Bricks of Gold
October 3, 2019 6:03 PM   Subscribe

How Ireland’s Kerrygold Butter Conquered America's Kitchens. Bloomberg’s Elizabeth G. Dunn explains why Americans melt for that “canary yellow” goodness, and why, despite potential tariffs, there’s no reason to have a cow: “‘Ireland running out of cream?’ Kelly repeats my question, with amusement. ‘Ah, that’d be the day.’”
posted by sallybrown (79 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's good butter, Brent.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2019 [22 favorites]


I’ve been worried that I suddenly saw Kerrygold everywhere because some massive American conglomerate bought it, so I found this reassuring. And also because: Over the years I’ve graduated from smearing a socially acceptable sliver onto toast to eating it, like cheese, in thick slices on crackers.
posted by sallybrown at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2019 [21 favorites]


Kerrygold is our regular butter. I was here to smugly share the knowledge about European butter being higher in butterfat but the article stopped me cold: "Kerrygold unsalted butter clocks in at 82% butterfat and the salted at 80%, the U.S. legal minimum". Now I'm questioning my commitment! The article's claim that the fat type, related to the animal's deit, may be the difference. I dunno why but it's good butter. It's also not terribly expensive relative to other premium butters.

Lurpak is very good too. But boy that's not a good-sounding name in American English.
posted by Nelson at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2019 [5 favorites]


I've had Kerry Gold. Maybe I'm a butter philistine, but it didn't taste any different from my cheap Canadian butter (store brand, bought on sale).

My in-laws swear by Kerry Gold, but I just can't taste the difference.
posted by jb at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2019 [10 favorites]


They have it at the costco....buuuutter...
posted by supermedusa at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


Buttermaking in Ireland dates back 6,000 years, and in the 19th century, the Cork Butter Exchange was the world’s largest butter market.

Mmmmm.

Butter Exchange.

Unlike in the U.S., where 100% grass-fed production represents only 1% to 2% of dairy farms, in Ireland a grass diet is the norm. Irish cows benefit from the longest grass-growing season in Europe: They graze for as many as 300 days each year. In the winter months, they eat primarily fermented grass known as silage. Public policy plays a role, too. Ireland’s Department of Agriculture closely monitors each farm’s stocking rate, ensuring they don’t raise more cows than they have the grass to feed. With enough pasture available to support the cows, buying grain to feed them would amount to an added cost, without the added benefit.

Interesting.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2019 [16 favorites]


It’s my go-to baking butter. Although the highest butterfat butter I’ve ever used is Vermont Creamery, which clocks in at 86% butterfat. That stuff is insane. I used to be able to buy it at Whole Foods, but not anymore. 😭
posted by Autumnheart at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2019 [4 favorites]


it didn't taste any different from my cheap Canadian butter

Next time you hear anyone badmouthing supply management remember this true fact.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2019 [21 favorites]


In many parts of the country your choices are margarine, "discount" butter that is perfectly fine in practice but somehow nevertheless feels substandard (it cooks like butter and makes things "buttery," but seems to lack flavor) and Kerrygold.

I think a lot of margarine sales are predicated on most people only having access to the substandard simulacra that dominates shelves. It's enough to make one contemplate the possibility of intentional action to force butter into smaller shelf spaces rather than the interaction of market forces, government subsidies, and other agricultural policymaking driving the lack of variety in butter products.

Kerrygold, being confined to the special import shelves for so long, wouldn't have been stuck in the shelf space payola system that largely dictates what makes it onto the store shelf.
posted by wierdo at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2019


Next time you hear anyone badmouthing supply management remember this true fact.

The 454g blocks of butter that were on sale at my local No Frills for $2.97 CAD the other day agree with you. It's good butter. I've had better, but this is still good butter.

Mmmm.

Supply management.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2019 [12 favorites]


Kerrygold is salty wax and you're welcome to it.

Gay Lea Unsalted is my jam. Well, what goes under my jam
posted by scruss at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2019 [6 favorites]


My wife has a co-worker was confused that margarine isn’t actually butter. She thought Country Crock was butter. I think this is a common issue in the US. I don’t know what this means.
posted by misterpatrick at 7:03 PM on October 3, 2019 [11 favorites]


beurre d'isigny or gtfo
posted by poffin boffin at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2019 [12 favorites]


This makes me feel like that episode of mad men when Don manipulates his wife into buying the clients' beer and then serving it to them thinking she was all sophisticated but she really just fell into don's advertising trap. Oh get this one this one looks fancy that must mean it's better than the rest , I thought, falling right into their trap. Actually it was just that it had the convenient tub style packaging while still being real butter that was appealing.
posted by bleep at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2019


Living out here in the PNW, I've been using Tillamook for ages, because it's local to me. It clocks in at 81%—which I only just now looked up because you guys got me curious—and I have also just learned they have apparently switched to sea salt for the salted butter, claiming it has a better taste profile.  Make of that what you will, but I have to say I didn't notice any taste difference.

I did notice though that they suddenly started using the (now) weird to me East coast Elgin butter sticks rather than the Western stubbies I've grown used to.   After all these years out west it was really odd to see them again.  I don't like it, no sirree.  I want my stubbies back.  These long ones are unnatural.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2019 [9 favorites]


I noticed that too, los pantalones del muerte. In my case I grew up with the longer thinner sticks for 48 years back east, and at first when I moved to the PNW 11 years ago the stubby version was a weird surprise to me. Yet when Tillamook switched to the long sticks recently they just looked wrong...sort of gangly. I'm still not used to it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


Mentioned in the article, but euro butter is not brittle when it’s cold. The yellow makes it more appealing too.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


I don't know from their butter, but their Dubliner cheese is our House Cheese.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2019 [11 favorites]


At the local Costco, a 2lb pack of Kerrrygold costs about as much as 2lb of regular butter at the supermarket. Before they started carrying it, I'd have to pay something like $6+ for a .5lb block in the speciality cheese section.
posted by timelord at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Cheap butter is good, and kerrygold is great, but cultured butter stole my heart this year.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2019 [5 favorites]


Is Cultured Butter a new thing in the US?
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


I just visited the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle (NYC) this evening... they were out of Kerrygold (as they often are)
posted by Stu-Pendous at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2019


Depending on what I'm doing with it, I used (a) Store Brand Butter which is fine for stuff like brownies, no-bake cookies, and eating on baked potatoes or (b) Plugra which is my absolute favorite for tarte tatin because it bakes up PERFECTLY and is not too oily in the fruit part or (c) Kerrygold which I prefer for pastry purposes like if I'm making home-made Pop Tart Fakes, which are not at all for the toaster and also would shatter in it but DO have home-cooked apricot or sour cherry (both from real fruit) filling.

I consume well in excess of the US average of butter.

Also, when my cousin was having trouble with her croissant recipe ("They just aren't as good as the ones in France...") I told her to up her butter game. She was all "Butter is Butter." I was all "No, really it matters. Just try it." Two months later, she was all "OMG YOU WERE RIGHT!!!" There was a learning curve, but with better butter and more practice, she got the croissants dialed in. Her preferred pastry butter is also Kerrygold.
posted by which_chick at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Tip: Kerrygold mysteriously disappeared from Aldi recently, to the horror of all the keto shoppers who buy it in bulk because it's less than $3. But suddenly, a *green* foil-wrapped cultured Irish Butter appeared, and they're not fooling anybody it's definitely Kerrygold, it's just that the wrapper is flimsier.

I wish they carried the unsalted, but I considered the pros and cons for a while and I just make my ghee with the salted one. It's still better ghee than I've ever been able to buy.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2019 [5 favorites]


“In many parts of the country your choices are margarine, "discount" butter that is perfectly fine in practice but somehow nevertheless feels substandard (it cooks like butter and makes things "buttery," but seems to lack flavor) and Kerrygold.”

”My wife has a co-worker was confused that margarine isn’t actually butter. She thought Country Crock was butter. I think this is a common issue in the US.”

Oh sweet lord. Count me in as another fan of Canadian supply management then. I’ll be over here hugging my $2.97 on sale 454g blocks of Gay Lea.

I maintain that the saddest time of the year is when the weather gets cold enough that butter isn’t spreadable at room temperature anymore. Microwaving butter long enough to soften it but not long enough to turn the centre of the block molten is a goddamn elusive art.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2019 [10 favorites]


I did notice though that they suddenly started using the (now) weird to me East coast Elgin butter sticks rather than the Western stubbies I've grown used to. After all these years out west it was really odd to see them again. I don't like it, no sirree. I want my stubbies back. These long ones are unnatural.

Thank you for clarifying something that had been low-key puzzling me for the last year or so.

I'm not a butter connoisseur; I mostly only use it for frying eggs and even on bread I can't tell much difference between my usual Tillamook and the Kerry Gold I've bought a few times.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:24 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Is Cultured Butter a new thing in the US?

Kind of? I've had French cultured butter before (don't remember brand), but 2019 is when I was suddenly able to find it at a local grocery, domestically produced, and not insanely expensive.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:33 PM on October 3, 2019


She thought Country Crock was butter.
*snorts* City folk!
Believe me, I can believe it's not butter. Margarine is just nasty. If or when I'm served it, I would politely say, "Thenk que, none for me today." But inside I'm thinking, "Zut alores, these philistines would be happy with axle grease on a croissant."

Good butter is tasty butter when it's UN-salted. Cheap butter needs salt to be palatable.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:35 PM on October 3, 2019 [10 favorites]


Plugra tastes weirdly of fake butter flavor to me, anyone else? It does contain "natural flavor," which feels just...wrong, for butter. (Also annoying: canned peaches have started to have peach flavoring added to them.)

I love Kerrygold, but it's not the only butter of that style I eat—maybe just the one I landed on as both good and reliably available. I, too, eat it in slabs. But I had no idea that my butter habit was due to anything more than a year abroad in Europe.

Butterrrrrrr.
posted by the_blizz at 8:38 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Back in the 18th and 19th centuries salted butter was a major export from Ireland. It was shipped in barrels and people in the Colonies, later the US bought a great deal of it. The Great Hunger destroyer that trade.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:46 PM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


I maintain that the saddest time of the year is when the weather gets cold enough that butter isn’t spreadable at room temperature anymore.

Canadian problems... We use a French butter dish sometimes called a butter bell in the winter with some success.

Ontarians who might want to take a break from the Gay Lea should try the butter from Thornloe Cheese, way up in Thornloe, Ontario. In 2018 they were voted best butter in Canada at the Royal Winter Fair.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:51 PM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


I was using Kerrygold unsalted when I first tried the bulletproof coffee thing. (Not the actual Bulletproof brand, which is too expensive, doesn't taste good, and comes with a lot of woo.) I've since cut out the butter, but not because I didn't like the taste.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2019


Conquered? Via Costco.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2019


Is Cultured Butter a new thing in the US?

Not really, no. However, in the last few decades it’s largely been restricted to higher-end groceries, or else farming communities. Trader Joe’s and Costco have done a lot for awareness. The supply chain has clearly ramped up in a serious way over the last few years.
posted by aramaic at 9:55 PM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


I’ve tried all sorts of fancy butters and I think Kerrygold is the best. We also use Dubliner as our house cheese. I had no idea they were connected - I didn’t even associate the two despite the fact that they’re both Irish, so it’s nice to learn this. Thank you Ireland for your grassy zones and delicious cow juice products.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 10:38 PM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Living out here in the PNW, I've been using Tillamook for ages, because it's local to me.

You might already know this, but Tillamook butter isn't made by Tillamook.
It's a co-pack made in other places.
Same with the sour cream and yogurt.
posted by madajb at 10:45 PM on October 3, 2019


Eh, I know Tillamook the brand is too large to be strictly from Tillamook County any longer, it's been that way for a while. But it's still reasonably regional. I have a difficult time justifying having my butter shipped half way around the planet. That's a lot of carbon dioxide for something I can get made at least within my corner of the continent.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:02 PM on October 3, 2019 [6 favorites]


There was a year or so when there was a German bakery two blocks from my house, that made bagels that were absolutely to die for, shatteringly hard crust without overdoing the inside. On Saturday mornings I’d walk over and bring some home, and we’d spread Kerrygold on them. The bakery has closed and I’m still sad for its loss; that was one of the most sublime breakfasts we’ve had.
posted by graymouser at 1:16 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I once went on a two-night cruise to Cork in Ireland (yes) and, no joke, one of the highlights was the Cork Butter Museum. It had a lot to say about Kerry Gold and provided some nice free buttered bread. That is all.
posted by adrianhon at 1:45 AM on October 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I like Kerrygold, although I use it almost exclusively as table butter rather than for cooking. Plugra seems OK to me. Living out west my standbys, probably out of habit as much as anything else, are the Challenge brands - their house brand regular or European style butter, as well as their separate Danish Creamery brand ("pasture raised").
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:00 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I had to stop reading this thread because I saw the word "unsalted" and with everything else wrong with this world I just cannot take that.
posted by maxwelton at 2:33 AM on October 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


... unsalted butter is for baking.

I do prefer Kerrygold, but the price is what kills it for me. We've got a supermarket with its own dairy that regularly sells pounds of good butter for $3. Kerrygold is still better by a bit, but not double-or-more better. I didn't realize that Costco sold it, though. We're approaching dessert-baking season, though, where I go through at least 10-15 pounds of butter in a few months, so maybe I'll grab some on the next Costco trip.

Also I had no idea Kerrygold had only been in the US for 20 years. I just assumed it was some luxury good I'd never seen when I was a kid because we shopped at the low-rent supermarkets.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:52 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


baking, and some kinds of cooking, so you can control how salty the food is.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:48 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


It’s just very cheering to read that a product that has skyrocketed in popularity is deserving of its praise and is well made by people who aren’t screwing anyone over in the process, wrecking the environment, or breaking laws.
posted by sallybrown at 5:49 AM on October 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


wrecking the environment

What WI can do: the impact of cattle on greenhouse gas emissions

Interest in what the agricultural sector can do to decrease the GHG emissions has increased since the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations came out with their greenhouse gas emissions study in 2010.

In the report, the FAO stated “Cattle are the main contributor to the sector’s emissions with about 4.6 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent, representing 65 percent of sector emissions. Beef cattle (producing meat and non-edible outputs) and dairy cattle (producing both meat and milk, in addition to non-edible outputs) generate similar amounts of GHG emissions.”

posted by snuffleupagus at 5:57 AM on October 4, 2019


Wow, this raises so many questions for me and my brain's not awake yet.
...I saw the word "unsalted" and with everything else wrong with this world I just cannot take that. - Are you objecting to the butter or just the word?

I see Kerrygold at the co-op, but I never saw a reason to try it. I try to at least think localvore if I can, and Cabot is extremely local (like, the next ZIP code), and the nearest Costco is an hour away. (never been)
But now I think I should at least try it and see if it tastes different in some way.

... unsalted butter is for baking. - and cannabutter, which I thought about when I went to the store and saw they were out of Cabot unsalted but they had dozens of boxes of salted. Is there some reason I should ever use salted? It's not like I don't get enough salt in my diet.

-when the weather gets cold enough that butter isn’t spreadable at room temperature anymore. Microwaving butter long enough to soften it but not long enough to turn the centre of the block molten is a goddamn elusive art.
- 11 seconds
I keep the box in the fridge, but leave the current stick out in a covered butter dish. I have more trouble in the few weeks of the year that it practically melts out there.

I couldn't find out how much butterfat is in Cabot, at least not an official number. Is there a USDA listing I missed?

-I've obviously spent too much time in the megathreads to wonder what kind of butter Hillary uses in her emails.
posted by MtDewd at 5:58 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Unsalted butter is for eating. Salted butter is gross. Fight me.
posted by the_blizz at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


Next time you hear anyone badmouthing supply management remember this true fact.

That's what I keep telling my in-laws. They want American dairy to be imported so that they can buy Kerry Gold, but for every high end brand, we'll have dozens of badly made stuff flooding our market, and people who can't afford Kerry Gold will be stuck with the bottom of the barrel. (Note: Costco is lovely, great to their workers, but not affordable for poor people in my city - the membership cost and locations well away from transit ensure that.)
posted by jb at 6:04 AM on October 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Vermont Creamery's cultured butter is much better. Fight me.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:07 AM on October 4, 2019


I've obviously spent too much time in the megathreads to wonder what kind of butter Hillary uses in her emails.

Président, presumably.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:10 AM on October 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


Lurpak is very good too. But boy that's not a good-sounding name in American English.

...except to Futurama fans who find it both hilarious and delicious on popplers.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:37 AM on October 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


> Unsalted butter is for eating. Salted butter is gross. Fight me.

It's okay for people to like different things. I eat salted butter. I also eat plain unsweetened yogurt.
posted by desuetude at 7:33 AM on October 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I eat salted butter. I also eat plain unsweetened yogurt.

If it is whole milk yogurt, I will commend you as a gentleperson and a scholar.
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:41 AM on October 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I eat salted butter. I also eat plain unsweetened yogurt.

I take unsalted butter and sprinkle sea salt flakes on top. Sometimes a little pepper, too.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:44 AM on October 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Unsalted butter goes on German bread. Our bread is very salty all by itself - in comparison to French or Italian bread, for example - so that makes sense. Can’t even buy salted butter in German grocery stores, AFAIK.

There was a dustup in Europe a while back where the EU food regulation authorities complained about the high sodium content in German bread and we were all, no wait, but we use unsalted butter!

Goes to show that you need to look at everything in context.
posted by The Toad at 7:54 AM on October 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


In fifty years on our little round planet, I have yet to ascertain why I'd wish to engage in a round of either fisticuffs or verbal jousting with a fellow human being over a difference in what one's taste buds prefer.   The entreaties to do so from those so inclined leave me baffled.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:04 AM on October 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Kerrygold spreads. With the tub, Don't use a knife - use a spoon. and gently peel off a razor thin butter flake and spread it with the back of the spoon. If you must use a knife - use a non-serrated butter knife. If your butter started out soft enough to melt and not flake - your butter was too warm. Butter holes, bread crumbs, knife mars (yes, mars) and other such disturbances to the pristine surface are signs of a butter philistine has eaten some of your Kerrygold. I have spent the better part of 3 years improving my children and my wife's butter ettiquite

For corn, buy the stick Kerrygold . Cut it the long way - with a knife this time. This and baking are the only purposes of stick Kerrygold.


If Kerrygold is not rich enough for your usage, I can recommend French Echire Butter...
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:11 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mmm. I can't wait until I'm back on my economic feet and can indulge in anything other than store-brand butter. I mean, it's perfectly fine and I'm grateful to have it, but right now my inner dairymaid is backstroking around in a lake of golden liquid butterfat with crusty bread floaties while shining white cows sing folk songs in three-part harmony from the grassy shore.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:44 AM on October 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I like Wüthrich from Wisconsin for baking. It's 83% and available at Costco.
I like President from France for eating due its mild cultured flavor.
I like Trader Joe's Cultered Salted for eating but wish they had an unsalted version.
But my favorite is Bordier. Their flavored Raspberry butter is insane. Impossible to find in the states.
posted by bz at 8:48 AM on October 4, 2019


In fifty years on our little round planet, I have yet to ascertain why I'd wish to engage in a round of either fisticuffs or verbal jousting with a fellow human being over a difference in what one's taste buds prefer. The entreaties to do so from those so inclined leave me baffled.

Under normal circumstances I agree with this. But I have a good friend who hates butter. Not just hates salted or unsalted or what have you -- hates all butter in all forms, including in baked goods. As you might imagine, cooking for him is difficult, because I have to substitute oil for everything that normally uses butter, such as white wine sauce for mussels. I won't deny that occasionally, I've wanted to slap him upside the head. But then I remind myself I'm the goddamned freak who gags at the smell of grilled cheese, so.
posted by holborne at 8:50 AM on October 4, 2019


Cheap Canadian butter is good, yes. But I personally do notice the taste difference when I splurge for the grass-fed stuff. Kerrygold is not always easy to find where, but I've found a Canadian dairy (by "I've found" I mean, of course, that Superstore sells it and so it's easily available) that makes butter from grass-fed cows and it's worth splurging on from time to time (it's about twice as expensive as normal butter, but still roughly half the price of Kerrygold). For a brief time, they were so popular that they couldn't meet demand and had some kind of partnership deal with a New Zealand butter company, which was also pretty good.
posted by asnider at 8:50 AM on October 4, 2019


Re: cultured dairy: I have just learned from Dairy Week on Great British Bake Off that it is currently All The Rage.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:57 AM on October 4, 2019


(Aren’t I so cultured.)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:57 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


After thinking about it, I also buy Sun Valley's butter at the supermarket if it's cheaper than Challenge or Danish. And think I tend to buy Land o' Lakes when I'm somewhere that doesn't have any familiar brands.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2019


one of the best things I've ever eaten is some made-from-scratch bread fresh out of the oven smeared with delicious canadian butter. Alas, I can't recall the brand. The combination was what I refer to as "dangerously good". Meaning, I could put my health in danger given an unlimited supply.
posted by some loser at 10:11 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's been ages since I tasted Kerrygold, I don't remember it as something special. But we have so many choices here. Denmark is known for Lurpak and when I was a kid, that was what we got, but now we can get organic butter from all sorts of smaller dairies and from France, so just judging from the shelf in the supermarket, I think Lurpak isn't highly valued here. The prices aren't wildly different, actually organic (which means it is grass-fed) is cheaper this week.
I love butter, but I want to get my butter from places where the cows contribute to biodiversity. So I have actually visited the two dairies I buy most of my butter from, and the regions they get their milk from. Just last week, I discovered that one of the two regions has planted a new diverse forest. I know, I'm a fanatic. I'm like my granddad who loved driving around to look at the vineyards that produced his favorite wines, just with butter.
posted by mumimor at 10:15 AM on October 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


asnider: which dairy is this? Maybe this will please my in-laws (who currently get it from relatives who travel to the US and treat it like literal gold). And maybe I'd notice if I did a side-by-side comparison.
posted by jb at 11:44 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I've become a fan of the tubs of butter that are mixed with olive or canola oil so they're spreadable at fridge temperature. This *definitely* makes me a butter philistine. Once they were out of that at the store and I picked up a tub of kerrigold because it was labeled as spreadable. Maybe compared to regular butter, but it was still closer to those than the butter/oil mix.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:26 PM on October 4, 2019


Unsalted butter just... tastes not-right to me. But my favorite butter-I-can-regularly-afford is the Euro-style Challenge for cooking/baking, and whoever the store has for a tub of salted whipped butter (here in Los Angeles, usually Challenge or Alta Dena or maybe Knudsen).
I don't love the grassy flavor in Kerrygold, or the very mild cheesiness of cultured butter. I accept this as a personal flaw on my part.

My local fancy Vons has started carrying this rolled Amish butter and I'm very curious, but that's a lot of butter and it's like $13 a throw so...
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:40 PM on October 4, 2019


I tend to buy Land o' Lakes when I'm somewhere that doesn't have any familiar brands.
Which always amusingly appears on grocery receipts as "LOL Butter."
posted by kindall at 12:46 PM on October 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


Organic Valley Cultured.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:47 PM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


So this is kind of a companion piece to the one from a while back about Bailey's which was a creation of the same marketing team.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 1:56 PM on October 4, 2019


I have found it extremely difficult to find salted, cultured butter, and I find this perplexing. I can find salted, or cultured, but not both in the same item. Except once or twice, and it was entirely lovely.

And then finding it 100% grass-fed? Apparently impossible.
posted by Belostomatidae at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2019



I have found it extremely difficult to find salted, cultured butter, and I find this perplexing.
I recall seeing a Michelin Starred Paris chef go on and on about how important beurre salé was to his cuisine. I'm pretty sure his butter was cultured.

We have an awakening butter culture here in the U.S. ahem, and I'm all for finding new and wonderful ways to enjoy butter.
posted by Surely This at 4:27 PM on October 5, 2019


I have found it extremely difficult to find salted, cultured butter, and I find this perplexing.
I thought from my reading around this post that the main reason for salting butter and at least one reason for cultured butter was to preserve the butter, so one or the other would suffice.
That said, there may be taste reasons to do both.
Looks like Vermont Creamery has both salted and unsalted cultured butter.

I got some Kerrygold this weekend and tried it.
Tastes like butter.
posted by MtDewd at 6:07 AM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


Salted butter can sit out in a butter dish at room temperature without spoiling for much longer than cultured butter can. Ask me how I know. :-/
posted by Belostomatidae at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Lurpak is salted and cultured, and though it's not my favorite, it's fine.
posted by mumimor at 10:42 AM on October 8, 2019


A few years ago, when I moved out into cow-country (literally, my back-door neighbor is a dairy farm), I fooled around a bit with butter making using local cream. I found that I could really tell when the farmers moved the cows onto new pasture, started supplementing with hay from other farms, when the onion grass and wild garlic sprouted in the fields, and even whether it had rained recently or not -- when your cream and the resulting butter came from a single herd, . Culturing is easy -- I tried a few commercial cultures but eventually settled on standard yogurt culture for flavor and convenience. Different culture times results in different butters, from no discernible change from fresh milk to tangy to almost cheese-like in flavor and texture. Salt is completely optional and, from what I've read, is mostly for preservation or for people who like salty butter. I buy my butter nowadays, laziness I guess, unless I want something special for an occasion.

Oh, to make butter? When I was a child, the first time I tried to make whipped cream I, instead, made butter, it is that easy -- just over whip the cream, toss it in the food processor or stand mixer and whip until it turns into greasy lumps. Press out any unwanted moisture in an old tea-towel, and enjoy.
posted by Blackanvil at 9:17 AM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


Brings back memories of making butter in our Grade 1 classroom - we passed around a big glass jar of cream, each kid shaking it until their arms hurt. I can't remember how long it took, but at the end we drained it, salted it, and ate it on crackers. Mmm.

I didn't think much of the buttermilk, though. Save that for cooking.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:07 PM on October 10, 2019


« Older "This is going to save some people's lives"   |   Rake in the Lake Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments