What is Burrata Cheese

Facts About Italy’s Creamy Burrata Cheese

Ciao, dear readers of Italian Cooking and Living!

Today, let’s embark on a journey to discover a cheese that’s been making waves in the culinary world: an Italian Burrata.

At its core, Burrata is a cow’s milk cheese, a delightful variant of mozzarella. But what sets it apart is its thin spun casing enveloping a heart of fresh cream and unspun mozzarella curds. This combination results in a cheese that’s incredibly creamy with a delicate hint of sweetness.

Italian Burrata vs Mozzarella

How is burrata different from mozzarella, you ask? While both Italian Burrata and Mozzarella share a family lineage, they have distinct personalities.

Mozzarella, known for its elastic texture and mild flavor, is a staple in dishes like pizza and caprese salad. Burrata, on the other hand, is all about indulgence. Its outer layer resembles mozzarella, but the creamy center is where the magic lies, offering a buttery richness that mozzarella doesn’t possess.

Uses In the Kitchen

The beauty of Burrata lies in its simplicity. Young Burrata, with its dreamy liquid center, pairs perfectly with slices of crusty bread.

Imagine tearing into it and watching it ooze, all while sipping on a glass of Montepulciano. For pasta lovers, tossing Burrata into drained penne or spaghetti creates a creamy delight.

And for a luxurious twist on the classic caprese salad, place fresh Burrata amidst slices of ripe red tomatoes and torn basil leaves, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil.

Italian Burrata Cheese in a salad
Drop a Burrata into fresh vegetable salad and sip a glass of the Montepulciano – taste the heaven!

How to Eat It

While Burrata is versatile, it’s essential to savor it fresh, ideally within 48 hours of production. Its creamy center is best enjoyed scooped up or torn apart, allowing the flavors to meld with accompanying ingredients.

Whether it’s atop a salad, spread on bread, or tossed in pasta, Burrata is a treat to the senses.

Wine Pairings

Ah, the joy of pairing wine with cheese! When it comes to Burrata, with its creamy heart and delicate flavors, the wine pairing becomes a delightful exploration of complementing tastes and textures.

1. White Wines:

  • Pinot Bianco: This Italian white wine, with its crisp acidity and notes of apple and pear, beautifully complements the creaminess of Burrata, enhancing its subtle sweetness.
  • Verdicchio: Originating from the Marche region of Italy, Verdicchio offers a mineral-rich profile with hints of citrus. Its zesty nature can balance the richness of Burrata, making for a harmonious pairing.

2. Red Wines:

  • Chianti Classico: This iconic Tuscan red, known for its flavors of cherry and red fruits, can provide a delightful contrast to Burrata’s creamy texture. The wine’s slight tannic nature can cut through the cheese’s richness, making each bite and sip a treat.
  • Barbera d’Alba: With its juicy acidity and notes of dark fruits, a Barbera d’Alba can complement the buttery flavors of Burrata, creating a balanced palate experience.

3. Rosé and Sparkling:

  • Italian Rosé: A dry rosé, especially those from regions like Abruzzo or Puglia, can offer a refreshing counterpoint to Burrata’s creaminess, with its light fruity notes and crisp finish.
  • Franciacorta: Italy’s answer to Champagne, Franciacorta, with its fine bubbles and notes of citrus and almond, can elevate the Burrata experience, adding a touch of elegance and effervescence.

4. Dessert Wines:

  • Passito di Pantelleria: If you’re enjoying Burrata with fruits or in a dessert setting, this sweet wine from the island of Pantelleria, known for its apricot and honey notes, can be a delightful companion, enhancing the cheese’s inherent sweetness.

Tips for Pairing:

  • Temperature Matters: Ensure your wine is served at the right temperature. Whites and rosés should be chilled, reds served slightly below room temperature, and sparkling wines well-chilled.
  • Experiment and Explore: While these pairings are recommendations, the beauty of wine and cheese lies in personal exploration. Trust your palate, try different combinations, and discover what delights your senses.

In the world of Italian Cooking and Living, wine and cheese are celebrations of life’s simple pleasures. So, the next time you indulge in the creamy goodness of Burrata, let a well-chosen glass of wine transport you to the vineyards of Italy.

How to Eat Burrata

Nutrition Facts

When indulging in the creamy goodness of Burrata, it’s not just about the flavors but also the nutritional benefits. Cheese, in general, is a good source of protein, and Burrata is no exception.

Readers also tend to ask us: how much protein does Burrata contain?

Burrata contains approximately 4 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams). So, if you’re enjoying a standard serving size of 3 ounces (about 85 grams) of Burrata, you’re consuming roughly 12 grams of protein. This makes it a decent protein source, especially when paired with other protein-rich foods in a meal.

It’s worth noting that while Burrata offers protein, it also comes with a higher fat content due to its creamy center. As always, moderation is key, and it’s essential to balance your intake with other nutrient-rich foods.

For those who are health-conscious or tracking their macronutrient intake, it’s always a good idea to check the specific nutritional information on the Burrata packaging, as protein content can vary slightly based on the brand and production methods.

Cheese Similar to Burrata

Finding the perfect substitute for Burrata can be a bit of a challenge due to its unique texture and flavor. However, if you’re in a pinch or looking to experiment, here are some cheeses that can come close:

1. Fresh Mozzarella:

  • Description: A classic Italian cheese known for its soft, elastic texture and mild flavor.
  • Why it Works: Mozzarella shares a similar texture and milk base with Burrata. While it lacks the creamy center, it can offer a similar mouthfeel.
  • Best Used In: Salads, pizzas, and sandwiches.

2. Stracciatella di Bufala:

  • Description: Often considered the heart of Burrata, Stracciatella di Bufala is a blend of mozzarella and cream.
  • Why it Works: It’s essentially the creamy center of Burrata, making it the closest in flavor and texture.
  • Best Used In: Spread on toast, in salads, or as a pasta topping.

3. Robiola:

  • Description: A soft-ripened cheese from Northern Italy, Robiola has a creamy texture and a tangy flavor.
  • Why it Works: Its creamy consistency and rich flavor can mimic the indulgence of Burrata.
  • Best Used In: Spread on bread, in salads, or as a topping for grilled vegetables.

4. Camembert:

  • Description: A French cheese with a creamy consistency and a strong flavor profile.
  • Why it Works: While it’s more aromatic than Burrata, its creamy texture can be a good match in certain dishes.
  • Best Used In: Baked as a whole, spread on bread, or in salads.

5. Mascarpone:

  • Description: An Italian cream cheese known for its rich and creamy texture.
  • Why it Works: While Mascarpone is denser and lacks the outer casing, its creamy consistency can resemble Burrata’s heart.
  • Best Used In: Desserts, spreads, or mixed into pasta sauces.

…And What Do We Think? The Best Substitute?

While all these cheeses can act as substitutes, the best one often depends on the dish you’re preparing and the flavor profile you’re aiming for.

  • For a close match in salads or on toast, Stracciatella is your best bet due to its similarity to Burrata’s creamy center.
  • For dishes that require a milder flavor, Fresh Mozzarella might be the closest match.
  • Robiola and Camembert can be great alternatives for those looking to experiment with flavors.
  • Mascarpone can be a delightful substitute in richer dishes or desserts.

Ultimately, the choice boils down to personal preference and the specific requirements of your recipe.

Storing and Buying Tips

Burrata’s freshness is its essence. It’s best consumed soon after purchase, and its perishable nature means it doesn’t fare well for long in the fridge.

A tip to gauge its freshness? Check its leafy packaging. If the asfodelo leaves are still green, you’re in for a fresh treat. And while Burrata was once a rare find in the U.S., it’s now more accessible, thanks to distributors like the Gioia Cheese Co. in southern California.

Final Words

So now you hopefully know what is Burrata cheese. In the grand tapestry of Italian cheeses, it stands out as a creamy masterpiece. Its delicate flavors, rich history, and versatility make it a must-try for anyone passionate about Italian cuisine.

So, the next time you’re looking to elevate your dish or simply indulge, remember this Pugliese treasure. And as we always say here at Italian Cooking and Living, the best way to understand Italy is to taste it.

Buon appetito, amici! 🧀🍷🇮🇹

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