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Burrata: the Italian fresh cheese that has conquered the world

Posted on04/10/2021

Although mozzarella is better known and more traditional (since it emerged back in the 12th century), the fresh Italian cheese that has recently invaded salads and dishes in all kitchens around the world is burrata.

What is burrata and why is it called that?

Burrata is a pasta filata cheese, also called stranded cow cheese, due to its preparation, which we will comment on briefly later. It is a cheese of little maturation and stands out for its brightness and its white color. It has a smooth texture similar to butter, creamy and very tasty. Its properties are covered by a Protected Geographical Indication called Burrata de Andria, where its production and history since its invention continue to be respected. Burrata with PGI is made from cow's milk.

Saquito de burrata adornado con hoja de albahaca

It's that buttery texture that gives it its name, since "burro" means butter in Italian. It is its main difference with mozzarella, in addition to its more intense flavor. Note that it is false that this cheese contains butter or is used in its preparation.

The birth of the burrata, an accident turned into an opportunity

This fresh cheese was born in the Apulia area, in the south of Italy, in the 1950s. A farmer named Lorenzo Bianchini who worked on a farm where cheese was typically made, encountered a big problem: heavy snowfall made it impossible for him to transport dairy, as he did not expect the roads to be cut off by snow. Using rennet, fresh milk and the remains of making mozzarella, the burrata was born; a way to take advantage of the raw material in a poor place at that time.

The elaboration of the burrata

The burrata is presented wrapped in a bag of very fine cheese, with cream inside and traces of mozzarella called straciatella - not to be confused with ice cream, it has nothing to do with it.

It is always prepared by hand, as it is impossible to achieve the desired texture using machinery. The selection of the raw material, which influences (for example) the distance from the processing point and the cows from which the milk is obtained.

Dishes and recipes with burrata

The burrata can be present in any dish that requires fresh cheese, but its flavor makes it reign in the dish in which it participates, so it is better not to be accompanied with foods with very strong flavors. In addition, its high caloric intake means that its consumption is recommended in a moderate way.

It is a perfect companion for baked vegetables, for pasta or to make a consistent starter or first course from a salad. It is kept cold, but consumed at room temperature.

It is another cheese that brings variety to Italian cuisine, as it can be used in various pasta dishes, pizzas, stuffed...

And you, how do you like burrata best? You've tried? Does it occupy a place among your favorite cheeses? Comment and share ;)

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