Renowned for its buttery consistency and delicate flavour, Burrata is crafted by artisan cheesemakers across Italy, but particularly in the southern city of Puglia where the country’s love affair with this cheese began over 100 years ago. With its smooth outer skin revealing an oozing and unctuous interior, it is the epitome of true Italian indulgence: the perfect combination of sfilacciata (or “un-pulled”) mozzarella (the root of whose name 'mozzata' means 'chopped off') and fresh cream. Lush, fertile pastures littered between the mainland and coastline prove to be ample foraging grounds for ruminating cattle, resulting in the whole-bodied milk that goes on to produce this southern Italian delicacy.
Burrata also happens to be our head chef - and, of course, Pugliese native - Roberta’s favourite midnight snack, as local caseifici (cheesemongers) produce the delicacy through the night. Indeed, many are familiar with visits from Roberta after taking on a few too many of her signature “La Vita É Dolce” (“Life is Sweet”) cocktails.
What is Burrata Cheese?
Beautifully balanced in taste, Burrata’s creamy centre, neatly nestled within its soft outer shell, provides a melting, satisfying bite unlike any other. A slow cut to its exterior reveals its inside, slowly seeping from the centre like heavy cream.
Italy’s southern outcrop witnesses artisans spin Burrata cheese every year under their summer glow, and, as tradition dictates, it always produced locally using fresh milk from foraging buffalos on the flat lying plateaus of Apulia. To enjoy its creamy interior, Burrata is best served at room temperature by removing it from refrigeration at least half an hour before plating. The delicate nature of this cheese finds delight in pairings with ripe tomatoes, homemade bread, and basil, of course, with a heavy hand of extra virgin olive oil to finish.
How Exactly is Burrata Made?
The process of making fresh Burrata involves an inordinate amount of craftsmanship to achieve the perfect texture through years of experience and ability to recognise how it should feel to the touch.
Following traditional processes, vats are filled and heated, permitting nothing but rennet to slowly curdle the milk. The curds are then extracted and dropped into hot whey before being gently blended into a flexible paste. Relying the pliability of the paste, workers painstakingly pull and weave the softened curd, which leads to a tender consistency. When the desired texture is attained, it is formed into a tender pouch and packed with thick cream before being knitted shut at the top. Due to its soft interior, Burrata is best enjoyed as soon as it is made in order to profit from its delicate freshness.
So Isn’t It Just a Fancy Mozzarella?
Our view is not quite so simplistic. While both varieties are visually similar, Mozzarella is traditionally made from the fresh milk of a cow or water buffalo, which yields, by comparison, an exceedingly more dense texture than that of Burrata.
The outer shell of Burrata is made much in the same way as Mozzarella but has a much creamier interior as it is filled with fresh cream and curds. This oozing unctuousness is what distinguishes it from almost any other Italian cheese.
What to Serve with Burrata
This delicate creamy cheese is best to serve with pasta, either as an indulgent topping or filling for ravioli. Some of Chef Roberta’s favourite Burrata filled pastas are:
- Burrata ravioli in datterini tomato sauce
- ‘Nduja sausage and Burrata tortelloni in a sage butter sauce
- Black truffle and Burrata ravioli
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