La burrata is a type of formaggio fresco [fresh cheese] originally created in Andria, Puglia. Lately it seems like burrata has become the “it” cheese among trendy American restaurants – Italian and even non-Italian eateries feature burrata on their menus, as an appetizer, pizza or pasta topping.
Essentially a pouch of stretched curd that encloses a filling of mozzarella shreds and panna [cream], la burrata is best eaten with 24 hours of its creation. The filling – called stracciatella – is extremely delicate, and if the panna sits too long, or undergoes any sort of temperature variation, it can acidify and change the flavor profile. Moreover, in its purest form, la burrata is made with latte crudo [raw milk], which further narrows the window within which the delicacy can be (safely) enjoyed.
The taste of burrata should be incredibly rich, which is why it gets its name from the root burro [butter], although no burro is used in its recipe. The stracciatella inside is viscous and flavorful, in contrast to the smooth and elastic shell.
It’s hard to export burrata to other regions of Italy, much less to the rest of the world, given its extremely short shelf life. How restauranteers manage to keep steady supplies of such a delicate cheese, in light (or in spite) of the peaks and flows of demand in the food industry, boggles the mind of this blogger.
Where can you go to get the best burrata? As close as possible to a production site. You might even try making it yourself:
If this is the kind of learning you like to do, pick up a copy of Italian Through Food!