What Is Burrata and How Is It Not Mozzarella?

If there’s one thing we humans flip for, it’s anItalian feast. The pasta, the sauces, the wine…we’re all trying to live whatever the non-dog version of that one Lady and the Tramp scene is. But, one downside that goes along with all that deliciousness, is the fact that sometimes the menu includes some stuff that has you saying, “mama mia, ‘bu-rah-tah?’ What even is this??” Well, fear not folks, for we hear you loud and clear (by the way, maybe don’t do the accent next time?) and today we’ll be delving deep into burrata. Let’s pour ourselves another glass of Lambrusco and take a closer look at this cheesy delicacy. 

What is burrata cheese?

Simply put, burrata is a shell of mozzarella wrapped around a lush mixture of cheese curds and cream (aka stracciatella) all formed into one single, soft ball. It is often served with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and oil. And eaten quickly (that one’s not official, just a plain truth, as it’s so yummy that it goes fast).

Is burrata mozzarella?

Burrata is partly mozzarella, but the stracciatella filling (the stringy cheese curd soaked in cream) makes it an entirely different food. You might ask, “Do burrata and mozzarella taste the same?” It’s similar, but burrata is much creamier and more buttery. 

How is burrata made?

Burrata is typically made with pasteurized or raw milk. The milk is put in a large vat and heated, allowing nothing but rennet to slowly curdle the milk. Once formed, the curds are dropped in hot whey and left to blend into a flexible paste. At this point, we’ve essentially made mozzarella. This substance is stretched into a pouch, which is filled with cream and curds and sealed. Ta-da! Burrata. 

How to eat burrata?

One of the greatest things about burrata is that even though it’s essentially a mound of cheese on a plate, it can be enjoyed as is, without any accompaniment. Just go to town. However, it is especially lovely when eaten spread atop some fresh bread or toast (and heck, they’re often bringing free baskets of that stuff to the table all night!). And a slice or two of prosciutto can’t hurt. But, generally, eating it on its own allows you to appreciate the richness of the burrata, as it deserves! For the optimal enjoyment, let it sit out for a few minutes. That allows it to warm to the perfect level of gooeyness. 

How to serve burrata?

Though there are no hard and fast “rules” per se, there are some general beliefs surrounding how to best enjoy burrata. Firstly, burrata should be served as fresh as possible. Secondly, the best way to amplify the flavors of burrata is to enjoy it at room temperature—not straight out of the fridge. Lastly, seasoning is best kept to a minimum, as what really needs to shine in this dish is the cheese itself. No need to put a hat on a hat! 

What does burrata cheese taste like?

Burrata has a milky, buttery flavor that’s rich, but also subtle. Usually, very rich things aren’t subtle (I’m looking at you, Scrooge McDuck diving in your money bin), but we swear, this time it’s true. 

So, the next time you’re out at your neighborhood’s finest Italian eatery, don’t make any mistake: Order that burrata. And if you’re afraid you won’t remember to order it, just commit this catchy phrase to memory to help you out: “Order burrata? Oh yeah, dude—you gotta!”

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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