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Burrata in Toronto

t
TOFoodFan Jul 10, 2008 03:26 PM

Hi there,

I'm wondering if anyone knows where and when (and, if possible, the cost) to get burrata in Toronto.

I bought a piece recently from All the Best Fine Foods at Summerhill and it was great, but it was also $27. I know Cheese Boutique is supposed to have it in on a fairly regular basis, but Etobicoke's a hike from downtown. I recently read that Longo's is supposed to carry burrata in limited quantities. Can anyone confirm this, and if so, which location(s) and when they typically get it in?

Finally, anyone know of any restaurants in the city serving burrata?

  1. tuqueboy Jul 10, 2008 04:10 PM

    hey there.
    might help folks point you in the right direction if you explain what it is...
    --tuqueboy

    1. c
      contadino Jul 10, 2008 04:11 PM

      Burrata is one of those things that peeps into Toronto very rarely (the real thing, I mean) and those who get to enjoy it are very fortunate. Since you are asking about it, you must have had the real thing. It's illegal in Toronto because of the scandalously high fat content (yum). The cheese boutique carries a legal version of it, however, it sucks. It is not worth the trip. They have amazing cheeses, Burrata is not one of them. I'm sorry to break it to you, but the only way that you are going to be able to enjoy Burrata in Toronto is if someone smuggles it in from the States (prob. NYC) or Italy. If any is smuggled in, it's usually a hot commodity. I suggest that you make friends with someone that works at an Italian restaurant and get them to keep you posted. If you end up getting your hands on some, it's going to be expensive no matter what. A high grade Bufala Mozzarella can also be a good substitute in desperate situations (and it's cheaper, but make sure that you buy it fresh).
      As for restaurants, Tutti Matti has had it in the past.
      Good Luck!

      5 Replies
      1. re: contadino
        sylvrgirl Jul 10, 2008 04:25 PM

        Very rarely is right!
        I've only had it at Michael Mina's in Vegas and while vacationing in Italy. It is so delicious and freshly made must be consumed within a day or so.

        1. re: contadino
          c
          Cat123 Jul 10, 2008 10:37 PM

          Sorry but how can it be illegal in Toronto due to fat content? That sounds a bit odd to me.

          1. re: Cat123
            p
            phisherking Jul 11, 2008 05:50 AM

            I agree Cat123, I've never heard of any laws regarding the fat content of food in Canada. Been to McDonalds lately? I bought some burrata at All The Best, yes it was expensive but it's a product that gets shipped in direct from Italy and has a very short life span... like 3 days, justifying the high price tag. I would imagine all the shops get deliveries on the same day, every other Friday. Next Friday being the next delivery. Call around to the shops and reserve some, it is an incredible piece of dairy, worth every penny!

          2. re: contadino
            m
            Mila Jul 11, 2008 06:38 AM

            Found this in a old Toronto Life article. Is this not the real stuff?

            Bon Mozz
            It's jetted in from Apulia the second and fourth Friday of each month and lasts just a couple days. But burrata—fresh mozzarella on the outside, curd and butter within—makes any dairy hound raptuous. 250 grams $19.99. Cheese Boutique, 45 Ripley Ave., 416-762-6292.

            1. re: contadino
              estufarian Jul 11, 2008 08:20 AM

              Comment on 'legality'.
              It's only legal to be imported if the milk/cream it's made from is pasteurized. The original version (Italian) was made from unpasteurized cream, but all 'legal' imports come from pasteurized versions. The fat content is irrelevant.
              The 'pasteurization' requirement is 'theoretically' imposed because of the risk of "listeria" a bacterium that can be fatal - at least according to the FDA (US) and presumably Canadian equivalents.
              That sounds like a noble aim - EXCEPT I can find no case of unpasteurized cheeses leading to death from listeria. All of these have actually come from pasteurized cheeses (don't have the details at hand right now, but I believe in Canada this resulted from a listeria (or possibly salmonella) outbreak in Epoisses cheese which in France is unpasteurized, but the culprit imported version was pasteurized).
              Of course, more people die each year from eggs/chicken salmonella - but we have to protect the local, farm product producers from these tasty less dangerous imports!
              Rant over!

            2. s
              stapler Jul 10, 2008 05:32 PM

              La Fromagerie on College at Ossington has it. Go there right away!

              1 Reply
              1. re: stapler
                pinstripeprincess Jul 11, 2008 11:12 AM

                do you know how frequently they have it and at what price? i've found their products to be on the higher end of the price scale though they're my only accessible downtown location for tasty pain perdu baguettes, which incidentally are actually well priced compared to the actual pain perdu location.

              2. h
                h2o Jul 10, 2008 06:49 PM

                I bought it 3 or 4 weeks ago at Alex Farms on Yonge north of Eglinton. They said they don't have it every week so you may want to call and ask. It was authentic, original tag in Italian attached, wrapped in green plastic leaves. Delicious fatty goodness. I had a "burrata" from Cheese Boutique recently and didn't realize until it was home that it was an Ontario version. We should have asked about the source since it was much cheaper, I assumed it was just going to be smaller. I'm all for local cheese but there was no comparison in taste, absolutely not even remotely worth the calories.

                1. Kagemusha Jul 11, 2008 06:02 AM

                  Try here:

                  http://internationalcheese.ca/store.html

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Kagemusha
                    Non Doctor Jul 11, 2008 07:58 AM

                    Afrim at The Cheese Boutique gave me some of the real deal a month or so ago and it rocked my world.

                    He only gets it in now and again though.

                    1. re: Non Doctor
                      b
                      Boodah Nov 9, 2009 02:31 PM

                      Old thread, I know, but I discovered yesterday The Cheese Boutique is carrying both imported ($40) and locally produced ($14). The locally produced is about double the portion size of the imported. I never noticed it before as they keep it on the "other side" of the cheese counter with the olives and meat.

                      1. re: Boodah
                        Full tummy Nov 12, 2009 11:13 PM

                        Thanks for the tip. I'd like to know from anyone who's tried both versions what they thought of the flavour/texture/quality of each against the price difference.

                        1. re: Full tummy
                          b
                          Boodah Nov 13, 2009 04:13 AM

                          I bought the locally produced. It was definitely worth it to me, the taste/texture were both pleasant. I'd buy it again.

                          1. re: Boodah
                            Full tummy Nov 13, 2009 04:20 AM

                            Thanks for that. I've never tried it, but would like to...

                            1. re: Full tummy
                              s
                              syrahc2 Nov 13, 2009 04:29 AM

                              Did you see pinstripeprincess' post at the end? In my experience the Canadian burrata is just a bit better than fresh mozzarella.

                              1. re: syrahc2
                                Full tummy Nov 13, 2009 02:12 PM

                                Thanks!

                  2. TorontoJo Jul 11, 2008 10:21 AM

                    The Drake Hotel has a daily flatbread that is always topped with burrata. You cut it open and spread all the creamy goodness onto the flatbread. Quite decadent.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      pinstripeprincess Jul 11, 2008 11:13 AM

                      i realize you said "daily flatbread" but is this actually available on a regular basis? i may have to go tonight just to try it out.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        TorontoJo Jul 11, 2008 12:30 PM

                        Yep, it's listed on their menu. Like a daily soup, they change the toppings each day, except for the burrata (which is actually listed on the menu).

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          TorontoJo Jul 11, 2008 12:52 PM

                          I just checked the menu online and it doesn't show the burrata. Hmm. I could be misremembering. But the two times I've been, the daily flatbread had the burrata on it.

                    2. nummanumma Jul 11, 2008 12:45 PM

                      You can buy it at Salumeria at Yonge and Eg (east side of Yonge, south of Eg- )- it only comes in every Friday.
                      Quince had some a while back- delish- they did a salad with green beans, tomato etc...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nummanumma
                        troutpoint Jul 16, 2008 06:07 PM

                        OMG!!! The burrata at Quince....My mouth is watering thinking about it!

                      2. m
                        morty999 Jul 14, 2008 07:52 AM

                        I live west of Toronto, but Whole Foods in Oakville was carrying Burrata for awhile. Might try the Yorkville location. It was around $20 for a ball of Burrata that came wrapped in a banana leaf and was stored in their cheese vault. Good luck...it certainly is wonderful stuff!

                        1. t
                          TOFoodFan Jul 15, 2008 09:26 AM

                          Thanks for the help, everyone. I was out of town for a couple days and came back to all these tips.

                          I first had burrata a month or two ago in NYC (where you apparently can't swing a rat without being able to find the stuff), and have since realized how challenging it is to find here in Toronto. So, these leads will come in handy.

                          1. chefhound Nov 9, 2009 04:03 PM

                            Several of the St. Lawrence Market vendors carry it. Alex Farms has it but it goes fast. I also got some burrata from Chris Cheesemongers. It was expensive though I don't remember how much. The stuff they get comes from Italy.

                            -----
                            St. Lawrence Market
                            92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

                            Alex Farm
                            1965 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                            1. jlunar Nov 12, 2009 09:59 AM

                              Just saw a tweet come in:
                              @Cheese_Boutique RT @CompendiumDaily: After months of searching... fresh Italian Buratta arrived this morning at Cheese Boutique.

                              So... there you are!

                              ---
                              http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

                              -----
                              Cheese Boutique
                              45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                              1. miketoronto Nov 12, 2009 11:06 AM

                                I just tried burrata for the first time last week, and it was in Midtown. Believe it or not, Terroni has "Canadian Made" burrata. $25 for a big piece.

                                I'd love some descriptions on what a classic burrata texture should be like. The outer 1/2" was traditional mozzarella like, and the inside was a cottage cheesy chunky fatty creamy kind of texture. It was nice, but not worth the $25 in my mind and not the epic burrata that I had built up in my mind.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: miketoronto
                                  pinstripeprincess Nov 12, 2009 11:46 AM

                                  i had my doubts about burrata after only having the canadian versions at restaurants.. often it resembled regular mozz but was softer and quite bland.

                                  one day i wandered over to alex farms in slm and they claimed to have the real stuff. it was wrapped in a plastic leaf no less but stuff from italy either way. it was $35 for the large ball and while i'm not entirely sure it was worth that (eating it in one sitting is a bit much and it obviously doesn't keep well after you break it open) it really did match up to my expectations of what burrata should have been. it had this outer shell that was like regular mozz but the interior was soft and flowed beautifully... no curds and no chunking (except from the exterior) though some minor roping. it was creamy, it was naturally sweet and it was pure clean dairy decadence. i saved the exterior shell for toasting on bread the next day and that was even fabulous. this was made into a meal for 3 with about 1/3 left over while only nibbling on a small charcuterie plate alongside.

                                  as much as i enjoyed it... i would rather reach for a small ripe round of coutance because it is cheaper, smaller, more available and when i nibble it between my fingers to get the buttery flavour and texture, i also get a little bit of tang which i think makes it just complex enough.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                    t
                                    TOFoodFan Nov 17, 2009 08:17 AM

                                    From what I've tasted, the difference between Canadian-made and Italian-imported burrata is night and day. As pinstripeprincess says, good Italian burrata will be soft, slightly sweet, creamy and with a milky, though not necessarily chunky middle. While I've had a couple of good domestic versions, the majority I've had so far range from pretty good, to not great at all, the latter too often having a 'slightly spoiled cream' flavour. Given the difference in quality, I'd much rather pay $30-40 for the real thing and share it with a couple of lucky friends, than pay $15 for a local product that just isn't going to cut it.

                                2. ikapai Nov 16, 2009 07:49 AM

                                  We've gotten some from Alex Farm Products in St Lawrence in the past. Went by this past Saturday and they had some in. They usually post a sign saying they have some. My only other suggestion would be to call to see if they can tell you when to get it in. Pretty sure the cost was just under $30 with tax.

                                  -----
                                  Alex Farm
                                  1965 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                                  Alex Farm Products
                                  2594 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                                  1. s
                                    syrahc2 Mar 3, 2010 06:49 AM

                                    Buca had burrata flown in from Italy the last time I was there! Decadent!

                                    1. n
                                      NorthernExposure Apr 9, 2010 07:49 PM

                                      I appreciate the efforts others have made trying to find burrata but the truth is that what is available here doesn't compare to the real thing.

                                      Burrata is meant to be eaten the day it is made. Each day that passes the quality diminishes. I'm lucky that my wife's family comes from a town a stone's throw from Puglia in Italy and on visits there I have driven to towns where it is made each morning from unpasteurized milk. The outer shell is thin and delicate and tied gently into a pouch, and when you cut it open, silken pieces of cheese emerge in a bath of rich cream.

                                      It is nothing short of decadent.

                                      The burrata in Toronto that comes from Italy is several days old and made from pasteurized milk. There is nothing wrong with it -- but it bears little resemblance to the real thing.

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