Do you want to serve some fresh burrata at your dinner? The delicious cheese is easy to handle if you know the basics. Here are some important things to keep in mind about the Italian cheese
Who doesn't love a creamy dollop of burrata sitting atop their pasta? This luscious, wobbly cheese from Puglia, is essentially a 'pouch' of stretched mozzarella filled with a mixture of fresh cream and stracciatella, which are shreds of mozzarella soaked in cream. Burrata can be used in salads, appetisers and pasta and it's most notably used in caprese salads made with sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil.
Also Read: Burrata: How To Make This Cheese At Home
This soft cheese, though versatile is unlike any other cheese variant. It's the contrast in textures that maximises its appeal and also its taste. The soft dumpling of cheese typically sits over a cooked dish as it is split open with a knife oozing out soft, creamy and heavy cheese which can be smeared over the dish. The burrata has a neutral taste, which can be paired with a large number of dishes; in consistency, it can be compared to heavy Indian malai which is spreadable especially since it's a milk cream cheese.
Burrata And Its History
The name 'burrata' is derived from the Italian word "burro," which means butter, which is possibly a reference to the cheese's buttery and creamy interior. The cheese gained popularity in the mid-20th century and has since become a beloved delicacy both in Italy and internationally.
Although the foundation of this cheese is unclear, it is widely believed that it all began in a village in southern Italy’s Puglia region in the 1920s, when a cheesemaker named Lorenzo devised a way to reuse leftover mozzarella curds. The cheese was most likely born out of a need to minimise waste and also because the cheesemaker wanted a natural casing to store his cheese and ended up using mozzarella wrappers.
Why Is Burrata Never Cooked?
Burrata is generally enjoyed fresh and it is not cooked because it's practically milk cream so cooking it like mozzarella or any other variant of semi-soft or stretchy cheese will melt it completely and the cheese will lose its shape. It should ideally be served fresh because burrata does not freeze well, because of its high moisture content. An uncut burrata should be kept refrigerated in a sealed container or an airtight container filled with water for up to a week.
How Should Burrata Be Served?
Burrata is best served in its original pouch format which only drains out creamy cheese when cut or scooped. Serve it at room temperature, drizzle it with a little olive oil and pesto or pepper and it can be used like a creamy dipping pouch where you can dip crunchy bread or anything fried. It can also be served on top of a salad, a pizza, a casserole or a baked pasta dish. Burrata is typically paired with natural ingredients like fruits, nuts and vegetables so its natural essence shines through. But it can also served with roasted or grilled vegetables, pickled fruits, veggie sandwiches etc.
Burrata is often paired with Prosciutto, which is an Italian cured ham; the mild saltiness of the prosciutto pairs well with the buttery and creamy burrata. Similarly, salty meats like pancetta and pepperoni also go well with the cheese.
Tips To Remember While Serving Burrata
Avoid Serving Straight from the Refrigerator: Burrata is best enjoyed at room temperature. Serving it directly from the refrigerator can dull its flavours and affect its texture. Allow burrata to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Storing for Extended Periods: Burrata is a fresh cheese and is best consumed shortly after purchase. Storing it for extended periods can affect its texture and flavour.
Don't Overseason: Overseasoning with salt or other strong flavours can overpower the subtle taste of burrata. So, use seasonings sparingly and allow the natural creaminess of burrata to shine.
Neglecting to Check Freshness: Check for any off smells or unusual discolourations. Burrata should have a fresh, milky aroma. Serving with Cold Accompaniments Serving burrata with cold accompaniments can dull its flavours. Use ingredients that are also at room temperature or slightly warmed to complement the creamy texture of the burrata.