The starting point for all these cheese is something called Cagliata or Curd which is sold frozen in 1 or 2 pound amounts at Saxelby Cheesemongers. It seems to me to be cheaper to by it at the store then on their website and if you buy more than a pound you get a 10% discount.
At the end of this post is a video explaining in step by step detail how to turn the curd into cheese. The first step is to break down the curds into small quarter size pieces and then in a big bowl add hot water (but not boiling)….
With a big flat wooden spoon or spatula you want to passively stretch the warmed curd. I thought it was very interesting that you don’t actually stretch it so much as let it stretch its self.
When the curd has become silky smooth you are ready to make your Mozzarella balls.
Next up is making Stracciatella, which reminded me of watching noodle makers in Chinatown. Only in this instance once you have a perfect noodle you pull it apart and place in it a big bowl of heavy cream! Yum!
This then forms the filling for the Burrata, which was the most interesting thing I learned during this demonstration. For years I have been buying “fresh” Burrata and loving the creamy center and the “fresh” mozzarella. Well it turns out the in Italy that Burrata is meant to be eaten within 4 hours of being made and the center is supposed to be Stracciatella and cream. What happens is that by the time you get Burrata here it can be several days old and if they tell you it’s from Italy it’s probably 5 days old, so during this time the Stracciatella melts and what you get is just cream – which is delicious but certainly a very different thing that it is when freshly made.
To make the Burrata you first make a ravioli type shape with the stretched Fiore di Latte, which you then cup into your hand and fill with the cream and Stracciatella mixture. Sealing it with claw fingers (forefinger and thumb pressing down and make a long seal along the top) and as will all these cheeses once they are made you place them into cool water.
Above what fresh real Burrata should look like. Finally thing once piece of information I think I most loved is the hot water bath that you warm your curds in, when you are finished making your cheese, can be used as a “soup” or as a delicious way to boil pasta in! Love that – fun, authentic, homemade cheese where everything has a use and nothing goes to waste.
For more information and videos check out Caputo Brothers Website.