Shopping List: Burrata

images/burrataThere was a time when message boards on sites like chowhound were peppered with "burrata sightings" and queries about where to find burrata in the United States, but the mother of all mozzarella cheeses has now become much more widely available here. Wrapped in cane leaves, burrata is a beggar’s purse comprised of a thin layer of fresh cow’s milk mozzarella cheese stuffed with a mixture of heavy cream and stracciatella, “little rags” of mozzarella curds. When it is cut open, the contents ooze out slowly . . . until they are swept up with a piece of crusty bread. For a very rich caprese salad, surround a fresh burrata with slices of the ripest, freshest tomatoes, torn basil, and olive oil.

Imported from Puglia, a pound-size serving is available at Agata & Valentina on New York’s Upper East Side and the Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Variations are also sold with porcini mushrooms or black truffles incorporated into the filling. Gioia Cheese Co., an Italian cheese producer in southern California, produces a domestic version.