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A Better Burrata

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With its marvelously mild, milky taste, the handmade southern Italian cheese ball known as burrata is winning gourmet hearts at The Beverly Hills Cheese Shop. The name invokes the unique buttery texture of the cheese's center, fresh mozzarella infused with plenty of heavy cream. The outside of this decadent ball is then wrapped in a skin made from stretched sheets of mozzarella. This gives the exterior a soft, springy texture while the interior melts in your mouth. Although you can find burrata imported from Italy (where it is known as an Apulian specialty) at other cheese shops around the country, at the Beverly Hills shop it comes from a local artisanal cheesemaker, which results in a fresher, sweeter product. Serve it sliced with ripe tomatoes, coarse sea salt, and basil for a classic antipasto, or melt it onto crostini and watch the cream bubble into rich little pools. You just may have to have two. Price: $4 apiece, plus overnight shipping (it's so fresh, you'll need to eat it right away). At 419 N. Beverly Dr.; 800-547-1515, 310-278-2855.

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