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Everything's Better with Butter

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Fork & Bottle: The Ultimate Butter Page

The site has a list and taste impressions of what are arguably some of the best butters in the world. Many are hard to find in some areas, others can be purchased at many places, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Your cooking deserves great butter. Try one or two and see what you think.
post #2 of 26
Been thinking about butter lately. I remember being blown away by the butter I tasted visiting England and France, but didn't like the butters we came across in greece or italy. They were table butters and I don't know the brands. Here I've basically been getting Land o Lakes or Breakstones and I'm ready for a buttery butter. Time to hit Trader Joe's or Wholefoods.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Trader Joe's here carries Kerry Gold, IMO a nice step up from Land O'Lakes and certainly Breakstone. Plugra is made by the same people who make Breakstone. TJ's also carries the Devon cream butter from England. Maybe your TJ's carries them as well.

Edit: Also, if you can find it, you might want to try Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter. I was surprised at how good it is.
post #4 of 26
I can understand why you didn;t like italian butter. I find more often than not it smells very slightly rancid, and other times tastes slightly of cheese - pecorino cheese, no less - very unpleasant.
It's not that good butters don;t exist, they just are rare.
Added to this problem is that italian butter is unsalted. I know, i know, everyone says unsalted is better, bla bla bla, but i find it tasteless - a really good quality unsalted butter has a very nice smell, but to make it really pleasant it needs salt for my taste. If i put it on my toast in the morning, i have to put salt on it to actually enjoy it.
I always used to get Lurpak in the boston area, and then found it here - for many years it was the only salted butter you could find, and is pretty good. I now get a french brand of salted butter, President. It doesn;t say where you live but you might be able to find lurpak. They had it even in my home town, not a particularly upscale place.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Salted and unsalted butters have their place. There are some exceptional salted French butters, and a couple-three butters made here in the San Francisco area that are also quite good. Several producers are adding quality sea salt to their butter - very nice.
post #6 of 26
Nobody says salted butter is not good. I wouldn't use any other kind of butter on my cinammon raisin bagel!

But I find it hard to cook with since I can't control the salt as well and end up under or over salting. Plus it has no place in baking - salt will be added if needed.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 26
No, you'd be surprised, plenty of people say that. I consider it a snobbery - you know, european butter is unsalted, so it must be better, that sort of thing. I do read it all the time. There is a very pedantic kind of cookbook, a "holier than thou" kind of cookbook, that says salted butter is inferior. (The paula peck kind of attitude).

I don;t have a problem with that since i always salt by taste, and tend to undersalt since i prefer what would be too much salt for other people, and i add at the table. So it makes no difference, i add the salt that tastes right.
to my taste there is not a sweet in the world where some salt is not needed. I always can taste the flatness of an unsalted sweet. But i admit i'm at one extreme of the taste spectrum. That said, however, even people who don;t use much salt all seem to love my baked goods - cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, pies, etc - and i always use salted butter and don;t reduce it in the recipe either. I can;t believe that in a stick of butter there is all that much salt to make a difference. It certainly doesn;t make a difference to ME!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 26
......I consider it a snobbery -

I think you should rethink that one.

I find the taste of unsalted butter fresher and cleaner than salted - especially for out of hand eating such as on breads / biscuits.

and I've had more than one (dozen, even) dinner guests who commented "gosh what is this spread? it's wonderful!" - plain old unsalted butter.

it sure as heck isn't snobbery - it is a difference in taste and personal opinion - and if you see anything on this board, you should see everyone has a difference batch of those.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Not to dismiss your experience or opinion, however, I am curious what salted butters you've tried.
post #10 of 26
...brands of salted butter

just the usual assortment of national a store brands. nothing special. no $50/ounce sea salt stuff.

it's like ice cream. you walk in. your choice is chocolate or vanilla.

I choose unsalted because that's what I like. and I are not a food snob.
silly in some ways - because when I cook with butter, I add salt.

and in western Europe, both salted and sweet butter are readily available. the preponderance of people there buy sweet; here salted. so what. they also use a comma where we use a period in numeric sums; big deal.

actually, based on the ravings of salt fanatics, I'm currently working on finding / try some of the more exotic salts - just out of curiosity, but you can take it to the bank that I don't believe in the Emperor's New Clothes unless I see 'um.
post #11 of 26
Oh come on guys why must we be in either camp! You don't use just one kind of oil do you? You don't use only one kind of pepper. There is a place for salted and unsalted butters!

I haven't met a butter that I didn't want slathered all over my food.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 26
..........why must we be in either camp!

indeed. I agree entirely with the sentiment.

I would add, it's really tricky getting the salt out of salted butter.
I would add, it's really easy to add salt to sweet butter.

if one does not care for th taste / use of sweet butter, heh - use salted. not gonna unmake my day.

but the theory that unsalted butter is for snobs jest don't git it, in my book.
I'd prefer not to get wound up about cookbook authors / food writers.
reality is reality; I cook; I eat; I do not write; my reporting is based on first hand experience, not a collage of 'prior research'
post #13 of 26
There's certainly a place for both salted and unsalted - many recipes call for unsalted. I have both in the fridge and enjoy unsalted on my toast once in awhile. Can't we all just get along - we'd be butter off!


Sorry,

Willie
post #14 of 26
Dillbert, i certainly didn;t mean that people who LIKE or PREFER unsalted butter are snobs. (I really don;t see how you could interpret what i said that way.)

Far be it for me to declare anything on personal taste - i have some bizarre tastes indeed, (like i prefer american filter coffee over espresso! heaven forfend!), but i was referring to those who say unsalted is the ONLY good butter to use. THAT is a snobbery. That's pretentious. That's pedantic. That assumes that personal taste is irrelevant, and that some standard must be upheld, because it follows Someone's taste - Someone being Someone who knows more than anyone. And i have also picked up the implication (oh yes, in one or more of my many many cookbooks), that unsalted butter is european and therefore preferable. Not in so many words, but it was implied.

(By the way, i don;t know about france and germany, but in italy it is very hard to find salted butter, and teh only salted butter i have ever found is from denmark (Lurpak) or from France (President). Maybe they do make it here, but since i;ve been looking for it for years, i can say I have NEVER found italian salted butter. Maybe it exists, but they're hiding it somewhere!)

I can understand if you like sweet butter - i can get it, i know the taste you refer to - I just find it bland and boring. Maybe i'm not subtle enough, certainly a possibility. But I like salt so much i could be a goat, so maybe that's why i don;t like it. But everyone should use whatever butter they like. Not use one because someone says it's "better".
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #15 of 26
Hmmm, time for a thread devoted to salt. See you there.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #16 of 26
Twice that I lost my post!:mad::mad:

(very short version)

Shel, thanks for the website.


Butter, I have tried some of the brands that were in the test and liked them.

dan
post #17 of 26
siduri -

as you say, there's just no accounting for taste! I've fixed stuff - one kid thought it was the best thing they ever ate and another kid turned up their nose at it . . .

altho I've spend a lot of time in Italy (Piedmont area especially) I've not had to shop&cook there - certainly the local market may see no demand hence they don't carry it.

years back in USA the only sweet butter I could find was Land'o'Lakes - and after a couple purchases where the stuff was rancid right off the shelf, I gave up. it's much more prevalent now.
post #18 of 26
Yeah, the land-o-lakes is awful, but i suspect italian butter so often tastes a little (or, sadly, a lot) rancid is that people are less discerning about butter here, at least in rome (which is well into the oil area- a typical snack for kids after school was bread with oil on it) than they are of oil. I've been at peoples' houses and they;ve offered me butter, say for breakfast, and it was clearly rancid, but they ate it apparently without noticing!
But also because i believe salt preserves it somewhat, so it goes bad slower. That unsalted butter in the states should be rancid is not surprising, since it's not used much so it stands in the fridge longer, but that unsalted butter here should be rancid is probably for other reasons.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #19 of 26
I've never had a problem with land o lakes going rancid and I've had it in the fridge for over a month or two at a time. I don't think I've ever smelled rancid butter - what does it smell like?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #20 of 26
Rancid :D;)

Salted and unsalted butters are readily available here in the UK - local stuff and also lots of French, German and the very old standby Lurpak.

I have salted and unsalted in my fridge at all times. Some is a local butter (made by a local farm and not commerically available) but I also have unsalted President butter from France and a Normandy butter which has little grains of salt in it. My absolute favourite on hot buttered toast or on crumpets!
post #21 of 26
oooh, little grains of salt! what's it called? next time i'm there i'll look for it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
M'dear - it is in the list I posted d'isigny The French produce numerous brands of butter with salt crystals - there are three or four in the posted list, and that is far from the total.
post #23 of 26
No it's not on your list.

I am talking about Bridel butter, which is similar but not the same as D'Isigny
Compare Bridel - Butter Prices in Ocado | mySupermarket
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi, that's one I'm not familiar with. Thanks for the pointer. Looks like it's well regarded based on some of the tasting tests I read.

The French do have a lot of very good salted butters, many with sea salt and which contain the large crystals that siduri likes
post #25 of 26
I love French butters - it's always a treat to go there, by a baton at a boulangerie and smother with Normandy butter. Nothing else, that's a treat on its own.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Indeed! There are some very good French (and other) butters available here, as well as some great local butters, and there are a few great bakeries that produce some wonderful baguettes. It's indeed a treat to do as you do with a warm loaf and a generous helping of great butter - ahhh!

Sitting at the big table at La Farine enjoying a fresh baguette or brioche with a cup of rich coffee and conversation with the other patrons is a grand pleasure.
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