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My only verrrrrry minor quibble is the bread service.  The bread is just blah and the butter, though thankfully warm and spreadable, is unsalted and just too bland for my tastes.

So glad I finally made it to this gem!

You can always salt your own butter. The only time I have found salted butter at a restaurant in the least bit appealing was at Nectar, where they sprinkled the lovely stuff with sea salt.

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You can always salt your own butter.  The only time I have found salted butter at a restaurant in the least bit appealing was at Nectar, where they sprinkled the lovely stuff with sea salt.

The salted butter at Per Se and French Laundry is the best butter I've ever tasted. Of course they can also tell you the names of the cows in Vermont that produce the butter.

But then I prefer salted butter.

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You can always salt your own butter.  The only time I have found salted butter at a restaurant in the least bit appealing was at Nectar, where they sprinkled the lovely stuff with sea salt.

1789 had some wonderful salted butter to go with their rosemary foccacia last night. Nice, big chunks of sea salt.

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My only verrrrrry minor quibble is the bread service.  The bread is just blah and the butter, though thankfully warm and spreadable, is unsalted and just too bland for my tastes.

Is the bread still from Breadline? I liked it, but that was a couple of months ago.

And I always buy unsalted butter, then salt my bread after buttering. Unsalted butter is fresher, and I like the crunch.

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Mrs. TJ and I went to Maestro (one and only mindblowing time) and when they asked what kind of butter we wanted, in opposite unison she said salted and I said unsalted. Baffled at each other, the waitstaff winked and quickly came back with....both. :P

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Further distinctions: cultured vs. what? Uncivilized? Unenlightened? Cultured butter is made from, essentially, creme fraiche. Think of it as yogurt made with 100% heavy cream that is then churned into butter. The good French butters are all cultured. Vermont Butter and Cheese Company makes the best domestic cultured butter (which has a little bit of salt in it). It's very fresh-tasting and the flavor is deep and complex. The price takes your breath away. So I buy Trader Joe's Organic Unsalted Cultured Butter--there is no salted version. Or Plugra, European-style, also unsalted. I prefer unsalted, and my husband and daughter sprinkle salt on theirs. On a couple of occasions, I have made my own cultured butter, using heavy cream from the farmer's market and a spoonful of Total yogurt as a starter. After it thickened up, I churned it in my Kitchenaid mixer

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One of the last projects I did with my class (weep) was making butter in little glass jars by shaking it back and forth. (This is a great way to get their energy out when its too hot to go out.) We used ice cold whole milk and added a marble for friction, which sped up the process.

Once it had formed we spread it on Ritz crackers and most of them were disappointed. After adding a bit of kosher salt on top they all suddenly recognized what they had been shaking for the past hour. If you've never made your own shaken butter I highly recommend finding a small child with lots of energy and putting them to work.

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One of the last projects I did with my class (weep) was making butter in little glass jars by shaking it back and forth.  (This is a great way to get their energy out when its too hot to go out.)  We used ice cold whole milk and added a marble for friction, which sped up the process.

Once it had formed we spread it on Ritz crackers and most of them were disappointed.  After adding a bit of kosher salt on top they all suddenly recognized what they had been shaking for the past hour.  If you've never made your own shaken butter I highly recommend finding a small child with lots of energy and putting them to work.

I just had one of those "Oh, wait a minute" moments after reading this post. My second-grade teacher in Sausalito, California, in the late 1950s did the same thing. I don't know if she used cream or what, but shaken something turned into butter and we all got to try a bit of it on a cracker. Of course, during those years, everybody thought margarine was much better than butter :P:wub::P

Lord have mercy, that brought back memories. And, oh by the way Hillvalley, California had the best public schools in the country back then. I was very forturnate.

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La Baratte des Gourmets, a demi-sel from France which is ferociously salty

Wegman's carries this one in their aforementioned gourmet butter case. We really like it, but I think that's as much because of the crunchy fleur de sel bits as the quality of the butter.

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It is very good, but it could be a little more cultured for my taste.  Does it come in an unsalted version?

This reminds me--have you noticed that the Trader Joe's Unsalted Organic Cultured Butter is now just labeled "Organic"? It seems to have become uncultured.

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It is very good, but it could be a little more cultured for my taste.  Does it come in an unsalted version?

It appears that it does. According to their web site, the salt content is low and the butter can be used in any recipe.

Hmmm, maybe a butter tasting is in order.... :lol:

Edited by mdt

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This reminds me--have you noticed that the Trader Joe's Unsalted Organic Cultured Butter is now just labeled "Organic"? It seems to have become uncultured.

That almost happened to me that year I worked in southern Arkansas.

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Vermont Butter is sold by Balducci's, Wegman's, Whole Foods and Dean and DeLuca among others. There are three varieties: salted, unsalted and salted with Fleur de Lys, a very coarse and faintly crunchy sea salt. Wegman's sells a seemingly healthy brick oven baked bread which they call a "Marathan Energy Loaf." Encrusted with whole seeds, tasting of numerous grains and other supposedly healthy things this all hits a wall when slathered with a 1/4 inch thick coating of Vermont's Fleur de Lys butter. One hundred and ten calories per tablespoon! A man among fattening butters, no mere one hundred calorie pretender. Breaking off the end of a Marathan loaf, slathering Vermont butter, I'll have to walk fifty, sixty miles this week to work these three bites off!

But worth every step...

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I don't know. That actually sounds like a good foil for traditionally-styled Cotes du Jura white--the waxy heft mingling with the nutty grains and rich butter.

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Searching for better butter for my batter:

Has anybody seen salted butter from Brittany nearby?

I noticed a couple of different European butters at Rodman's Friendship Heights when I was there a couple of days ago--French and Italian.

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Searching for better butter for my batter:

Has anybody seen salted butter from Brittany nearby?

I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Dean and Deluca, where it naturally will be horrendously overpriced. Also, Trader Joe's usually carries President, if that's any help.

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After reading the Saveur Beauty of Butter issue: Land o’ Lakes ain’t going to cut it anymore. It’s clear: butter can be used as either food (cultured) or ingredient (uncultured). Is it worth it – economically and taste-wise –to have on hand two different types of butters? Ninety percent of my current butter usage is as a cooking medium, i.e., sautéing; 10 percent as condiment. However, during the spring and summer months, butter is used more as seasonal seasoning.

=-=-=-=-=-=

At my first DR.com picnic there was a butter tasting. Were there any clear winners? From up thread: Plugra, Vermont Butter & Cheese and Trader Joe’s are brand favorites. Any others?

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After reading the Saveur Beauty of Butter issue: Land o’ Lakes ain’t going to cut it anymore. It’s clear: butter can be used as either food (cultured) or ingredient (uncultured). Is it worth it – economically and taste-wise –to have on hand two different types of butters? Ninety percent of my current butter usage is as a cooking medium, i.e., sautéing; 10 percent as condiment. However, during the spring and summer months, butter is used more as seasonal seasoning.

=-=-=-=-=-=

At my first DR.com picnic there was a butter tasting. Were there any clear winners? From up thread: Plugra, Vermont Butter & Cheese and Trader Joe’s are brand favorites. Any others?

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Have you ever tried making your own? It's fun while you read the Food Section, or something. Fill a clean glass jar with heavy cream, put the lid on tight, jiggle it about until it begins to get thick. It will separate into a lump (pretty small!) banging about in a cloudy liquid.

Julia, of eatWashington

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Hmm... butter and buttermilk all in the span of a Netflix DVD? Would "cultured" buttermilk make a noticeable difference in biscuits?

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