Cheese is a large part of Italian cooking. Many dishes call for using fresh cheese, while others require aged cheese. One of the cheeses you may come across in Italian cuisine is burrata. Burrata is a unique cheese in its presentation and delivery, and can sometimes be hard to find. As such, you may need to find a substitute. If you’re looking for something to take the place of burrata in a recipe, keep reading. We’re covering all aspects of burrata, and how you can replace it in your cooking!
Burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese, though sometimes buffalo milk is used instead. It is a unique cheese in the fact that the exterior is a solid cheese, while the inside is a soft, creamy cheese. This cheese comes from Apulia in Italy, most commonly.
Something interesting about the cheese is its origins. Burrata cheese is fairly modern, being made for the first time in the 1950s. This is noteworthy, as many of the other cheeses that are comparable to burrata are much older, having been around since the beginning of some cultures.
Burrata can be used in a number of different dishes. Most commonly, it’s used alongside side dishes. The shell of the cheese is broken, and the soft, creamy cheese inside is sprinkled with olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Then, food can be dipped in the soft cheese.
Something unique to burrata is its serving conditions. This cheese is meant to be served at room temperature. This ensures that the inner, creamy cheese has the desired texture. Much of the time, it also needs to be eaten fresh. It is not recommended to try and preserve the cheese.
Burrata is traditionally used in caprese, as it can be served at room temperature alongside the cold ingredients. Additionally, it is often used on pizzas. When serving with pizza, it is best to place the burrata on the pizza as it leaves the oven. This helps the burrata melt over the pizza in the best way.
This cheese is one of the most talked about when you look it up. Many people talk about the flavor being incredible, with none others comparing. It’s a rich cheese that’s almost sweet in a way. It has little bits of tang to it, as you expect a milky cheese to have, as well. If you’ve never had burrata and you love cheese, you really should try it.
With that being said, it may not seem like burrata can be substituted. However, there are some great substitutes available that are similar to burrata.
Burrata is unlike other cheeses, since it is essentially two cheeses. To make burrata, artisans have to find cheese that’s the right consistency and texture. This cheese is made by curdling milk, then dropping curds in to heat them. It is then woven by hand until pliable enough to be stuffed with softer cheese and cream. It is then stitched together to create a seal. This is what makes burrata special. There aren’t any other cheeses similar to it in terms of construction.
If you’re looking for a substitute to burrata cheese, there are some options available. Check out the substitutes for burrata cheese below!
Mozzarella is one of the best substitutes for burrata cheese available. Both cheeses are similarly made from cow’s milk, and their flavors are very close to one another. However, mozzarella is more adaptable than burrata cheese is, for the most part.
This cheese is used in both hot and cold applications. There are no rules when it comes to using mozzarella. It can be baked or fried, or eaten fresh. That might be one of the rules, though. Mozzarella being used as a burrata substitute needs to be fresh mozzarella. If bagged mozzarella is used in place of burrata, it won’t have the same desirable taste or consistency.
The biggest difference between burrata and mozzarella is the density of the cheese. Mozzarella is more firm, and almost springy in texture. Burrata does not bounce back the same way that mozzarella does due to its soft center. This makes mozzarella ideal when looking for a firm cheese, like for caprese or topping a pizza.
Cashew cheese is a newer, vegan-friendly product that can be used in place of burrata cheese in most applications. Cashew cheese tends to stay soft, like its dairy counterpart. One thing to note, though, is that a direct cashew cheese replacement for burrata will likely need to be made at home. There are plenty of recipes available for this, and the overall process is time consuming, but not difficult.
One of the reasons that cashew cheese is the best vegan alternative to burrata cheese is the tang that it can develop. As cashew cheese ages, it can get the cheese “funk” or tang that burrata is known for. This makes it an excellent option for substitution where burrata is needed.
If you’re using burrata to top deliciously toasted crostinis, then think about using cream cheese instead. Cream cheese has the desirable, creamy consistency that burrata brings to the table, making it ideal for spreading. Additionally, cream cheese can be used as a dip, much like burrata, especially when at room temperature.
Just like burrata, using cream cheese in similar applications requires it to be at room temperature. Consider pulling cream cheese out at least half an hour before serving it. This lets it reach the right temperature to make it soft and pliable.
If the tang that burrata provides is what you’re after, then feta is the answer. Like burrata, feta can be used as a topping for many foods, or it can be added to fruits to create a contrast in flavors. Feta tends to have more of the tang that burrata has compared to some of the other substitutes on this list. However, that’s about the only similarity, making it great for flavor seekers alone.
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