What Is Burrata and What Can I Do with It?

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Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata

Pictured recipe: Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata

We love a good caprese salad or Margherita pizza—not much beats fresh mozzarella mingling with tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. But recently our love for mozzarella has been pushed aside by its finer cousin: burrata.

What is burrata, you ask? Burrata translates from Italian to "buttery," so you can imagine this cheese is something very special. But what makes this cheese so buttery that the Italians literally named it that? It all comes down to the creamy, delicious center.

Avocado Toast with Burrata

Pictured recipe: Avocado Toast with Burrata

"Burrata is a fresh, semi-soft Italian cheese made from buffalo or cow's milk," according to EatingWell's Test Kitchen Manager Breana Killeen. But the delicious cheese "takes it one step further and adds a cream center to the mozzarella balls."

Essentially, burrata is mozzarella cheese filled with a super-creamy, decadent center. And if that sounds appetizing to you—which we'd be shocked if it didn't—Killeen has a few suggestions for serving burrata cheese. "Since burrata's defining feature is the cream center, it's best served whole," she says. When you slice into the burrata, the creamy insides run over whatever you're serving it with (for example, tomato slices), making every bite tastier.

As wonderful as burrata is with tomatoes, it's well worth trying with other sweet and savory ingredients, like roasted squash, avocado, melon and grapes. Killeen likes drizzling burrata with warm, herbed olive oil and serving it with garlic toast and endive leaves.

Char-grilled Grapes with Burrata, Fennel Seeds & Basil

Pictured recipe: Char-Grilled Red Grapes with Burrata, Fennel Seeds & Basil

If you find yourself wanting to serve burrata cheese on everything (we won't judge), there are some great recipes out there that call for sliced (rather than whole) burrata. Killeen suggests slicing it and putting it on this pizza or placing it on top of a big bowl of pasta and cutting into it right before serving—the creamy filling will create a creamy sauce to coat the pasta.

Related: 5 Reasons Cheese Is Actually Good for Your Health

Pictured recipe: Honeydew & Cucumber Salad with Burrata

And if these ideas aren't enough to satisfy your burrata cravings, know that you can swap the creamy cheese in many recipes that call for fresh mozarella, especially salads. It's also wonderful with a cheese board (serve it on its own plate so the creamy center doesn't run all over the rest of the cheeses). For the best flavor and texture, remove burrata from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.

Ready to start eating burrata ASAP? It's generally packed in plastic containers and you'll find it near the fresh mozzarella at grocery stores and cheese shops. We were also excited to find a great bargain on burrata at Trader Joe's.

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This Italian cheese might just be your latest obession!
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Megan Steintrager
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