What Is Burrata Cheese?
Burrata cheese is a unique ingredient in many salads, food boards and more. Its signature combination of a complete flavor profile and fresh, milky texture makes it a popular addition to many dishes. This guide to burrata cheese will tell you more about its origins, its best uses and how to store burrata for freshness.
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- What Is Burrata?
- How Is Burrata Made?
- What Does Burrata Taste Like?
- What Is Burrata Cheese Used In?
- Burrata vs. Mozzarella Cheese
- How To Store Burrata Cheese
What Is Burrata?
What is burrata cheese? Burrata is a creamy cheese with two distinct textures. It has a chewy exterior and a creamy interior. Burrata originated in the southern part of Italy in the early 1920s. According to popular legend, it was created on a snowy night when an Italian cheesemaker couldn’t make his usual walk into town to sell his mozzarella cheese. Instead of letting the leftover curds spoil, he created burrata, which incorporates the same ingredients as mozzarella with a creamy twist.
You might recognize burrata by the way the creamy interior oozes out when the cheese is cut. It is a common ingredient in salads and on lists of popular wine and cheese pairings, and you might see it as a featured ingredient in cooking classes. If you’d like to learn more about how to use burrata in your favorite recipes, cooking classes near you or even online cooking classes can really help strengthen your cooking skills.
How Is Burrata Made?
Burrata cheese is made in a very similar manner to mozzarella cheese. In fact, the early steps of the process are exactly the same for both types of cheese. To begin, milk (typically cow’s milk, although originally burrata was made of goat's milk) is heated up and set with a special enzyme until it turns into two parts: curds and whey. The curds are then heated up in boiling water until they are stretchy and can be formed into a ball.
The next step in the process is the one that differentiates burrata cheese from mozzarella. For burrata, the cheesemaker stretches out some of the heated curds into long strands and soaks them in cream. This step is what gives burrata its signature taste. The other curds are turned into a pouch or shell.
For the final step, cheesemakers stuff the soft, creamy curds into the shell, creating burrata cheese’s chewy exterior and creamy interior. This dual texture is burrata cheese’s most famous feature, and what separates it from mozzarella. After the burrata cheese is made, it is stored in whey or water until it is time to consume the cheese.
What Does Burrata Taste Like?
If you are wondering, “What does burrata cheese taste like?”, the answer could be summed up in one word — delicious. The addition of cream to the curds used for the interior of the cheese gives burrata an incredibly rich and buttery flavor. When you cut open the ball of burrata, that creamy inside will ooze out, giving you two different textures of the same delicious cheese to enjoy. Be sure to let the burrata come to room temperature before serving it to really take advantage of that gooey center portion.
What Is Burrata Cheese Used In?
One of the many benefits of burrata cheese is that its rich flavor really shines on its own. You don’t have to be too fancy or add too many sauces or spices to make this cheese stand out. Often you will find it as a garnish on different Italian dishes, or you might see it served in light recipes like this burrata salad.
Another excellent way of serving burrata cheese is on a cheese board or a charcuterie board. Its flavor pairs well with many fruits, cured meats and crackers. You can serve it alone as the centerpiece of your cheese board or even add some olive oil and salt for a little extra flavor. Use crisp crackers or slices of bread to dip in the cheese, and don’t forget to savor both the chewy outer texture and the more spreadable, creamy interior.
Burrata vs. Mozzarella Cheese
Burrata cheese is often confused with mozzarella cheese because of its similar appearance. In fact, the beginning steps of the process of making burrata and mozzarella are exactly the same. However, mozzarella cheese is solid all the way through, while burrata has a signature difference in texture between the outer, chewy pouch, and the inner, creamy center.
You can use these two cheeses in the same types of recipes because they both have a similar fresh taste. It is important to note the texture differences, however. If you need melted cheese for a dish, mozzarella is the better option, as melting burrata strips it of the textural variety that makes it unique. Burrata is best as a topping for salads or other dishes, or even used as part of a charcuterie board for dipping.
How To Store Burrata Cheese
One important thing to know about burrata cheese is that it can be spoiled by improper storage methods. If you don’t want to negatively affect the taste and texture of the burrata, be sure you follow a few key storage tips. First, be sure to use the burrata within a day or two of purchasing it. If you wait or try to store the cheese longer than that, it will lose flavor. Once you cut the cheese open, be sure to consume it immediately to enjoy the soft, creamy interior.
If you do need to store burrata cheese, place it in an airtight container and cover it with the liquid you purchased it in. You can also store it covered in water. It will keep for a few days, but you will definitely lose out on some of the flavor and texture of this unique cheese.
We hope this guide has answered the questions, “What is burrata cheese?” and "What does burrata cheese taste like?" Although it is very similar to the more familiar mozzarella, burrata’s unique texture pairing sets it apart from other well-known cheeses. It makes it the perfect choice for anyone looking to branch out and try something new.
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