Perhaps love was in the air. I was on my honeymoon in Italy, after all. But when I took my first bite of just-made stracciatella, thin strands of fresh mozzarella soaked in heavy cream, I knew I had found another true love.
That first day, last year, we ate it with juicy summer tomatoes. The next day, we smeared it on bread and topped it with fig preserves. One night before bed, I ate what was left in the container with a spoon.
Back home, though, the good stuff was hard to find, and I couldn’t understand why. Fresh mozzarella is everywhere. So is burrata, a ball of fresh mozzarella stuffed with stracciatella. Even the imported product lacked the tang and richness I remembered.
Happily, that is changing, thanks to the cheesemakers Rynn and David Caputo, who I profiled today in the New York Times. The Caputos, who are in their 30s, spent years perfecting their pasta filata, or stretched-curd cheeses, before opening Caputo Brothers Creamery in Spring Grove, Pa., in 2011. While it would have been easy to sell the familiar mozzarella and its fashionable and very profitable cousin, burrata, Ms. Caputo is on a quest to crown stracciatella the new “it” cheese: one that provides the wow factor of burrata, but is far easier (and less expensive) to make.
I like to use stracciatella in any dish that calls for fresh mozzarella. The creaminess pairs beautifully with tomatoes. But it is as delicious with roasted peppers or grilled peaches and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Stracciatella also melts like a dream: perfect for pizza or a standout cheeseburger.