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Butter


Sthitch
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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?

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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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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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.

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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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I accidentally just made my own butter. I had made some whipped cream and took it to a friend's. But apparently I jostled my bag so much on the way home that I opened my bag and saw two big lumps of sweet vanilla butter. Of course this has me pondering all these ideas, as I've made bourbon whipped cream, so I'm just thinking about bourbon butter. Chocolate malted butter?

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The Common Market in Frederick has a nice selection of butters.

I keep reaching out and picking up the Vermont Butter Company butter and then putting it back down, amazed that a by-product like butter can be so much more dear than the end product..how much cheap beef could you buy for a pound of that stuff? Given that they both require a huge amount of production? It just amazes me. I really am going to have to try it soon.

I keep two different butter crocks going, one sweet, and one salted, and use them depending on what I'm buttering. Really good sweet butter can be sublime.

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The Tenleytown location of Whole Foods is selling butter that Fattore Garofalo produces from water buffaloes. Is this is a new marketing strategy for the Italian company? Shopping at small corner stores and supermarkets for butter in Italy, I never noticed such a product. Since butter lasts longer than a fresh cheese, after all the scandals about sick bufale and rumors of tainted mozzarella, is the company dealing with lower demand for imports? Maybe the increased availability of US domestic mozzarella (both loosely speaking, from cows, and strictly speaking, from water buffaloes) also inspires the move. The price was lower than Vermont's cultured butter: $3.99 vs. $4.99 a package (though I can't remember the weight).

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The Tenleytown location of Whole Foods is selling butter that Fattore Garofalo produces from water buffaloes. Is this is a new marketing strategy for the Italian company? Shopping at small corner stores and supermarkets for butter in Italy, I never noticed such a product. Since butter lasts longer than a fresh cheese, after all the scandals about sick bufale and rumors of tainted mozzarella, is the company dealing with lower demand for imports? Maybe the increased availability of US domestic mozzarella (both loosely speaking, from cows, and strictly speaking, from water buffaloes) also inspires the move. The price was lower than Vermont's cultured butter: $3.99 vs. $4.99 a package (though I can't remember the weight).

Wow, maybe I need to run down to Tenleytown, the last time I priced the VBC's butter in Balducci's it was something like 9.99 a pound.

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I'm not a butter connoisseur but J. Ren dairy had small tubs of unsalted butter at the Courthouse farmers market for $3. I went home and weighed it on my digital scale and it was just over 1 lb 3 oz. We've been enjoying it on a variety of baked goods.

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Pace, pax. $4.99 for 8 oz. package. I think the Garofalo butter was the same size, but $1 less.

Ah, so. Gracias. :lol:

Now, people...if I were to go and toss off $10 on a pound of butter, what should I make with it? What would best show off this yumminess? Savories? Sweets?

I think one thing I'll do for sure is wait until I have a few really glorious tomatoes and do Marcella Hazan's Tomato Butter Onion Sauce.

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I did a little comparison shopping for something we have been consuming at an alarming clip this weekend.

Stores: -Giant/Peapod -Harris Teeter -Progresso Mercado (Mt. Pleasant St)

Store Brand - $3.49 -$3.69 - NA

Land O'Lakes - $4.69 - $4.89 - $3.49

How can the mainline stores get away with this crap? :lol:

What do you pay for yours? Do you think there's a significant quality difference between store brand butter and Land O'Lakes (let's not swerve into high end butters just yet)?

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I do alot of baking, and I used to buy Land O' Lakes, but that got pricey so I've been buying butter from Costco instead. I haven't noticed much of a difference in the baked goods. Costco sells the butter in a pack of four 1-pound boxes for $7-something, if I recall correctly and they haven't raised the price lately.

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I buy butter from Jersey cows kept on beautiful green pasture. It is priced according to the season in which it is produced. Spring butter, from milk produced when the cows are eating the fast-growing spring grass with all of its nutrients, goes for about $12/lb, while winter butter, made when the cows are eating the hay the farmer grew the previous summer, is about $7/lb. The rest of the year, it fetches about $9.50/lb.

I'm not a baker, and I use butter mostly for sauteeing vegetables or making sauces, so my consumption is not that great. A pound will last me a couple of weeks.

I buy this butter because of the CLA it contains, which has been shown to help protect against cancer, and my husband and I both have a lot of cancer in our families. I think of it as a nutritional supplement as much as a fat for cooking. And it has a flavor unlike that of any supermarket butter!

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City gal question here: When we talk of butter, we're usually talking about a product of cow's milk. Is there such a thing as goat's milk butter? Is there a discernable taste difference? Is such a product widely available? Are there other butter, other than cow's milk?

And, while we're at it: why is it called "apple butter"?

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City gal question here: When we talk of butter, we're usually talking about a product of cow's milk. Is there such a thing as goat's milk butter? Is there a discernable taste difference? Is such a product widely available? Are there other butter, other than cow's milk?

And, while we're at it: why is it called "apple butter"?

Knowing that goat milk doesn't yield as much cream as that from a milk cow, I was skeptical, but I Googled and found that some people have successfully made goat butter. And Meyenberg offers it commercially.

Given that goat milk is more expensive to produce (goats harder to keep, yield less than a cow) and the cream content is less, I expect goat butter to be very dear. And sure enough, Meyenberg charges $7 plus shipping for a half pound.

As for "apple butter," maybe because it's spread on bread, like butter?

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I just spent $6 on 8 oz. of Kerry Gold. Best. Purchase. EVER.
That seems high. :lol: Balducci's sells it for $4-something, and so does Whole Foods.

I love the Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. cultured butter with sea salt, and stared at it for several minutes today, but just can't bring myself to fork over $7-8...

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That seems high. ;) Balducci's sells it for $4-something, and so does Whole Foods.

Adams Morgan Harris Teeter. Everything there seems to be a buck or two higher, but I'll pay it for convenience and because unlike Safeway they seem to use extra money to keep the place clean and stocked. :lol:

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