Fresh burrata cheese (that is so soft it comes in a bowl!) accompanied by a wonderful Sicilian casserole of aubergine, pine nuts, capers, and olive oil.
I just returned from eight days in Rome (with overnights in Stockholm on either end), so my upcoming posts will be focused on my culinary finds while there. This is a little different from my usual posts, as I usually list tried and true favorites I’ve had more than once. The coming posts will itemize the things that I want to have again if I ever happen to be back in Rome or that I would recommend to friends and family.
It is a surprisingly long list. I was really happy with the quality of the food in Rome. As one of the most touristy cities on earth I had assumed that finding truly incredible meals would be a greater challenge, but my experience was the exact opposite. I was impressed by the sheer quantity of spectacular things to be found there–some thanks to fastidious research, others happy accidents.
Obikà, located off the Campo di Fiori, was a particularly good find; a world class mozzarella bar that pairs mozzarella di Bufala sourced from small farms on the plains of Campania with fresh, simple ingredients. The soft, fresh, mouth-watering cheeses that Obikà serves vary widely in flavor due in part to the unique composition of the soils nourishing the grasses that are local to each buffalo herd. I tried each and every one of them over the course of two visits and they were all delicious. But for me, the burrata was the clear winner.
The burrata I have tried in the US has always been soft and melting, but this burrata was so soft and melting it was actually served in a bowl! When it arrived at my table I was a little disappointed, as it looked more like a bowl of plain yoghurt than the big, round, soft cheese I was expecting.
As I took my first bite, any misgivings I had about the burrata’s appearance melted away as the soft, creamy cheese melted in my mouth. It may look like a dish of milk, but it comes out in strings and pieces that faintly resemble the texture of other fresh mozzarellas I have tasted except that it is about twelve thousand times more delicious–so fantastically fresh and delicious I could practically bathe in it. This is truly the burrata to end all burratas. I literally sat there and ate it with a spoon. I didn’t want any interference!
Just when I thought the meal couldn’t possibly get any better, I tasted a bite of the aubergine casserole we had selected to accompany the burrata. Wow. It was as good as the burrata itself – sweet, salty, spicy, tart, soft, and silky all at the same time, and smothered in Obikà’s flavorful housemade olive oil.
Obikà Mozzarella Bar has expanded to several cities throughout Italy as well as Dubai, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. I can’t imagine that the mozzarella di bufala tastes nearly as good in the locations outside Italy, so close to Campania. I have heard that this wonderful cheese only gets better as you get closer to the source. My dream is to one day visit a small town in Italy that is within spitting distance of a buffalo farm so I can try the mozzarella di Bufala there.
What is the most delicious cheese you have ever eaten?