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Burrata Summer Ingredient

We asked the Executive Chef at The Runnymede on Thames, David Coutts, to reveal his favourite ingredient of the summer. Embodying rich Italian traditions and summery food trends, here’s all you need to know about burrata.

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Burrata is a famously indulgent Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Originating in the region of Apulia in southern Italy by the Adriatic Sea, burrata was first made on a farm in Andria in around 1920. Traditionally, it’s created from a shell of mozzarella, filled with buffalo milk stracciatella cheese and cream. Nowadays it’s sometimes made with fresh cow’s milk too. However, the hallmark characteristic of burrata comes when you cut into it, allowing the decadent creaminess of the cheese’s ingredients spill out.

This Italian cheese was originally known as an artisanal regional cheese for a number of decades, as it wasn’t known of outside Apulia at all. Some say it was only ever invented to use up scraps of leftover mozzarella. Burrata also wasn’t traditionally pasteurised, but wrapped up in asphodel leaves sourced from a native plant in Apulia. When the leaves were still vibrant and green, the burrata was viewed as being good to eat. When the leaves dried up, this was the indication the burrata was no longer fresh.

After remaining a regional secret for some time, more Italian factories started producing the cheese from the 1950s, and burrata started to get some international attention from the 1970s. In recent years, the burrata trend has well and truly taken off. In the last five years, its use in salads has increased by 150% (Datassential). There are now artisanal burrata producers across the world who stay true to the cheese’s traditions, while burrata is now at the heart of foodie experiences, from burrata tastings to at-home burrata-making kits.

And of course, chefs are finding ever-inventive ways to use burrata on their menus. This summer, it’s our Executive Chef’s favourite food.

“Burrata is so creamy and fresh. I find summer to be a fantastic excuse to eat it along with some of my other seasonal favourites. In particular, pairing burrata with heirloom tomatoes, smoky sunblush tomatoes, basil and Leonardi aged balsamic vinegar brings together a plate of vibrant summertime flavours. For a little bit of a difference, we dress it with Duchess extra virgin rapeseed oil from Hertfordshire. Refreshing, seasonal and colourful – it matches the summer weather perfectly!”

– David Coutts, Executive Chef at The Runnymede on Thames

Come and join us in The Lock Bar and Kitchen this summer to try our starter of burrata, heirloom and smoky tomatoes with aged balsamic. With a nod to regional Italian traditions, foodie trends and complementing the refreshing flavours of summer, burrata is our all-singing, all-dancing ingredient of the season.

Book your Summer Meal at The Runnymede on Thames

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