UNCOVERING LAOS: WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE HIDDEN GEM OF LUANG PRABANG

UNCOVERING LAOS: WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE HIDDEN GEM OF LUANG PRABANG

Laos Buffalo Dairy– One example of this is Laos Buffalo Dairy, a dairy farm which rents buffalo from the surrounding farmers to vaccinate, nourish, and milk them. They produce a variety of delicious buffalo milk products at the same time as providing instructions to local farmers on how best to care for the animals, as well as the benefits of milking buffalo as a source of protein (which is especially important considering the impact of malnutrition on the country), all whilst delivering a source of sustainable income for the farmers.

Luang Prabang: Why you shouldn’t overlook the Laotian city when visiting Southeast Asia

Luang Prabang: Why you shouldn’t overlook the Laotian city when visiting Southeast Asia

The city’s laid-back lifestyle also drew Australian Susie Martin from the corporate world in Singapore. She and her cheese-loving business partners set up the country’s first buffalo dairy farm. I take the 40-minute drive out of the centre of Luang Prabang to meet Martin at the Laos Buffalo Dairy.

The Laos Buffalo Dairy: Sustainability in action

 The Laos Buffalo Dairy: Sustainability in action

Whatever image comes to mind when you think of Laos, a beautiful sparsely populated nation in Southeast Asia, delicious cheese probably isn’t one of them. Yet in 2014 when a mid-life crisis propelled Rachel O’Shea, Susie Martin and Steven McWhirter to leave their expat postings in Singapore and settle in beautiful Luang Prabang, cheese was definitely on their minds.

 Although buffalo milk is very nutritional—it’s actually higher in calcium and protein than regular cows’ milk and lower in cholesterol too—these cheese-loving aficionados soon realized that in this land chock full of buffalo, a dairy industry was non-existent.

Laos Buffalo Dairy: Artisan cheese comes to south-east Asia

Laos Buffalo Dairy: Artisan cheese comes to south-east Asia

Most people, when they are missing comfort food while travelling, arrange for care packages to be sent from home, or just suffer in silence. Not so Susie Martin and Rachel O'Shea – to satisfy their cravings for cheese, they started a dairy.

And not just any dairy, but a buffalo dairy. In Laos. All without any farming experience.

A crossbreed, you say?

A crossbreed, you say?

It’s official!!  We have our first crossbred buffalo at Laos Buffalo Dairy!

We are happy to announce that the Artificial Insemination breeding program that we did back in December 2016, with our esteemed Laos vet Dr. Som, was a success!  

On 2nd November, two of our team members escorted a buffalo and her crossbred baby in from Thinkeo Village.  The buffalos belong to Thinkeo Village Chief, Somlit, who is a very big supporter of Laos Buffalo Dairy, bringing us his buffalo and helping us with some of our building and crazy falang (foreigner) ideas.  

Veterinarian Specialist, AI and Babies Abound!

Veterinarian Specialist, AI and Babies Abound!

This has been very busy few weeks at Laos Buffalo Dairy.  Our international veterinarian specialist from Holland, Ronald van Giesson has been here helping us with all of the buffalo and procedures on the farm.  

But that isn’t all!  We were lucky enough to have a world-renowned buffalo specialist from Thailand, Dr. Ohm, come and visit us as well to help with an Artificial Insemination program for the buffalo

We are making burrara. Wait, what is burrata?

So... Rachel started making burrata and when she proudly told us we had no clue what that was.

But do not upset the chef, seems like she knows what she is doing. After a short google search we all were: aaaa, burata, sounds absolutely delicios! Now we can talk about it. Yes please, make some more.

What is burrata

You might still be asking. Basicaly mozzarella, but creamy and runny when you cut into it. The recipe goes something like this:

  • you take some of the curd before you stretch it
  • chop it up
  • mix it with cream
  • and make a pancake of more curd
  • put the chopped curd inside like a purse.

Everyone had to taste the delicious burrata and we all were really pleased with it. It's great for breakfast, in salads and milion other combinations. 

We drooled on this recipes and hope that our dear Rachel will test them all! 

And also, if you are in Luang Prabang on the 15th of July, we plan to participate in the market in the gardens at Sofitel. We will be selling what we have that night.

Have you ever try burrata before?