At Home

Burrata + Beast + Bag

Although the Beast has lots of ideas, they rarely involve thoughts on what we should have for dinner.  But the other night, all on his own, he proclaimed that we would be having burrata. More astonishing was that he was actually paying for and bringing home said burrata.  (The shop where he works has an Alex Farm cheese store a stone throw’s away and they advertise when the precious cheese arrives from Italy.)  All I had to do was prepare some fresh tomatoes, bruschetta style, and get some baguette ready to be grilled.  

Since the Beast was practically making dinner, I decided to visit a favourite vintage shop of mine that’s just around the corner.  Good thing too because I found a beautiful leather Fendi bag for $20.

The Beast and I arrived home at the same time, he bearing his ball of burrata and me with my new Fendi.

Foodie:  Fancy meeting you here!

Beast:  What’s that you have there?

Foodie:  Oh this old thing?  Just a bag I bought around the corner.

The Beast snatched it from me and examined the interior in order to properly authenticate it.  

Beast:  I love it!  It’s going to be perfect for me, don’t you think?

Foodie:  Hahaha.

Beast:  What?

Foodie:  You’re joking, right?

Beast:  No, not at all?  It’s the perfect size for me:  I can fit my iPod in there, a book or magazine and some drum sticks.  

Foodie:  Well that’s fine and dandy, but I don’t think this is an appropriate man bag.

Beast:  I think it’s more than perfect.  I actually think it was designed for a man, not a woman.

Foodie:  You’re fucking crazy.  That’s a woman’s bag.

Beast:  Well anyway, I love it.  So thank you.

Dumbfounded, I turned my attention to disrobing the ball of burrata from it’s plastic sheath.

Burrata is traditionally made of mozzarella di bufala, which is mozzarella made with the milk of a water buffalo so it’s fattier, creamier and tastier than mozzarella made with plain old cow’s milk, which is called fior di latte.  What makes burrata extraordinary is its centre: a combination of both mozzarella di bufala and actual cream.  Take a moment to imagine cutting into something like this and you’ll appreciate why those southern Italians called this cheese “burrata”,considering burro means butter.  

The panna, or cream, drizzles ever so gently out, just begging to be mopped up with a hunk of bread.  And the flesh of the firmer mozzarella is so damn silky.  It’s an overwhelming–and slightly sensual–combination of textures.

Alex Farm sells one ball for $36.  (The Beast, with his neighbourhood discount got our burrata for a steal at only $31.50.) I’ve seen burrata for $40 a ball too.  Stephen asked why burrata is so expensive.  It’s a good question.  And I’m not sure I have a satisfying answer.  I think it has to do with burrata’s limited shelf-life, which is about 48 hours. That means once it’s flown to Canada, buyers have about 24 hours to sell it to consumers, like the Beast, before it’s really past its prime.  Maybe our Italian friend, Giovanna, will have something to add to this discussion.  

Beast:  (Moaning.)

Foodie:  This is really, really lovely.

Beast:  Oh God.

Foodie:  You really like burrata, don’t you.

Beast:  (Moaning.)

Foodie:  I like it, but I think you like it more.  And I don’t think I could possibly eat more than a few pieces of it.  It’s so rich!  I’d make myself sick I think.

The Beast was not capable of leaving any burrata uneaten so he ate, oh I’d say…about 75 per cent of that chubby ball.  I ate a lot of bread and tomatoes.  He was in pain about an hour after dinner.  I was not.  

I can’t be certain if he’s serious or not about using the Fendi bag.  More importantly, I can’t decide how concerned I should be if he is.  

Foodie:  **1/2

Beast:  ***1/2




Categories: At Home

17 replies »

  1. Mozzarella di bufala is less fat (roughly, 30% less fat, calories and cholesterol) than the Mozzarella made with caw milk. Burrata tough is fattier because is made with mozzarella (often, caw milk) with heavy cream from caw milk.
    That is why Burrata is so creamy, goooood, and, unfortunately, fattier.

  2. Well, this was one of the most hotly anticipated FATB posts since the 2-year anniversary, and it did not disappoint–although it has raised a number of questions in the mind of this loyal reader. First, I don’t know about moving product over there in Italy, but if you’ve got something perishable that you have got to get off the shelves pronto, maybe you should try pricing it somewhere south of a number that doesn’t make your average North American glutton blanch and scootch over along the dairy aisle to the Liberté Mediterranean yogurt section and get their crazy dairy orgy on with some of that 67% butterfat mocha action, an affordable luxury at $3.99 a pint, instead of a stratospherically expensive pouch of cheese. But that is just me. I mean, someone like me. Totally not me. If it was, let’s say, $15 a shot instead of $45 I would happily squeeze some of that creamy business on my toast on a regular basis.
    Second, I found Raimondo’s comment very interesting, and informative. If they are, in fact, making this burrata shiznaz with the milk of crows, which assuredly is not easy to obtain, then I can see why it is so expensive. I recently had an argument with a friend of mine about whether it was appropriate to milk raccoons (in season) but never in our wildest dreams did we turn our thoughts to making cheese from lactating crows. Once you milk a buffalo, I guess a dangerous precedent is set. Third, that Fendi bag. Is it my imagination, or was that murse made from a week-old burrata, left unsold and cured into a second life as a satchel by an enterprising fromagerie? Regardless, it is a very fine gift and the Beast is rightly delighted with it.

  3. I made water come out my nose while laughing at this. It was San Pellegrino too. That’s double LOLZ right?
    I like the bag. I reckon you could also fit a sandwich, several gold pieces and a small pistol in there as well as the aforementioned objects. Probably a small hip flask too. What a lovely gift.

    • Thanks Paul. Yes to the gold and pistol fitting in the Fendi too–and those are especially appropriate objects considering we are watching the series Deadwood right now. Sorry about the San Pellegrino. At least it wasn’t tap water.

  4. What a good post. Thanks also for making me laugh out loud Mr. or Mrs. “Please phrase…” Oh burrata, yummmm. Do you remember when we had it at Pizzaiolo in Florence? Am I mistaken or did I by chance witness you and the Beast losing your burrata virginity? As for the Fendi bag (congrats on the score!), that photo of it with the Beast makes a mighty convincing argument in his favour I’m afraid.

    • You’re right Michelle–the Fendi looks pretty good on him. And it’s “Mr.” for the “Please phrase…” comment, otherwise known as our beloved Stephen G. from work. He ought to consider a job in editorial proper, rather than art.

  5. Whatever happened to the anonymity of the internet? A chance to be someone who I am not, to step outside the role society has slotted me into? I keep tryin’ to quit, to stop being Stephen G, but y’all just keep pulling me back in.

    • Sorry “I am so cheesed off right now.” I promise not to reveal your identity again. At least I didn’t call you by your nickname.

  6. You totally have the shopping horseshoe – you are now officially urban legend. A Fendi bag for a song? Unreal. That cheese sounds like an event. I can’t afford it, but as you described it so, so well, I feel like I’ve just eaten it!

    • I am very lucky indeed when it comes to shopping, but unlucky in who appropriates my finds. And to be honest, I’m on the fence with burrata. It’s a beautiful product, but far more tasty when somebody else does the buying.

  7. The damage is done. I will now have to come up with ever more inventive noms de plume to conceal my true identity. Who knows when I will strike next! And where!
    In the end, I can’t stay mad at you. It is high time I reconciled my virtual and meat-word personae and became the complete individual I know I can be.
    Until next time.

  8. That Fendi bag is one of your best finds! Foodie it’s true, burrata is made from cow’s milk- but buffalo milk is definitely fattier than cow’s milk. In Italy you eat burrata the same day it is made or not at all. As days pass the naturally occuring acids in it become more prominent. We’ re very unlucky in North America in that respect- we have to eat what’s available or nothing at all! Let the beast wear the Fendi! Maybe next time he can carry the burrata home in it? he can probably fit an ice pack in there too to keep it fresh. Actually that’s probably why Fendi made it; a pouch for a pouch.

  9. Canadians! (Please-form-your-question…)
    The point is, buy food to enjoy it. Spend more money on better food and eat less of it, cherish it, understand it! I pray that the price of exotic cheese never goes low enough to satisfy Canadian entitlement to culture.

  10. Hill, you are so right. Your path is the enlightened one, and healthier in so many ways. However, in the interest of making certain continental sensations more accessible to the average Canadian I am busy in my garret lab perfecting a faux burrata that offers the same party-in-the-mouth explosion of a burrata pressurized by its overseas flight but keeps forever. I can’t reveal too many details yet, but I can say the secret is…Velveeta™. Wrapped in Kraft singles. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does, and the colour really pops on the shelves.

  11. Wait, are you saying you hope fine comestibles remain out of the reach of the average Canadian wage slave? That is class protectionism of the worst order and I will not stand for it! When the revolution comes the streets will run white with the goop of your precious burrata, my friend.

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