Young and Hungry

Balducci’s Apparently Specializes in Barfalo Mozz

burrata expiration date

So I took the pukey-tasting burrata back to Balducci’s yesterday morning and talked to a nice woman at the customer service counter. When I showed her the date on the label, she frowned and pointed out that there was another label on the tub, one stamped by Balducci’s itself. It said 2/6/2010.

She went back and had a brief consultation with the staff at the cheese counter. When she returned, she said the 21/1/10 date “was just the date when they [“they,” I guess, meaning the Italian cheesemakers?] put it in.” The 2/6 sell-by date was accurate, she said. Still, she added, Balducci's would be happy to refund my money anyway.

I'm not sure what the "put it in" date means. But Balducci’s cheese people apparently think it’s fine for burrata to be sold by 2/6, a full 17 days after the cheesemaker, at the very least, packaged it. (Technically, I should note, the Italian description on the tub said it should be consumed by 1/21/10.)

I said, “It tasted very bad. Sour.” (I did not make any vomit comparisons, but really, that's what the taste reminded me of. Anyone who's accidentally sipped sour milk knows what I'm talking about.)

Then I tried to explain the nature of burrata and pointed out there were other, similarly dated tubs on the shelf. There would likely be other complaints unless they pulled them, but by that point, she was busy pushing the necessary refund forms toward me.

Caveat emptor: Read the small print or end up with barfalo mozz.

  • Joshua

    Or just don't buy it at Balducci's. I've been there and it's a wonderful place to tourist around, looking at the crazy imported stuff on the shelves. It's not a store for serious foods, though - it's a fashion boutique for people who like to spend as much on food as they do on shoes and suits. It's a great place if you want to say 'I'm having grass-fed free-range kobe filet mignon that's been dry-aged in a cave below a monastery in Wales', less so if you want to actually, you know, cook yourself a good steak. There is a stunning lack of items that a real cook would need to cook with. Whole Foods at least carries staples - flour and butter and spices - that non-lawyers can afford.

    Balducci's sells Burrata not because they love Burrata, but because Burrata sells for eighteen bucks a pound and it shows up in lovingly focused photos in Saveur.

  • Lou

    The Italian Store in Arlington usually has it too!