Tesfa Farms are supplying the milk from their water buffalo dairy farm to Uno Gelato in Vancouver. File photo

B.C. buffalo dairy farm ‘buffs up’ gelato

Treats made with milk from water buffalos are healthier, supplier says

The supplier of water buffalo milk to a Vancouver gelato maker says when they first went into business together, it was mostly about the taste.

Later on, Brad Bennik said, it also became about the health benefits.

Bennik and business partner Matt Van Rookhuyzen, who operate Tesfa Farms in the Fraser Valley, are supplying the milk from their water buffalo dairy farm to Uno Gelato in Vancouver, which has just announced a new “Buffalo Lemon” gelato flavour.

In gelato, buffalo milk makes for a “smooth, creamy, rich consistency” said Uno Gelato’s James Coleridge.

“It creates a wonderful texture for gelato and is a great compliment to our assortment of dairy and non-dairy offerings,” said Coleridge, who was named International Gelato Master of the Year in 2014 by the International Fair of Artisan Gelato (MIG), won the Gelato World Tour North America the same year, and was the double gold winner at the 2012 Florence Italy Gelato Festival.

Water buffalo milk doesn’t contain a protein found in cow’s milk that many people are allergic to, and has lower cholesterol, higher calcium and antioxidant content.

In Italy, it’s used to make buffalo milk mozzarella, as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, and is similar to goat’s and sheep’s milk.

Right now, the buffalo-based gelato is only available at the Vancouver location.

“It’s pretty small volume,” Bennik said.

Down the road, he thinks it could be sold at farmer’s markets.

Bennik, a Fort Langley resident, believes he is the first farmer in the Lower Mainland to raise a herd of water buffalo for their meat and milk.

He and Van Rookhuyzen own around 60 grass-fed, domesticated Asian water buffalos.

“We sell to restaurants who make their own cheeses and yogurts,” Bennik said.

“It’s been a good ride.”

READ MORE: A home where the buffalo roam

According to the B.C.Water Buffalo Association, benefits of buffalo milk include:

· It is pure white, with a “velvety smoothness and subtle sweetness” and high levels of the natural antioxidant tocopherol.

· It has 58 per cent more calcium than cow’s milk, 40 per cent more protein than cow’s milk, 43 per cent less cholesterol than cow’s milk and is high in CLA or conjugated linoleic acid.

· Both milk and meat products from water buffalo are rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that has been found to possess many benefits including reducing risks of cancer and diabetes and supporting bone and weight maintenance.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Univeristy of Victoria parking lot hosts drive-in movies

The Breakfast Club, Hook and The Life Aquatic shown on a 40-foot screen

National drive-by art show rolls in Victoria on Saturday

Map shows drivers where local artists have set up displays in windows, balconies, driveways

Bear spotted walking on McKenzie Avenue sidewalk in Saanich

Urban sightings prompt warnings from Saanich Police Department

Renowned Oak Bay floral arranger debuts first book

Instagram star Christin Geall combines photography, floral arrangements

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read