Mozzarella cheese is a soft, delicious, fresh cheese originally from Italy. There seems to be some confusion among people and even some chefs about the kinds, derivations and even names of this creamy white cheese. Every time I read something about one of the mozzarella varieties I wonder how someone can complicate something so simple.
There are two types of mozzarella cheese. The one called mozzarella is made from cows milk. The one called Buffalo Mozzarella is made from water buffalo milk. Both are made all over the world. There is not a special buffalo that lives on an island in the Mediterranean or a little man in Umbria that is the only person allowed to touch the cheese. There is a special designation for buffalo mozzarella made in Campania called “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana”. But Italians like to do that. Certain regions are known for certain products. Outside of the geography and the proud Italians, there is nothing especially different in texture, process or the buffalo itself.
There is a further process called “burrata” which adds cream to cows milk mozzarella. This is a refinement, not a different animal. Burrata is also made all over the world. One of my favorites is actually made by a guy outside of Los Angeles. The below classic salad features burrata, but you can use regular mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella. I prefer the runny, creamy goodness of the burrata.
- 8 oz. Burrata Cheese
- 3-4 Ripe Tomatoes, sliced
- Big Handful Fresh Basil
- Really Good Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Chef’s Knife
- Arrange on individual plates or a big serving platter, alternating between tomato slice, small hunk of burrata and a basil leaf. Make it look nice.
- Drizzle liberally with really nice olive oil.
- Lightly splash a few drops of balsamic on each tomato.
- Salt and Pepper.