Burrata Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese; basically a pouch formed from Mozzarella filled with fresh cheese and/or cream. Burrata originated in Apulia, the "heel" region of the Italian boot, in the 1920s. Burrata Cheese starts as a sheet of thin Mozzarella, made into a sack. This sack is then filled with fresh Ricotta and cream, then tied up. Being a fresh cheese, Burrata is traditionally eaten on the day it is made, or shortly thereafter. To indicate how fresh the cheese is, each Burrata Cheese is wrapped in a freshly cut asphodel leaf. If the leaf is still green, the Burrata Cheese is considered fresh. Today real leaves are rarely used, but many manufacturers give a nod to this tradition by encasing their Burrata Cheese in leaf-patterned wrappers.

Some Burrata Cheese also has ritagli, or small bits of Mozzarella mixed into the Ricotta filling. Although today it is considered a luxury, Burrata Cheese was once a way to use up the leftover scraps from Mozzarella production.

There is also a northern Italian style of Burrata Cheese, better known as Burrino, which has a node of butter in the center. Burrino, a derivative of the Italian word "burro" for butter, is made stateside by Texas cheese icon, Paula Lambert.

Serving Burrata Cheese:
Being an artisan product, Burrata Cheese is traditionally enjoyed on its own, with little accompaniment. Sliced tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and a dash of cracked black pepper is the only adornment Burrata needs. Thin slices of prosciutto are another delicious option. Another classic duo is blanched haricot vert green beans with Burrata Cheese, a pairing popularized by a restaurant scene in the television series, The Sopranos.

Once you've decided on how you want to enjoy Burrata Cheese, serving is simple. Slice the Burrata down the middle, allowing the rich, creamy center to pour out across the plate. Make sure you have some good, crusty bread on hand for mopping up the last, luxurious drops.

Storing Burrata Cheese:
Burrata Cheese should not be stored for very long, as one of the delights of Burrata is enjoying the fresh flavor of the cheese. Ideally you should eat the Burrata Cheese on the day you buy it. If you cannot, plan to consume it within the next 2-3 days.

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