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Almost every restaurant in the city has a burrata on the menu.
Is this Italian cheese worth the hype or just a cliche?

Photography and writing by Will Engelmann.

A Buratta served with arugula and fresh bread.

It seems like half the restaurants in the city have burrata on the menu. It’s everywhere you go and despite being an Italian cheese it’s found it’s way into kitchens and cuisines that leave us scratching our heads. It might seem like this cheese has become a cliche but still every time we order a burrata it leaves a smile on the faces of everybody at the table.

If you’ve never had burrata before you’re in for a treat. But if you’re like us and you live the food life chances are you’ve had many and you’re drooling right now just thinking about it. A burrata is a cheese from the Apulia region of Italy. Apulia is the “heel” of Italy’s “boot” shape. It’s a region of endless countrysides dotted with cute little medieval towns. Sitting at a cafe in an airy piazza where you can enjoy a glass of wine paired with fresh baked bread, prosciutto and this delightful cheese. Burrata is shaped like a ball and has a firm exterior. But slide your knife down the side and a warm gooey center slowly emerges and melts out onto the plate. Unlike most cheeses that are created to age and grow more distinctive in flavor as they sit burratas are made and eaten fresh. They can be eaten up to 24 hours after being made. But ideally you want to have them as soon as possible to preserve that gooey center.

A burrata as food art.

Burrata as food art. Almost too perfect not to eat... Almost.

Is it possible that because the burrata is on nearly every menu in NYC it has become a cliche? The click bait of the NYC dining scene?

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A buratta topped with peashoots.

Burrata is an artisanal cow or buffalo milk cheese that is made by hand. It’s a relatively new culinary invention in Italy a country that’s known for constantly reinventing classic dishes. A Burrata is mozzarella reimagined. Curds of cheese and whey are stretched by hand to form a soft stringy creamy cheese. At this point the cheese is a mozzarella that can be shaped in any form but to become a burrata the cheese is shaped into pouch like form and filled with more fresh curds and whey. The pouch is then tied up and left to rest but ideally should be eaten as fresh as possible.

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An artfully prepared burrata from the restaurant Perry St.

Traditionally when used in Italian cuisine Burrata goes great with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and prosciutto. But we’ve seen them on many a pizza or even married with a Dahl dish at this Indian restaurant in SoHo.

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If an Italian chef and an Indian chef had a baby it would be this Dahl Burrata.

We highly recommend traveling to Apulia to enjoy a fresh burrata. But if that’s not in the cards for you right now there are tons of places in NYC where you can go enjoy one today. Click on any of the images below to find out where that burrata came from.

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Almost every restaurant in the city has a burrata on the menu.
Is this Italian cheese worth the hype or just a cliche?


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