My TV Dinner
Every Friday The Social's digital correspondent, Jessica Allen, answers two questions we face every day. What should I eat? And what should I watch? The answer for one is frequently found in the other.
What burrata and Jason Bourne have in common
Jessica Allen daydreams she could be Bourne, or at least a middle-aged CSIS agent in Italy, who eats lots of cheese
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The burrata bonanza has been going strong for close to a decade now. I don’t remember the first time I tried the pouch-like mozzarella stuffed with oozing cream and curd. But I do know it appeared in the form of a BLT on the cover of August 2007’s Bon Appétit. That same year, the Toronto Star’s Jennifer Bain wrote that it was “all the rage in New York and Los Angeles,” and was “quietly making inroads here.”
As far as I can tell, I first wrote about it in 2009, when Simon had a slight obsession with it and I had a beef with its price tag, close to $40 per sack, if I could even get my hands on one. Today, the Cheese Emporium gets in a regular shipment from Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot) every Tuesday. Come Sunday, they had two mini-burrata — about the size of tennis balls — left, which we happily picked up for $10 a piece. (Yes, we could’ve managed with one but that would be like trying to fairly split a poached egg: impossible.) We prepared them as we always do: with good tomatoes, olive oil, flakey Maldon salt, basil, and thick slices of grilled bread.
And, as always, there were moans of delight. But I’ve always wondered, with all the hoopla over exporting the precious cheese here ASAP, what are we missing out on when eating five-day-old cheese? My friend Giovanna, who was raised in Italy and is a chef in the city, once told me that burrata is eaten the same day it’s made in Puglia or not at all because it gets more acidic the older it gets.
Kind of like Jason Bourne. The latest instalment, which opens Friday, sees director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) reunited with Matt Damon. It opens with a now middle-aged Bourne getting by in Greece by going fisticuffs with much larger men for money. But then CIA agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks the CIA and uncovers top secret files that will help Bourne better understand his past. Throw in a young billionaire who is concerned with his users’ privacy on his social network “Deep Dream,” a not-yet-operational CIA surveillance program, “Iran Hand,” a grumpy pants CIA director (Tommy Lee Jones) — the kind of guy whose vernacular about freedom and America is on par with Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessup from A Few Good Men, an ambitious new CIA Cyber Ops specialist (Alicia Vikander) and a reckless asset (Vincent Cassel) who has a personal vendetta against Bourne, and you’ve got plenty enough to sit back and enjoy the thrilling ride.
Sure, there are some ham-fisted flashback scenes and plot devices, an epic-but-confusing car chase, and, at times, it felt like Bourne was like: Are you guys seriously after me again? I am literally not doing anything to bother you until you force me to use my skills. And that the CIA was like: Jason Bourne are you kidding me? Again?
But I don’t care because yes, I’ve a strong affinity for this fictional CIA assassin (and Matt Damon.) And yes, I do own the Bourne Blu-Ray box set. Because unlike superheroes, there’s the possibility, however slight, that I could have been Jason Bourne.
Or at least a middle-aged CSIS agent stationed in Italy who maxes out all her spy networks to score fresh burrata.