I love to visit Paestum. Great Greek temples, fantastic museum, terrific restaurant Nonna Sceppa, and the world's greatest mozzarella from Vannulo, sold onsite only, never shipped. On a recent visit owner Tonino Palmieri showed me his latest technological advance--specially modified machinery, so his buffalo are milked on demand, when they feel like it...and they produce more, richer milk which means even better mozzarella. I was impressed.
After a mozzarella tasting (how could I resist?) Tonino took me to a restaurant at a nearby agriturismo, Porta Sirena, a farm that raises buffalo for cheese and meat, and also raises Angus beef. I checked out the inexpensive well-appointed rooms before lunch. Director Gianni Barlotti cares about wine and there's an enoteca wine shop where diners can choose from the lovely local or Italian selection (reasonable prices) he's assembled. Chef Giuseppe Marazzini prepares lots of seasonal vegetable appetizers, tasty pasta with meat ragù, pasta e fagioli with sausage, grilled Angus beef or buffalo, buffalo sausage. Of course, Porta Sirena's buffalo cheeses are all offered. There's a daily dessert special as well as a selection of gelati.
-April 2009 link to the article published in The Atlantic Magazine