The Best Way To Serve Burrata Cheese

If you love soft, fresh mozzarella cheese and milky, creamy ricotta, then chances are you'd love burrata cheese, which is sort of like a combination of the two. A more modern Italian invention that dates to the 1920s, according to BBC, burrata hails from southern Italy and features an outer shell of fresh mozzarella cheese that, when cut into, reveals an inner filling of soft cheese curds and heavy cream.

Say what? Yes, this delicate, milky cheese is two kinds of cheese in one. The brainchild of Puglian cheesemakers who wanted to find a way to use up scraps, the first burrata utilized leftover fresh mozzarella that was stuffed with the thick layer of cream that rises to the top of fresh milk; these days, commercial varieties are filled with a mixture of heavy cream, fresh cheese curds, and little ropy strands of additional mozzarella (via Food & Wine). After the cheese pouch is stuffed, it's pinched shut, then dunked in hot water to seal the filling inside.

Burrata is stunning enough to serve all on its own

If you've eaten burrata cheese before, it may have been served to you on a wood-fired pizza, accompanied by fresh fruit, such as ripe figs, or placed atop a tomato salad — all common ways to enjoy this spectacular cheese. But given burrata's fresh, milky taste and intriguing textural contrast, it really doesn't need any accompaniments at all, according to Eataly, the Italian specialty foods superstore that knows a thing or two about Italian cheeses. Their site recommends finding as fresh a burrata as possible since the cheese goes bad quickly.

It should be served at room temperature in order to best enjoy its subtle flavors and supple texture; if the burrata has been refrigerated, take it out about a half hour before serving to let it warm up. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, and some crusty bread are all you need to enjoy it. However, Eataly also recommends topping prosciutto pizza with it, subbing it for fresh mozzarella in a Caprese salad, or drizzling it with a homemade black truffle vinaigrette for additional decadence.