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Granted leave from the hubby’s ongoing chili investigations for the evening, I stopped by Balducci’s on Old Georgetown Road to snag (I hoped) a spinach empanada off the hot bar before returning home. Passing by the cheese zone, I glanced over and saw…

Burrata! Burrata! Not that yellowy stuff that tries to impersonate burrata, either, but the real deal: fresh, white, wrapped in its little bag, labeled in Italian. 

Knowing about its perishability and how few local stores carry it, I snatched up a tub, already picturing my easy dinner: creamy cheese dosed with olive oil, salt, and pepper with maybe a few slices of toasted baguette.

Home, I opened the tub and delicately scissored open the sack. Some of the juices dripped on my fingers, and I sucked them eagerly. 

That was my first indication something was wrong.  

The taste was faintly winey. Faintly…pukey. Nothing like the delicious stuff we had at Dino a while back, which tasted as though it had come from lovely magical smiling cows trailing moonlight from their hooves. I wanted to eat my way through Dean Gold’s burrata safe. (He probably doesn’t keep it in a safe, but I would. One guarded by ninjas.)

Hmm, I thought, well, maybe Balducci’s doesn’t source as well as Dean Gold does. 

I pulled the burrata apart and tasted a small piece of it. The vomity quality was unmistakable. Recalling the Post article that mentioned it should be eaten within a day or two, I finally did what I should have done to start with: Read the labeling, which clearly said Consumarsi entro il: 21/1/10.  (* See appendix.)

Which I can only assume is Italian for, Hey dumbass, Balducci’s may be a foodie’s grocery store, but that doesn’t mean that the employees will notice when producers use the European dating style.

* Appendix, document 1: the Balducci’s receipt.