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Though burrata's name, which means "buttery" in Italian, accurately describes its smooth texture and inviting flavor, this cheese can nevertheless be petulant. It'll give you just 48 hours to enjoy its deliciousness, and if you don'tรขโ‚ฌโ€well, let's just say you had your chance.

What is this high-maintenance treat? Take a commonplace ball of mozzarella, and fill it with leftover curds and cream before you seal it up like a pouch. For the complete process, this piece from Serious Eats shows how burrata is made in Italy.

A ball of burrata is plumped like a water balloon and weighty in the hand. Its flavor is gentle yet complex, a sophisticated step above the virginal taste of fresh mozzarella. Unfortunately, it's got an early curfew: if you don't eat burrata within two days of the time it's made, it loses all its nuance and softness.

When you see burrata at your grocery store or cheesemonger, scrap that night's dinner plans and take a ball (or ten) home. Serve it simply with a supporting cast that'll let its creamy richness shine: sliced tomatoes, basil, and the best, grassy extra-virgin olive oil you can find.

Just remember to enjoy burrata as soon as you can; she's not the type to keep waiting

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