Ever find a food so delicious it inspired a whole new recipe? That happened last weekend when a group of bloggers met for lunch and a chocolate & cheese tour at Tony Caputo’s Deli in downtown Salt Lake. During this trip, I fell in love with a cheese called Burrata. It’s a wonderful combo of mozzarella and cream that is creamy and delicious. I just had to buy some. It was the perfect cheese for these stuffed shells. Caputo’s is a family owned deli with four locations here in Utah. They have a deli and lots of fine specialty foods, and a lot of chocolate. For the chocolate tour, we sampled several chocolates from Solstice Chocolates and I was amazed at the flavors. I’m a big dark chocolate fan and the three we tried were from all around the globe and had some fantastic flavor. Matt Caputo, the CEO, said that the process was the same in making the bar, but since the beans were grown in different areas, the flavors varied from citrus to more of an earthy flavor to one more nutty. You can really tell too! I will say that the chocolate I tasted at Caputo’s is more of an “adult” chocolate then what’s in the chain grocery stores. I can’t see my 6 year old grandson devouring it.
Then it was off to the cheese cave. Actually, they have two. Both are for aging cheese wheels and apparently, they are the only one’s in Utah. I’m not sure if Caputo’s other locations have a cave, so I’m going to have to take a field trip to find out.
The first cheese we tried was Burrata. Never heard of it? Neither had I, however I’m sure glad I have now. If you like creamy cheeses and mozzarella, this one is for you. Their website describes it as “tiny rice size curd bits painstaking stretched by hand, soaked in cream and then stuffed into a paper thin sack of fresh mozzarella.” They make it there and it’s nothing but fresh curd and grey sea salt. You can easily scoop this out and spread it on bread, top it with some chopped roma tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic and oil. Or just eat it out of the spoon like I did. But I did make an amazing salmon stuffed shells recipe with it and it’s toward the end of the post. Read on, you’ll be glad you did.
We then tasted two cheddars; one aged 6 months and one aged 1 year. There is quite a difference in taste and texture between the two. I’m not sure which I liked best. The final cheese is one of their “stinky cheeses” but I didn’t find it as stinky as some. In fact, it was quite smooth and creamy. I can’t remember the name, but I’ll ask the next time I go in and update this post.
Caputo’s isn’t all chocolate and cheese. The deli has lots of pasta, sauce, olive oils, mustards and more. If you’re in Utah, come check it out. If you’re not from Utah, you can shop online. The deli also offers classes on chocolate, cheese, cooking, spirits and more. I’m certainly going to attend some of these so I can learn more.
Not to be all food-snobby, but as I have gotten older, I’ve appreciated the finer foods more and the grocery store processed foods less. I like shopping at places like Caputo’s since they have foods that appeal to my adult palette. Caputo’s introduced me to many new foods and has enhanced my culinary adventures.
To highlight my new love of Burrata, I decided to make salmon stuffed shells. I thought the cheese would compliment the flavor of the salmon and I also added some fresh spinach and garlic. For the sauce, a nice light marinara would be perfect.