Spring 2005 (13.1)
Water Buffalo in Azerbaijan
Prized for Its Milk and Meat
Dr. Farid Alakbarli
to Asia, water buffaloes appeared quite early (approximately
600 A.D.) in North Africa and the Middle East. During the Middle
Ages, they were introduced into Europe when the Crusaders returned.
Outstanding herds are still found in Italy and Bulgaria today.
In recent times, water buffaloes have been introduced successfully
into Central and South America.
Left: Water Buffalo in foreground; Zebu -
humped cattle - in the background. Professor Aghakhan Aghabeyli
carried out genetic research that led to the improvement of both
water buffaloes have been known from ancient times and prized
both as work animals and as a source of food - milk and meat.
Buffalo steaks are valued more than beefsteaks. Since the 1950s,
buffalo meat is also used in the preparation of smoked sausages.
Buffalo milk contains less water but more total solids than cow's
milk. It appears thicker than cow's milk because it generally
contains more than 16 percent total solids compared with 12-14
percent for cow's milk. Buffalo milk also contains more fat,
slightly more lactose and more protein.
(Jamish Pendiri) and buffalo yogurt (Jamish Gatighi) are very
popular in Azerbaijan. Buffalo yogurt is considered to be the
best kind of yoghurt.
Buffalo cheese is pure white, very tasty and nutritious. In many
countries, it is revered as the most desirable of cheeses; for
example, Mozzarella and Ricotta in Italy, Gemir in Iraq, the
salty cheeses of Egypt, and Pecorino in Bulgaria. Genuine Italian
Mozzarella cheese is always made from buffalo milk. Recently,
Italy has been cooperating with Azerbaijan in producing Mozarella
Left: Aghabeyli's book about Buffalo Genetics in Vietnamese.
Dr. Farid Alakbarli
works at the Institute
in Baku and has two doctorate degrees - one in Historical Sciences
and the other in Biology. His own specialty is medieval
medical manuscripts in the Arabic script. To read about the life and scientific
contributions of Dr. Aghabeyli's wife, Khadija Aghabeyli, see
Era - Growing Up in Baku's Old City" (AI 12.3, Autumn 2004). Contact
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