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Burrata Basics: Everything You Need to Know About This Italian Cheese

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Tamara
March 12, 2022
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There’s a new cheese in town, and it’s taking the culinary world by storm. Burrata is a fresh cheese made from cow’s milk mozzarella and fresh cream. It has a creamy filling, delicate texture, and a rich, buttery flavor that makes it irresistible. In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about burrata! We’ll discuss where to find it, how to eat it, and some of the best ways to use it in your cooking.

Background on Burrata

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The word burrata, derived from the Italian word ‘burro’, means “buttered” in Italian, and it is named for its buttery texture. Burrata is typically served as a starter or first course, but it can also be used in main dishes and salads.

Burrata cheese originated in the Apulia region of southern Italy which is the ‘heel of the boot’. In the early 1900s, burrata was created as a way to use up leftover scraps of mozzarella cheese. The cheesemaker would take these scraps, known as ‘stracciatella’, and mix them with cream, forming a distinct center of shredded cheese curds and cream surrounded by a small pouch of cheese casing.

Burrata is typically made from fresh milk from the Italian water buffalo. Although burrata originated in Italy, today you can find this rockstar cheese in grocery stores all over the country, so even if you’re not a home cook you can include burrata recipes in your repertoire for quick and easy appetizers for parties!

Burrata vs Mozzarella

Both types of Italian cheeses are made by stretching the cheese curd, a method known as ‘pasta fillata’. From the outside, both cheeses look almost exactly the same, this is because the same ingredients and methods used to make balls of fresh mozzarella are used to make the casing of burrata!

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However, there are a few differences between burrata and mozzarella that you should know. First, burrata is made with a mix of mozzarella and cream, while mozzarella is made with 100% milk. This makes burrata richer and more flavorful than mozzarella. Additionally, burrata has a softer creamy texture due to the addition of cream on the inside, this makes mozzarella perfect for situations when you’re looking for a stretchy cheese like the perfect macaroni and cheese, but it means burrata is perfect for when you want a super soft creamy topping that spills out onto a crisp piece of toast. Finally, burrata is typically served fresh, while mozzarella can be served fresh or aged up to a week if stored correctly in a brine. The addition of the cream also produces a higher fat content in burrata cheese than in mozzarella and other cheeses.

How Burrata is Made

Now that we know a little bit more about burrata, let’s take a closer look at how it’s made.

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The first step is to make the mozzarella casing. This is done by stretching and kneading curds of milk until they form a smooth, elastic dough. The dough is then formed into small balls and placed in hot water to cook.

Once the casing is cooked, it is removed from the water and filled with a mixture of stracciatella (shredded cheese curds) and cream. The casing is then sealed shut, forming the distinctive burrata shape, but if you don’t know you could easily mistake the balls for mozzarella.

The burrata is then left to age for a few hours or days, depending on the desired level of creaminess. Once it has aged, the burrata is ready to be eaten!

How to Eat Burrata

Now that we know all about burrata, it’s time to learn how to eat it! The best way to enjoy burrata is to slice it open and spoon out the creamy center. You can also spread the burrata on some fresh bread or crackers. Burrata is a great appetizer or side dish, but it’s also a perfect addition to more substantial main course like grilled chicken or pasta.

Burrata Appetizer Ideas & Recipes

First, it’s best to serve burrata cheese (and fresh cheeses in general) immediately. Fresh milk is one of the key ingredients which produces the rich cream characteristics that makes them so delicious and serving immediately keeps these sweet flavors intact. Second, make sure you use a quality extra virgin olive oil this is because the taste will be even more pronounced than an oil you would cook with because it will not be cooked or altered before you taste it. If you like these ideas check out this post for authentic Mediterranean recipe books. Yes burrata can be a part of a healthy diet like Mediterranean and Keto!

Modified Caprese Salad – Serve burrata with basil and fresh tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes are my favorite) for a creamier take on classic Caprese. While basil is the classic, you can add a few other fresh herbs that will really make this appetizer one to remember.

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Burrata ToastToast some warm crusty bread, add burrata, and drizzle olive oil, this super simple burrata recipe is amazing for experimentation. I think some of my favorite additions are slices of fresh tomatoes and garlic shavings and sea salt. This is perfect right before a variety of pasta dishes.

Burrata and Sliced Peaches – This one is especially perfect for spring. The creamy interior of the burrata is a perfect pairing. Cut open the burrata over the sliced peaches and serve immediately.

Enjoy experimenting with the amazing burrata cheese! What are some of your favorite burrata recipes? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on social media or in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them. Ciao for now!

Tamara

Tamara is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur. She has dedicated a large chunk of her life to researching healthy food recipes and diet plans, and also teaching people how to improve their eating habits. Using Eatomology, Tamara shares the very best diet plans, cookbooks, and more. Also, for those on a quest to improve their kitchen, Tamara shares some awesome and high-quality kitchen equipment recommendations as well as buying guides on her website.