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Buffalo versus Bison


Often the buffalo is confused with the bison. Understandably so, because both are large, have horns and belong to the family of Bovidea. Yet they have fundamentally different physical characteristics, habitats and lifestyles.

Until the 19th century, bison preferred to live in open grasslands, but modern civilization largely drove them into forests and prairies. In the meantime, the bison was threatened with complete extinction, but could be stabilized again by its settlement in nature reserves. In contrast to the water buffalo, the bison, individually or in herds, is native to Europe or North America.

With a shoulder height of 1.85m, he belongs there to one of the largest mammals of their country. The distinctive hump and the short, curved horns are characteristic features. Due to the pronounced hump on the shoulders, the head acts as a plow and protects against snowdrifts in winter. While the buffalo have large horns pronounced arches, bison horns are much shorter and sharper.

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The water buffalo

Among gourmets, the water buffalo is famous for its milk, which is used to make the much-loved buffalo mozzarella. However, few people really know about these unique animals - now we want to clear that up.

Genus and origin

The water buffalo, is the most widespread species of Asian buffalo and belongs to the cattle family. However, starting from its origin in Asia, it has now colonized large parts of the planet.

Distribution

In Asia the water buffalo can be found for example in India, China, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand or Indonesia. However, it is also found in some African countries such as Egypt and on the South American continent in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia or Venezuela. The versatile and adaptable animal has also made its way to Europe. In Italy, England, Germany and Switzerland, but also in Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria, the buffalo is now part of the local animal kingdom and is becoming increasingly popular.

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Breed characteristics

The water buffalo reaches a head trunk length of almost 3 meters with an average shoulder height of 1.80 meters. Wild animals weigh up to one ton, whereas domesticated buffaloes weigh about half that, with a maximum of 500 kg. Strikingly, both male and female animals carry horns that can reach a wingspan of up to 2 meters. Water buffalo are very docile animals with a pronounced social system, living in herds with a fixed hierarchy. The herds are led by a strong, adult buffalo cow.

Habitat

Basically, the buffalo is a very uncomplicated, robust and adaptable animal. Climates with cold winters and hot summers do not bother him. It prefers to live in wetlands such as overgrown river valleys or swampy forests. Here it cools itself in the water and protects itself from insects by mud baths. The water buffalo lives outdoors all year round, where it roams endless green pastures near rivers or other bodies of water, feeding exclusively on fresh grass, herbs and wildflowers.

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Water buffalo and humans

While the wild water buffalo is rarely encountered nowadays, it is often found in domesticated form living in close association with humans. The buffalo is ideally suited as a livestock or pack animal, which is why it was traditionally often used for plowing in the fields. In Asia and Africa in particular, it is also kept as a farm animal in many places, providing its owners with fresh buffalo milk on a daily basis. While many Europeans appreciate buffalo mozzarella as a delicacy, it is still largely unknown that the water buffalo, in addition to its milk, also has excellent leather and a juicy and low-fat meat. In addition, water buffalo are increasingly used as landscape managers, especially in Central Europe. They cultivate entire sections of land and thus contribute not only to the natural preservation of the balance of our ecosystem, but also to the protection of the environment, as this avoids the use of machinery.



More articles

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In this recipe, event chef Eric Reeh shows you his Asian take on our buffalo burger with kimchi, sriracha mayo and sweet potato fries.

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Fancy something special? If you love offal, you will enjoy a real delicacy with this recipe.

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A particularly fine goulash variant with the finest buffalo meat created by "The woman at the grill".

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In this super delicious recipe, BBQ World Champion Camillo "Don Caruso" Tomanek tells you how to prepare a stuffed buffalo tenderloin with bresaola, mozzarella and baby spinach.

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The versatile buffalo tri-tip, also known as mayor's cut, is great for smocking, braising or even short roasting. In this recipe, the extremely tasty cut was indirectly grilled on a bed of hay and herbs.

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Attention: These little taste bombs are not for the faint of heart! Juicy buffalo mince stuffed with our multi-award winning buffalo mozzarella and wrapped with bacon

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Bratwurst can also be a delicacy. We show how to make bratwursts from buffalo yourself. Cookbook author Heiko Blumentritt has created two extremely tasty variations for this.

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Argentine buffalo rib eye steaks grilled directly in the embers on sepia pasta. With the Buffalo Rib-Eye Caveman Style you impress even spoiled palates!

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Juicy steaks from the buffalo roast beef, grilled on the plancha and glazed with honey. The "Honey glazed buffalo rump steak" is served with grilled Hokkaido pumpkin, sugar snap peas and mushrooms.

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Buffalo Bolognese - the Italian classic reinterpreted with our ground buffalo meat. More intense flavor despite lower fat content, buffalo bill makes it possible

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Where does which steak actually lie? In this small meat science excursion we show you many different buffalo cuts - and what is best done with them.

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Buffalo meat is somewhat different in preparation from other meats such as beef. This guide - created by professional chefs, food bloggers and a grill world champion - explains the preparation of buffalo meat simple and understandable.

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Diese Buffalo Meatballs aus Büffel Bill Gourmet Hackfleisch sind nicht nur von Bacon umwickelt und mit Käse gefüllt, sondern auch noch auf einer Whiskyfass Planke gesmoked. Wahnsinn? Absolut!

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Our buffalo roast beef from the smoker sets new standards. BBQ world champion Camillo "Don Caruso" Tomanek transforms our gourmet roast beef into the best sandwiches in the world

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Incredibly tender and juicy buffalo filet Wellington wrapped in puff pastry - gourmet recipe for meat lovers with Buffalo Bill Premium buffalo meat. The ideal dish for special occasions!

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