Mozzarellissimo

Can there be anything better than a plate of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella di bufala dressed with a good olive oil? Maybe. Burrata cheese, so named because of its “burroso” or buttery flavor, is like triple-cream mozzarella, with a rich taste and velvety feel.

“It’s traditionally from the Puglia region of Italy,” says Joe Macaluso of The Chefs’ Warehouse (Dairyland) in New York. “Burrata is a cow’s milk cheese similar to mozzarella di bufala, filled with bocconcini [little balls] or stracciatelle [strips] of mozzarella, or a rich ricotta-like ingredient. The filling is always mixed with rich cream. It’s also produced in Tuscany, where it is known as tenerella.” We first got the burrata bug when San Francisco’s A16 restaurant started serving a domestic version from the Gioia Cheese Company -— with Umbrian olive oil, Sicilian sea salt, and crostini -— that rivals the best Italian burrata. Alas, Gioia does not sell retail. But try igourmet.