What Exactly is Stracciatella?

The word “stracciatella” can refer to three different Italian delicacies: a soup, a cheese, and a gelato flavor. While seemingly unrelated, the three share a common thread in their name, which translates to “little rags” in Italian. This shared name reflects the commonality of their textures, each featuring small, irregular pieces resembling torn fabric.

Stracciatella Soup: A Roman Classic

Originating in Rome centuries ago, stracciatella soup is a hearty and comforting dish traditionally prepared with leftover Christmas broth. The soup’s name stems from the beaten eggs added to the broth, which resemble small, torn pieces of fabric (straccetti) as they cook.

To prepare stracciatella soup, start by bringing meat broth to a boil. While the broth simmers, beat eggs with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Once the broth boils, slowly add the egg mixture while continuously whisking to create a smooth and creamy texture. Serve the soup warm with toasted bread crostini for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Stracciatella Cheese: A Pugliese Delight

Hailing from the Puglia region, stracciatella cheese boasts a rich history and unique production process. Created in the early 20th century, stracciatella cheese was born from the ingenuity of utilizing leftover scraps from mozzarella production. These scraps were combined with fresh cream, resulting in a creamy and flavorful cheese.

While modern stracciatella cheese is often made with cow’s milk, the Foggia province in Puglia is renowned for its exceptional buffalo milk stracciatella. This variant offers a richer and more complex flavor profile. Stracciatella cheese can be enjoyed on its own, paired with vegetables like peas or leeks, or incorporated into pasta dishes like orecchiette with broccoli rabe.

Stracciatella Gelato: A Sweet Treat from Lombardy

In 1961, the world of gelato was forever changed with the creation of stracciatella gelato at La Marianna in Bergamo, Italy. Owner Enrico Panattoni, inspired by the restaurant’s popular stracciatella alla romana dish, crafted a white cream gelato studded with shards of dark chocolate. The resulting flavor, reminiscent of the egg in stracciatella soup, quickly gained popularity and became a beloved Italian dessert.

Today, stracciatella gelato remains a classic flavor, enjoyed by gelato enthusiasts worldwide. The contrasting textures of the smooth, creamy gelato and the crunchy chocolate shards create a delightful sensory experience, making it a perfect treat for any occasion.


While the three variations of stracciatella may seem vastly different, they share a common thread in their name and their unique textures. Whether you’re enjoying a warm bowl of stracciatella soup, savoring the rich flavor of stracciatella cheese, or indulging in a scoop of stracciatella gelato, you’re experiencing a piece of Italian culinary history and tradition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does stracciatella mean?

Stracciatella translates to “little rags” in Italian.

What are the three types of stracciatella?

  • Stracciatella soup: A Roman soup made with egg and broth.
  • Stracciatella cheese: A soft cheese from the Puglia region.
  • Stracciatella gelato: A gelato flavor with chocolate flakes.

Where did stracciatella originate?

  • Stracciatella soup: Rome, Italy
  • Stracciatella cheese: Puglia region, Italy
  • Stracciatella gelato: Bergamo, Italy

What is the difference between stracciatella cheese and burrata?

Burrata is a type of stracciatella cheese wrapped in a mozzarella casing.

What are some ways to enjoy stracciatella?

  • Stracciatella soup: Served warm with toasted bread crostini.
  • Stracciatella cheese: Eaten on its own, paired with vegetables, or incorporated into pasta dishes.
  • Stracciatella gelato: Enjoyed as a refreshing dessert.

Where can I find stracciatella?

  • Stracciatella soup: Italian restaurants or specialty food stores.
  • Stracciatella cheese: Italian delis or online retailers.
  • Stracciatella gelato: Gelato shops or Italian restaurants.

Is stracciatella gluten-free?

  • Stracciatella soup: Yes, if made without pasta or bread.
  • Stracciatella cheese: Yes.
  • Stracciatella gelato: Yes, if made without cookies or other gluten-containing ingredients.

Is stracciatella vegetarian?

  • Stracciatella soup: Yes, if made without meat broth.
  • Stracciatella cheese: Yes.
  • Stracciatella gelato: Yes, if made without animal-derived ingredients.

Is stracciatella vegan?

  • Stracciatella soup: No, unless made with a vegan broth and egg substitute.
  • Stracciatella cheese: No, as it contains cow’s milk or buffalo milk.
  • Stracciatella gelato: Yes, if made with plant-based milk and other vegan ingredients.

What is stracciatella soup?

Many cultures consider egg drop soup, best known in its Chinese form, to be a staple food. One version of the term “stracciatella” describes a particular kind of Italian egg drop soup. Stracciatella soup is thought to have originated in the 19th century, but zanzarelli, a related Italian soup, dates back to the 15th century. Traditionally, frugal cooks made a hearty broth with leftovers from Christmas meals, thickening it with eggs and other readily available ingredients.

Stracciatella soup, rich and hearty, quickly made its way from Rome throughout the nation, absorbing local flavors as it went. It expanded even more over the course of generations as immigrants carried this reassuring taste of home to new places. Even now, it’s still a staple at holiday feasts for Christmas or Easter, where it’s frequently served as the first course or prepared with leftovers. It can be served whenever you need a warm, comforting dish to warm you up on a chilly evening or whenever you want a quick and nourishing meal because it is so simple to prepare with ingredients that are usually on hand.

How nutritious is stracciatella cheese?

This is a cheese that is literally sodden with heavy cream, so you wont be surprised to learn that, with 255 calories and 23 grams of fat per 100 grams of the stuff, it is not exactly a diet food. However, the fat in stracciatella comprises both saturated and unsaturated fats, with proportionately more of the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats, according to Mayo Clinic, can reduce levels of bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.

Youll also find whey in stracciatella cheese, a complete protein that includes all essential amino acids. Whey can help you build muscle and stay satiated, among other potential benefits (per Healthline). Like most cheese, stracciatella is relatively high in sodium, with 500 milligrams per 100 grams or 22% of your daily recommended allowance. Excess sodium can be detrimental to health by increasing blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since it is particularly rich in lactose, this cheese may also cause digestive upset in lactose-intolerant individuals.

However, stracciatella cheese also offers 260 mg of calcium, which is a healthy nutrient. Overall, stracciatella cheese is a reasonably healthful treat that ought to be savored—but only in moderation.

The Stracciatella Gelato – Ep.1


What is the flavor of stracciatella?

This elegant Italian version of chocolate-chip ice cream unites creamy vanilla gelato with luscious dark chocolate slivers. Those chocolate slivers are made by hand-spinning melted Ghirardelli chocolate into fresh vanilla gelato.

What does stracciatella mean in Italian?

Meaning little rags, stracciatella is the name for three different Italian foods: soup, cheese, and gelato – the only thing they have in common is their name.

What does stracciatella cheese taste like?

What does it taste like? A stracciatella cheese’s taste is similar to that of mozzarella cheese, mild and a little sour and acidic. Since it’s made with cream, stracciatella tastes incredibly rich. The texture is silky, buttery, and creamy.

What is Stracciatella cheese?

Stracciatella is a traditional Italian cheese made from pulled mozzarella curds mixed with fresh cream. This cheese is the inside of the burrata – if you’ve ever cut into a fresh burrata, the gooey interior that spilled out was stracciatella. As stracciatella is more liquid than solid, spooning it out of the container is usually the best method.

What does stracciatella mean?

Stracciatella can refer to a Roman soup, a cheese from Puglia, or a gelato flavor that originated in Lombardy. Meaning little rags, stracciatella is the name for three different Italian foods: soup, cheese, and gelato – the only thing they have in common is their name. Stracciatella soup originated centuries ago in Rome.

How stracciatella is made?

It was created at the beginning of the 20th century by mixing scraps leftover from mozzarella production with fresh cream. Burrata is stracciatella wrapped in a mozzarella casing. Today, stracciatella is made with cow’s milk, but Puglia’s province of Foggia is known for an excellent buffalo’s milk stracciatella.

Where does stracciatella come from?

While we make excellent stracciatella in Australia, the mother of all shredded cheese is stracciatella di bufala from Puglia in Italy. It came about as a way to use the leftover mozzarella and cream extracted from the whey.

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