Burrata is like that friend-of-a-friend you're always running into. Suddenly everywhere.

When did the soft cheese show up? How does everyone seem to know it?

You squint, remembering cheeses past. There's brie in the distance. And chevre, in that '90s get-up.

You flip through Polaroids of tender taleggios and gritty manchegos. There's a snapshot of fresh mozzarella loping toward the kitchen. It's the hardworking sort that hustles lasagna onto the table, not the elegant type that frequents tastings.

But there — in that faded black-and-white. Doesn't that look like mozzarella, yet different, more glam? It's even got a topknot. That's burrata — fresh mozzarella outside, creamy curds inside. The cheese-making technique dates back nearly a century; the pale cheese it produces only lasts a day.

Burrata, Italian for buttered. Right! Now you remember you were introduced before, that time, at that thing.

You didn't catch the name then, but you'll make a point of remembering: burrata, the (sort of) new cheese in town.