarian cheeses use vegetable rennet, vegetarian enzymes, non-animal enzymes, or microbial enzymes.
These plant-based enzymes give the cheese the EXACT same stringiness and satisfactory melting properties as though it were rennet-made cheese.
However, to ensure it is a vegan version, check the list of ingredients on the label, particularly if it is FDA-approved vegetarian cheese, you are covered.
Again, thanks to this innovation, vegetarian cheese is inspired across the globe.
So you can breathe and enjoy your cheese without experiencing a guilt trip about any animal being hurt between each bite.
Only it can be quite challenging to find, but once you do, it’s 100% plant-based and completely cruelty-free.
How Are Plant-Based Enzymes or Vegetable Rennet Made?
Vegetarian rennet or plant-based enzymes is produced by soaking plants above and extracting an enzyme similar to animal rennet.
Meanwhile, microbial rennet is obtained from particular rennet-like fungi in a laboratory space.
It is then added to the dairy-free milk to create a reaction and then curds to form soft cheesy goodness.
Lastly, whether you’re told a particular buffalo mozzarella is the vegan type, crosscheck if the product is authentic rennet-free.
I recommend opting for a vegetarian-friendly cheesemaker that produces 100% vegetarian-friendly goods.