Sunday, January 4, 2009

BURRATA; Tomatoes new BFF

I have found the ultimate companion to tomatoes...Although fresh Mozzarella has been the standard, there's a new kid in town. Not really new, just new to us.
It's called Burrata. It means Buttered in Italian.
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it a unique soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. Burrata, once only packaged in leaves, is nowadays wrapped in a plastic sheet, sometimes printed with a leaves pattern on the outside. Even so, the tradition of having a wrapper of asphodel leaves is still followed, even if only covering outside the plastic. The leaves are indicators of the freshness of the Burrata; as long as the leaves are green, the cheese within is still fresh and ready to ooze out. Young Burrata is a magnificent cheese, and must be consumed fresh, no more than 48 hours after production. Its marvelous liquid center can be scooped up with slices of crusty bread, and is excellent when enjoyed in the company of a bottle of Montepulciano. Try tossing Burrata into pasta, such as drained penne or spaghetti. For a truly rich caprese salad, encircle fresh Burrata with slices of ripe red tomatoes and torn basil leaves, and drizzle with olive oil.
Extremely hard to find because of its short shelf life, burrata must be flown in from Italy the day after it is made and quickly sold to consumers. Once a challenge to find in the US, burrata has recently become more widely available, as it is being distributed domestically by an Italian cheese producer in southern California. It has recently become a "hot"gourmet item in places like New York City and Beverly Hills.

Many recognize burrata as one of the best fresh cheeses in the world.

So... My goal is to find a source for Burrata before tomato season. Would love to hear from any materheads that have actually had it.