Skip to main content

Butter 101- Tasting Time

As promised, here is a shopping list for you to go out a try some of these amazing butters for yourself. I have mentioned some favorites where I have either used or tasted the butters listed. However, I have not tasted them all, so any feedback would be great.



Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather a sampling of the butters I personally enjoy or on which I have heard very positive feedback.


So, am I suggesting you go out and buy 10 different kinds of butter, grab a spoon and start tasting? Not exactly. 


I personally would recommend a more formal tasting/experiment, using a neutral bread, say a baguette. Maybe invite over some friends. Cut it into thin slices and then after the butters have come up to a soft texture and are not cold, do a taste test and see what you like and don't like. Then use the rest to either bake or cook and you will have your favorite butter.


France
Buerre de Baratte by Celles Sur Belle- Matured in barrel shaped drums for 24 hours, this is a top French butter. The name baratte or "to churn" refers to the process of making this butter, which is completely churned rather than done with the centrifuge method. It comes in a little wooden basket in 1 lb. size. Very impressive.


As with many French butters, it has it's own AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controllee'), which means that this specific region is given a special appellation or designation due to the fact that this region creates products which are unique and only products from this region can have this specific appellation. You find a similar system in place for wines, cheese and other agricultural products. This started as  French institution, but is now moving to other countries, primarily Italy and Spain.

Buerre Echine- Known as one of the best butters in France. Due to this fact, 85% of the production is kept in France. Normally you can order it, but watch the freshness. AOC


La Baratte des Gourmets- The cream is matured for 18 hours and then they produce this amazing butter. Just amazing on fresh baked bread. AOC


Buerre D'Isigny- Produced since the 16th Century, this is a top butter and known for it's creaminess and hazelnut flavor. AOC


President- Good quality cultured butter which is easily available.


Pamplie- Absolute top quality cultured butter. Hard to find, but worth the search. I have seen it at Whole Foods on occasion.


Lescure- Top marks for baking and cooking. 


Denmark
Lurpak- Quality butter made from 100% Danish milk. Common in northern Europe and often in commercial operations, like on many European airlines.


Belgium
Buerre d'Ardenne - Made specifically from cows which graze within the Ardenne region of Belgium. Very grassy  and earthy flavor.


Chimay- Known for it's wonderful yellow color and rich flavor, this is a direct result of the diet of the cows which graze on grass and flowers.


Ireland
Kerrygold- Top quality butter from Ireland, made from milk from Irish cows and very well thought of as a top butter for baking. Readily available.


Italy
Parmigiano Reggiano Butter - This unique and top quality butter is made from the milk which is used to make the world famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. As the selection of milk is extremely strict, this butter is special. The flavor is strong and earthy and has a definite cheese like flavor. Great to make a Ragu Bolognese.


NZ
Anchor - A very popular butter, with lovely color and taste. My only issue here is it does have to travel quite a ways to get to us, so is it the best option for freshness?


UK
Double Devon Cream Butter - Brought to you from the same people who produce the fantastic Devon cream and clotted cream, so stands to reason they would make one amazing butter.


USA
Vermont Butter and Cream Cultured Butter - Probably one of the best butters made in America. A powerful aroma, color and a whopping 86% butterfat. Top notch choice for baking, especially cookies.


Horizon European Style Butter - A very good organic high butterfat butter. Great choice for making and cooking and normally very fresh. A top contender.


If you really want to go all out and learn some more, Saveur magazine published a list of their top 31, so take a look at www.saveur.com/gallery/30-Great-Butters/1

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.


Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 


After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


Ingredients

1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper


Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

The garden enclosure is finished!

This weekend the garden enclosure was finished and most everything has been planted. I planted three types of potatoes, Yellow Finn, Purple Viking and Desiree. 



I also planted some garlic in with the tomatoes, as I heard that the garlic will keep down the aphids and hopefully the spider mites. However, interesting note, beans do not do well with garlic. 

I just have some of the late geminating hot chilies still to go in and then I will direct sow some collard greens and maybe some additional carrots. 

I think the linseed oil looks great as a finish and the wood seems to be very well nourished. I like the color it's taken on and the upkeep should be just a light coat just once a year.

For those who have asked, the panels swing outwards and upwards and then are propped with a pole, which you can see leaning against the right of the enclosure. 

It's such a simple system and effectively it has made the garden secure, and with the drip irrigation system, mostly self sufficient.

I fully u…

Oven Roasted Salmon

This has to be one of the easiest and best tasting recipes I have. I developed it so I could always pull together a healthy dinner in a few minutes and then have beautiful cold salmon leftovers for the next day.

All you need is a nice piece of fresh salmon and a few basic spices. The real key is to get the oven very hot, so it sears the outside of the salmon and locks in the juices.



Ingredients 

2 lb filet of Fresh Salmon, skin on is best, but not essential.
Celery Salt
Dill Weed
Roasted Garlic Powder
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 550F. Take your parchment paper and put it onto a 1/2 sheet baking pan and lay your salmon onto the paper.



Melt your butter and brush it onto the salmon filet. Sprinkle on your spices to taste and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove and allow it to rest for 3 minutes before serving. It goes well with the seafood rice pilaf I featured in an earlier post.



Note: All of these spices can be…