Burrata and mozzarella are both Italian cheeses made from stretched curd. Mozzarella is a fresh cheese with a milky flavor and an elastic texture. Burrata is a special mozzarella with a creamy filling of mozzarella and cream. Burrata has a more intense and complex flavor than mozzarella, with a tangy touch from the cream.
If you love cheese, you probably have tasted burrata and mozzarella, two of the most popular and delicious cheeses from Italy. But do you know how to tell them apart? While they may look similar, they are actually quite different in terms of texture, flavor, and production. Here are some of the main differences between burrata and mozzarella that will help you appreciate them even more.
Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that originated in Southern Italy, where it was traditionally made with water buffalo milk. Nowadays, it is also made with cow milk, which is more common and easier to find. Mozzarella has a delicate, milky flavor and an elastic texture that makes it easy to slice and melt. Mozzarella is a type of pulled curd or pasta filata cheese, which means that the curd is stretched and kneaded until it forms a smooth and shiny mass. Mozzarella can be found in different shapes and sizes, such as balls, logs, braids, or pearls. It is usually sold in brine or vacuum-packed to keep it fresh and moist. Mozzarella is best enjoyed soon after it is made, although it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Burrata is a special type of mozzarella that was created in the early 20th century in the region of Puglia, in Southern Italy. The name burrata means "buttered" in Italian, and it refers to the rich and creamy filling that makes this cheese so unique. Burrata is made by taking a fresh mozzarella shell, filling it with bits of mozzarella and cream, and then twisting the top closed to form a ball. Burrata is sold in tubs with brine to keep the cheese fresh, and it is best enjoyed as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of production. The magic of burrata is that when it is sliced open, the buttery filling spills out, creating a contrast of textures and flavors. Burrata has a more intense and complex taste than mozzarella, with a slight tanginess from the cream.
Both burrata and mozzarella are versatile cheeses that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and appetizers to pizzas and pastas. However, there are some tips to make the most of their characteristics. For example, mozzarella is better suited for cooking, as it melts well and adds a stretchy and gooey texture to dishes. Burrata, on the other hand, is better served at room temperature, as heating it can ruin its delicate structure and flavor. Burrata is ideal for showcasing fresh and seasonal ingredients, such as tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or fruit. Burrata can also be paired with cured meats, such as prosciutto or salami, or with bread or crackers.
When buying burrata and mozzarella, look for the freshest and highest quality products you can find. Check the expiration date and the appearance of the cheese. It should be moist, smooth, and shiny, without any cracks or discoloration. Avoid cheese that looks dry, dull, or moldy. If possible, buy cheese that is made locally or imported from Italy, as it will have a more authentic flavor and texture. Once you have your cheese, store it in the refrigerator in its original packaging or in an airtight container with some of the brine. Consume it within a few days, and always bring it to room temperature before serving.
Burrata and mozzarella are two amazing cheeses that can elevate any dish or occasion. Whether you prefer the classic and simple mozzarella or the decadent and indulgent burrata, you can't go wrong with either of them. Just remember to enjoy them fresh and with good company. Buon appetito!