Beautiful Burrata

If you like fresh mozzarella cheese, chances are you’ll love burrata.  I first spied this creamy treat from the Puglia region of Italy on one of Lidia Bastianich’s PBS shows, probably “Lidia’s Italy.”  She cut into what looked like a ball of mozzarella and a creamy interior spilled out onto, if I am remembering correctly, a platter of steaming pasta with escarole.  I was hooked just on the visuals alone. 
Shortly after I happened across a domestic version made by BelGioioso in Wegmans.  I took it home, and simply cut it open in a shallow bowl.  I poured a on little of my best olive oil and sprinkled a few grains of sea salt and picked up a spoon.  O.M.G. as they say!  
Here’s how they make it (more or less): as the cheese is being formed into a ball, the cheesemaker presses a pocket into the ball.  The pocket is filled with a mixture of rich cream and little “rags” of mozzarella that are floating around in the vat.  The ball is then sealed around the squishy interior, or, sometimes tied like a purse.  It must be enjoyed really fresh.   Eating it out of hand – er, out of bowl – is still the only way I’ve enjoyed it, but there are lots of suggestions on how to serve the cheese on the BelGioioso page for Burrata.  
The pretty little version pictured here came tied with a white satin ribbon.  It is from Dolce & Clemente’s in Robbinsville, and they also had larger versions, plain or flavored with truffles or pesto, if I am remembering correctly.  One of them appeared to be tied with long strips of leeks.  I’ll be going back there soon for more!

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