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.

Just Posted

Penticton gallery searching for young budding artists

A Penticton gallery is putting a call out for young artists for their next exhibition

A campaign encourages families to put down their phones and talk this Mother’s Day

OpenTable’s #DiningMode gets Okanagan restaurants on board with a no phone policy while dining

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Okanagan physician and family reflect passion for medicine with hospital gift

Dr. Paul Cobbin and family donate to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Kelowna man speaks up for limb loss awareness after losing leg

Ralph Zaiser is getting used to life as a recent amputee

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Most Read