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A Lotta Burrata

Fresh mozzarella’s magnificent cousin

A Lotta Burrata
Photo by A. Steinberg

Come late summer, Minnesotans pop tomatoes like vitamins, Caprese salad becomes a staple, and all the upscale grocers, co-ops, and cheese shops stock various forms of fresh mozzarella. Some import the water-buffalo-milk version from Italy, others pull their own in-house, and a few sell fresh curd for at-home filature—the process of warming the curd in hot water and then shaping it into a ball. All of these are good options, but an even better one is fresh mozzarella’s sumptuous cousin, burrata, otherwise known as mozzarella-stuffed mozzarella. Burrata is made by shaping fresh curd into a pouch and then filling it with shreds of curd and heavy cream. When a ball of burrata is sliced, the luscious, silky filling—ricotta-like in texture, but with a tangier flavor—oozes out. The difference between fresh mozzarella and burrata is like the difference between getting a peck on the cheek from Grandma and a French kiss from your lover. The problem is, in terms of reliability, burrata is also more like a lover than Grandma. The fragile, perishable cheese is typically airfreighted to the Twin Cities in small batches, so it tends to be expensive and not consistently available. Fortunately, a few years ago, an Italian cheese maker in Wisconsin, BelGioioso, started producing a cow’s milk burrata packed in water, which gives the cheese a longer life and makes it a more affordable summertime splurge. • BelGioioso burrata is available at metro area Lunds, Byerly’s, and Whole Foods stores.

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