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TANDEM: Great Pizza With the “Buffalo Brothers”

Giuseppe, Antonio and Gennaro La Bufala (otherwise known as the “Buffalo Brothers”) were born in Eboli, a small town tucked away in the province of Salerno known for its smiling faces and charming atmosphere.

Theirs is a classic story… Having spent their youth working for their father, a mozzarella producer, the Buffalo brothers found themselves at an existential impasse, one of those proverbial forks in the road: Continue on as they had been? Orleave everything behind and give in to the strong pull of adventure?

Luckily, the brothers took the second road, each going in a separate direction. For a time, anyway.

In 2000, Gennaro decided to open a pizzeria in Milan, with the hope of giving northern Italians the phenomenal taste of Napolitano pizza. And, not surprisingly, his brothers quickly joined him (Antonio’s Flamenco school in Madrid didn’t quite work out) to pursue what became their true life’s calling.

To make a long story short, “Fratelli la Bufala” was irresistible to anyone who tried their pizza (made of course with fresh mozzarella di bufala), leading three brothers from Eboli to open dozens of pizzerias around the world. Yet no matter where the pizzeria was, whether in Dubai or Paris, each Fratelli la Bufala held to the highest standards set forth by generations of southern Italian pizza makers. In fact, the only pizza makers you’ll find in a Fratelli la Bufala hail from Napoli.

Several weeks ago, the brothers opened another pizzeria, this time in Perugia.

It was thus under the arches of an old-stone-building-turned-pizzeria that the Umbra Institute held this week’s Tandem, the smells of pizza and apertivi drifting amongst Italians and Americans keen on making friends while sharpening their linguistic faculties. It was a grand success, so much so that many students were prompted to stay after Tandem had finished, trying other dishes bearing the provincial culinary mark of Giuseppe, Antonio and Gennaro La Bufala.

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