If you’ve ever been to 25 Degrees, the fancy burger joint inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, then you know just how exciting it is to blanket your patty with something other than cheddar. I loved my prosciutto and burrata burger there, but I felt full (too full, I think) for hours afterward.
Still, from then on, I was inspired to be more adventurous with my hamburger, and for me, that meant taking risks with the cheese.
Burrata (sans Prosciutto), a pulled-curd cheese from Southern Italy, is basically the remnants of Mozzarella and cream held in a bag of curds. Sounds gross, I know, but it’s really divine. When you cut into the soft ball of burrata, an incredible creaminess spills forth, perfect for spooning onto your frying burger. Add some grilled onions on top and watch the burrata melt. This stuff’s like Mozzarella on steroids.
If you’re a blue cheese fan, I suggest you don’t mess with anything crumbly, like Maytag or Shropshire Blue. Instead, try St. Agur, a creamy cow’s milk blue from the Auvergne region of France. It’s fairly mild, so it won’t dominate the meat flavor, and its texture makes for easy application. If you want something more extreme, I recommend Papillon Roquefort, the classic sheep’s milk blue from France, famous for being Charlemaigne’s personal favorite. (Check out its legend of origin.)
My last recommendation is Cotswold, an English cheddar peppered with chives and onion. This cheese melts easily and will give your burger enough spice that the meat itself doesn’t need a thing. Cotswold, as you might’ve guessed, is also great on a grilled cheese.