Burrata: A Demonstration by Domenico Marchitelli of Maplebrook Farm

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Burrata OpenI will admit that until a few weeks ago I had never heard of burrata.  This dreamy sphere of fresh mozzarella stuffed with a decadent creamy filling originated in Puglia, Italy.  The story goes that cheese makers needed a way to use up small bits of mozzarella and began making burrata in the 1920’s. Only recently have cheese lovers in the USA  discovered this delicacy, a balloon of smooth mozzarella filled with a cloud of  soft cheese made with bits of mozzarella and fresh cream.  The buttery soft center oozes out when the burrata is cut open.

burrata1

This burrata is pinched tightly shut, but when it is cut the creamy center will ooze out!

Fresh mozzarella is made the old-world way in the mountains of Vermont, by stretching and molding premium raw cow cheese curd in small batches.

The  buttery filling is made with the freshest cream mixed with shreds of mozzarella called stracciatelli.

Domenico Marchitelli

Domenico Marchitelli came from Puglia, Italy to Bennington Vermont and makes burrata for Maplewood Farm

Domenico Marchitelli, came from Puglia, Italy to  Vermont  wtih 25 years of cheese making  experience to make burrata at Maplebrook Farm.

He demonstrated the process of making burrata at the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival in July 2013, and I just happened to be there.  Wish you could see how he does it?   I sat in the front row so I could share  his demo with you today!   Besides my front row seat, I was fortunate to have an unobstructed view of the  television screen showing the cheesemaker’s workspace from overhead.

Cheese curds made of the highest quality cows’ milk  are sliced and mixed with warm water first.

Curds1

The premium raw cow curds are mixed with hot water (between 150 and 200 degrees).  As the curds soften, the first water is poured off and  more hot water is added.  The cheese is allowed to sit in the water to soften, and when the water is poured off, some of the fat goes with it.  Then sea salt is added.

AddSalt

The cheese changes as it is worked by hand until it becomes stretchy mozzarella.

Working cheese in Hot Water

 

The cheese-maker continues to work, and uses the wooden paddle to strerch the cheese.

StretchingMozzarella

When the cheese reaches the desired consistency, it can be broken off into small portions (mozzarella knots)  and formed into a round,  much like pizza dough is stretched, but much smaller.

DiscShaping

The filling has been prepared separately…fresh cream and small bits of mozzarella cheese.  It takes two people to make burrata: one to stretch the mozzarella pocket and one to place the dollop of cream filling onto the stretched disc of cheese.

AddFilling

The team continues to stuff  pockets of fresh mozzarella with the creamy filling.

ItTakesTwoToMakeBurrata

The ball of mozzarella is squeezed tightly,  like a balloon filled with creamy deliciousness, and the top is pinched tightly closed.  These freshly made burrata were offered to everyone in the audience, so of course I was excited to taste a sample!  So creamy!  So delicate in flavor!  Such a smoothly textured mozzarella shell over the fluffy filling!

SamplesofBurrata

Traditionally these were wrapped in asphodel leaves before being taken to market, so that the buyers would know how fresh the cheeses might be, depending on the condition of the leaves.  Are they wilted? Cheese isn’t fresh!  Now fresh burrata is wrapped in plastic  or packed in a plastic container with sea salt brine.  They are made fresh daily at Maplewood Farm and delivered to grocery stores, specialty markets and restaurants.  Burrata should be enjoyed within a few weeks, as they are best very fresh.  Maplewood Farm makes 8 oz., 4 oz. and 2 oz. sizes.

FinishedBurrataI couldn’t wait to find some fresh burrata in a store…since I’m in Vermont visiting my mother, I’ve been shopping at Shaw’s.  If you’re in New England and looking for these,  this is how they are packaged. I almost missed them, even though they were in the display of refrigerated premium cheese.  If you’d like to know the names of stores where burrata can be found, click here. 

PackagedBurrata

What a perfect treat to serve with tomatoes and basil, or with pasta,  or in a salad.  Burrata can be warmed slightly to bring out the flavor, or served cold.  Burrata can even be grilled!    If you haven’t tried this delicate and refreshing cheese, I heartily recommend that you do!

Did you miss my post about the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont?  Click here…it was a great day!

I was not compensated for this post, nor did I receive any free product.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Great demo – and they have burrata even at Trader Joe’s.
    Lizthechef recently posted..Fresh Raspberry MargaritasMy Profile

  2. Thanks for this post. We were in Italy April/May and had the absolutely most delicious burrata at Roscioli in Rome. Was wondering how it was made. Thanks so much for this wonderful post.

  3. What a cool demo! I’ve only recently discovered burrata and may never go back to plain mozz again!
    Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com recently posted..Deep-Fried CheesecakeMy Profile

  4. This post made me not only understand all the steps it takes to make this fancy cheese, but why it costs so much in the stores.
    A day’s work….so appreciated!

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