Stracciatella (pronounced strahtch-ah- TELL-ah), like so many peasant foods, was born as a clever way to use leftovers, in this case the odd bits that remain after mozzarella is stretched. Cheesemakers in Puglia, where the cheese originates, used the excess (and even mozzarella unsold the day before), stretching them into long ropes. They then tore those into thin strands and bathed them in cream. (The Italian verb stracciare means “to tear apart,” which is why the name is also used for the classic Roman soup with shreds of egg, and vanilla gelato laced with shavings of chocolate.) Stracciatella was served just like that, or stuffed inside new balls of mozzarella and called burrata.
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