Taking a Trip Down Burrata Lane
When I first heard about the Gioia Cheese Factory, I promised myself I would visit. I fantasized about doing an one-two punch by checking out Skyscraper Brewing, the beer factory in El Monte and then getting some burrata. Or maybe the other way around. Burrata and Beer! However, Gioia is only open weekdays and the tours for Skyscraper are on Saturdays. Damnit! But….the taproom at Skyscraper is open on Thursdays and Fridays so stay tuned, I still might do Burrata & Beer Minty event.
Last Friday, we met up at Uraguay Cafe which turned out to be closed and ate a local pho shop before finding our way to Gioia. I had not expected it to look like a…factory. Well, maybe I thought it’d be more touristy. Like smiling workers waving as we toured the place. No, you walk in, are shown a sheet and order. We did wheedle for a look-see and were waved to a window. Through the heavy plastic curtains, we could see workers washing and cleaning up. Aw, no burrata making? They did at least wave to us. If you do want to see them making cheese, get there well before 2 p.m. They’re open at 8 a.m. but had been making cheese since dawn. When we got there, trucks were off making their deliveries.
Gioia supplies over 300 restaurants including Mozza and Drago. They do sell to Bristol Farms (where you can buy a pound for around $10). We bought a pound for $6! And there are so many interesting products to buy including many sizes of mozarella.
They had a sign from Bristol Farms explaining how to eat burrata. They recommended it with heirloom tomatoes and basil which would be a variation of the classic caprese. Oh, and don’t forget that glass of Montepulciano!
I took my new baby (one pound of burrata) home and immediately sliced up some strawberries to go with my burrata. I then drizzled a bit of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and cracked some fresh pepper on top. Perfecto!
Since the burrata is so fresh, it’s recommended you consume it within 5 days. I’ve now started eating burrata on everything. Today I made a Minty-ized Joe’s Special. Normally made with spinach and parm, I decided to use chard and burrata.
The next time I have a dinner party, I know where to buy my mozarella and burrata.
1605 Potrero Ave
South El Monte, CA 91733