Burrata. Easily my favorite food product in Italy.
This Italian cheese comes from the south and is made not only from mozzarella, (using a similar process), but also includes the addition of cream. This seemingly simple – yet essential – ingredient allows cheese artists (yes, they are artists) to create what is effectively a cheese pouch: an outer shell of regular mozzarella with a rich, smooth, milky center that is unspeakably tasty. The name burrata literally means “buttered.” It is a portable pocket of cheesy, creamy goodness that must be tried to be believed.
A moment after this picture was taken, the ball of burrata was cut open and the delicious goodness was revealed (and promptly devoured). Usually served lukewarm to cold, it can be eaten with bread (to soak up the creamy cheese inside), on pizza (usually thrown onto hot pizza right as it comes out of the oven), with meats (perfect mix of salty and creamy), or just alone (warning: it will not fit into mouth whole). This particular burrata was enjoyed on a recent cold evening at Il Pizzaiuolo (Via dè Macci, 113), a delicious pizzeria in Florence where you can sample burrata alone or on a pizza.
This cheese changed my life and I have never had it taste quite the same in the states, so make it a priority to try while you’re in Italy!