Because it is designed to be eaten within hours of its creation, Burrata remained a relatively unknown regional specialty in Puglia up until very recently. It is generally held that it was first produced in the town of Andria in the 1920s, and only made its way in earnest to the United States within the last decade or so. Some hold that its popularity abroad has actually spurred its domestic growth in Italy – while Americans were ‘discovering’ this incredible new cheese, Italians the next town over were unfamiliar with its charms.
Burrata is a pasta filata cheese, stretched and pulled into its characteristic shape and consistency like mozzarella. Instead of forming the warm, stretched curd into balls, it is formed into a pouch, into which shreds of leftover mozzarella and Italian cream, or panna, is poured. The cheese is finished with a top knot, and traditionally it is wrapped in asphodel leaves, which by their green color denote the freshness of the cheese.
Now with some domestic producers coming to market with truly outstanding versions of this decadent cheese, it is easier to enjoy it in its best state: Freshly made. It can be used interchangeably with fresh mozzarella, although its delicate heart of cream begs to keep things simple. It is an excellent foil for superb extra virgin olive oil and simple grilled vegetables. Drizzle it with honey, or top it with juicy cherries for dessert. Tuck it into squash blossoms or melt over warm pasta. GreenLeaf stocks California Di Stefano and Belfiore, and Italian Caseficio Maldera– call us today for your order!