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The Best Butter


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#1 JayPeeBee

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 09:14 AM

Obviously there are big differences among butters.  I've found the French "Beurre de Celles" from Charante tastes best.  I've tried domestic butters and none come close to this flavor. (Land 'O Lakes unsalted is not bad). My main taste test is simply spread on fresh french bread, good sourdough or good bagel. I'm wondering what b&b lovers on this forum think?

#2 Sandra Levine

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 10:32 AM

Land o Lakes has come out with an "Ultra Creamy" butter that has a texture similar to French butter, i.e., softer and more easily spreadable even directly from the refrigerator.  I haven't seen it in all stores, although the food Emporium in NY carries it.  It is more expensive than regular Land o' Lakes, but I think it is worth it, although it won't satisfy people who are looking for that cultured butter flavor.

#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 11:16 AM

Plugra is also very good. I believe it's made by Hotel Bar/Keller's. Kings and Shop Rite carry it for ŭ a pound.

85% butterfat, compared to the usual 80-82% IIRC


#4 =Mark

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 01:32 PM

Do any folks here prefer the flavor of butter that has been held at room temperature for a day or three?



#5 B Edulis

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 02:00 PM

Plugra gets my vote! At Fairway it's only 3 dollars and change. I saw a photo of Jean George in one of his kitchens, and it's what he uses....

#6 JayPeeBee

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 02:11 PM

I've tried Plugra, Kellers, the new Ultra fat butter in a yellow wrapper, and none come close to the taste of French butter from Normandy (Charentes).  Marie d'Issigny is another French brand (SP?) that I recall for great butter.  Egg Farm Dairy was supposed to have made an equivalent product but I never found its taste to be as satisfying.  I do prefer by butter less cold or a little on the room temp. side.  But I also refer it unmelted on toast.  Which is a neat trick.

#7 tommy

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 02:16 PM

Quote: from Rail Paul on 1:16 pm on Jan. 14, 2002
85% butterfat, compared to the usual 80-82% IIRC

it is my impression that butter tries very hard to *kill* you.  sounds like this butter is trying a little harder, going the extra mile.  you gotta respect it for that. :)

#8 Fat Guy

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 03:51 PM

Butterfat content and culturing are matters of preference. I wouldn't say cultured butter is better than uncultured. They're two different foods. Likewise butters with different fat contents.

To me, the absolute most important issue, once you've made the above decisions, is freshness. That's freshness both pre- and post-production. Pre-production freshness means turning the cream into butter soon after milking. Most large-scale commercial butters are using repasteurized cream that can be weeks old. That's why I won't buy any store-brand butters or major brands other than those I trust (such as Hotel Bar). The second factor, post-production freshness, means you get the butter soon after it is packaged, and that it is packaged well. For this reason I won't buy imported butter. It is almost always old.

Of late I've been very happy with the Ben's Butter sold at Fairway.

Most of the top restaurants use Plugra.


#9 B Edulis

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Posted 15 January 2002 - 08:04 AM

For years my favorite butter was made by Valewood Dairy, a small farm near my tiny home town in the Alleghenny Mountains in western PA. Perhaps it was so good because it was so fresh. It is marbled cream and yellow when cut and it's still packaged in beautiful cream and red boxes that are identical to the ones they used in the 1940s. From childhood visits to the farm, I can tell you that the cows were really happy and affectionate. The odd twisteroo is that for a while the butter appeared in the whole foods store that used to be near my loft in Tribeca. I don't know how it got there. The store is now gone, replaced by Issey Mayaki (let them eat pleats!).

#10 Jason Perlow

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Posted 15 January 2002 - 12:32 PM

Interesting. I saw a Food Network show last night that I had recorded on my PVR unit called "Follow that Butter" which is all about Marie d'Issigny butter from Normandy and how mind boggingly great it is, showed the cows eating the Norman grass, showed it being made, and traced it all the way from production to final delivery to Daniel Bouloud. Apparently Daniel uses it exclusively.

They also had a segment at Dean and Deluca, where they showed an American butter that was 86 percent butterfat which is apparently as good as the Normandy stuff. Forgot what it is called though.


#11 jaybee

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Posted 15 January 2002 - 07:56 PM

Thanks Jason for your post.  It's nice to get confirmation of my subjective taste.  This butter (Marie d'Issigny) has long been my top of the list.  They also make a great creme frais.

#12 Huevos del Toro

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:58 PM

A local market now carries a selection of European butters that I’d like to try. I’ve only used Lurpak and Plugrá, but since I’m not familiar with these others I’d like your impressions of any you’ve tasted. Positive or negative comments…doesn’t matter. I have brief descriptors of each but they’re designed to sell butter, so I’d really appreciate some non-commercial viewpoints. I’m not so concerned with baking or pastry performance. Rather, I’ll simply spread it on a slice of good bread.

Thanks

Celles Sur Belle - France
Lescure - France
Le Gall Fleur de Sel - France
Cadí - Spain
Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - Ireland
Nova Acores - Azores
Burro Occelli - Italy
--------------
Bob Bowen
aka Huevos del Toro

#13 Wolfert

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 01:05 PM

Interesting. I saw a Food Network show last night that I had recorded on my PVR unit called "Follow that Butter" which is all about Marie d'Issigny butter from Normandy and how mind boggingly great it is, showed the cows eating the Norman grass, showed it being made, and traced it all the way from production to final delivery to Daniel Bouloud. Apparently Daniel uses it exclusively.<.

This is my favorite butter , but I only use it seasonally: that is I use Isigny Ste. Marie with home-roasted chestnuts and salt baked potatoes.I can't afford the calories to spread it on bread every day.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#14 estufarian

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:29 AM

I’m not so concerned with baking or pastry performance. Rather, I’ll simply spread it on a slice of good bread.

I've tried multiple butters. Without question, my favourite by itself (e.g. on bread) is Burro Ocelli. Of course, I would never think of smuggling it back into Canada!

#15 NHCountryGirl

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:49 AM

I have to second the new Land of Lakes Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil.

Never had any of those European spreads, so can't compare.

#16 schnitzel

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:51 AM

They also had a segment at Dean and Deluca, where they showed an American butter that was 86 percent butterfat which is apparently as good as the Normandy stuff. Forgot what it is called though.

I believe it's Vermont Cultured Butter, my favorite.
~Amy

#17 sherribabee

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:56 AM

A local market now carries a selection of European butters that I’d like to try. I’ve only used Lurpak and Plugrá, but since I’m not familiar with these others I’d like your impressions of any you’ve tasted. Positive or negative comments…doesn’t matter. I have brief descriptors of each but they’re designed to sell butter, so I’d really appreciate some non-commercial viewpoints. I’m not so concerned with baking or pastry performance. Rather, I’ll simply spread it on a slice of good bread.

Thanks

Celles Sur Belle - France
Lescure - France
Le Gall Fleur de Sel - France
Cadí - Spain
Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - Ireland
Nova Acores - Azores
Burro Occelli - Italy

I'm also very interested in learning which butters y'all like best, what specifically you like about them, and for whatt purpose (baking, spreading, etc.).

I've used Hotel Bar almost exclusively, and just recently gave Plugra a try (for making croissants), so I've got a lot to learn. But boy, did that Plugra smell good!
Sherri A. Jackson

#18 mikeycook

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 10:22 AM

I grew up on Land o' Lakes but I stopped using it when someone told me at contains growth hormones (Is this really true? Obviously I haven't been affected by it, but do I really NEED growth hormones in my butter?) I used Breakstones for a while, but I now use primarily Celles sur Belles, which comes in large rolls for $5.99 at my local market (Morton Williams, Bleeker/LaGuardia, NYC). and tastes better than any of the commercial domestic butters I've had. I have also tried Lurpak, which is good, but the European butters are so expensive for general use (Celles sur Belles is more than LOL, but still affordable.) The only downside to Celles sur Belles is, if you are used to measuring your butter by cutting individual sticks, the rolls can be an adjustment. For bread and croissants and some of the best eating, I prefer the butter from Ronnybrook Farms (it is always a favorite for brunch.)
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
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#19 Wolfert

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 10:26 AM

I’m not so concerned with baking or pastry performance. Rather, I’ll simply spread it on a slice of good bread.

I've tried multiple butters. Without question, my favourite by itself (e.g. on bread) is Burro Ocelli. Of course, I would never think of smuggling it back into Canada!

Ocello butter is imported into the states. Try www.esperya.com
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#20 mtdew

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 02:22 PM

Is Challenge Butter any good?

#21 rickster

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 02:38 PM

I grew up on Land o' Lakes but I stopped using it when someone told me at contains growth hormones (Is this really true? Obviously I haven't been affected by it, but do I really NEED growth hormones in my butter?)


Based on the publicity around milk, I'd guess just about any US butter has growth hormones in it unless it is organic or specifically says it doesn't contain hormones.

#22 NHCountryGirl

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 03:49 PM

I don't know if Land 'o Lakes would have hormones in it? Don't they mostly give the hormones to beef cattle for growth? Is there some advantage to giving hormones to dairy cows - does it increase milk production?

I get natural, free range chicken and eggs as much as possible, so maybe a little bit of hormonal butter spread on my toast won't hurt! :rolleyes:

For baking, I use salt free sticks of butter usually store brand. But, I'll have to look into that Vermont Cultured Butter. It sounds good. Vermont cheddar cheese (Cabot especially) is the best, so I bet they have some good butter, too!

#23 mamster

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 08:32 PM

A big cheer here for the Vermont Butter & Cheese brand. I just finished off a chub of it, and it's wonderful stuff, partly because I like cultured butter, partly because of the high butterfat, and largely for the post-production freshness that FG talks about. I don't know whether this butter starts out better than the French guys, but by the time I pull it off the shelf at Whole Foods, it's better.

Not cheap, though.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#24 rickster

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:06 PM

Recombinant bovine growth hormone is sometimes used to increase milk production in cows. Some milk labels itself rbgh free.

#25 melkor

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:28 PM

My absolute favorite butter for spreading on bread is straus salted european style. More info about it can be found here.

#26 savvysearch

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 09:47 PM

Anyone have any good butter recommendations? For both salted and unsalted.

I've only tried the supermarket variety, the one with the native American, the deer, and the Albertson's generic brand. But I'm still searching for one that's equivalent to the types you get at fancy restaurants.

#27 kitwilliams

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 09:54 PM

Both my butters you can find at Trader Joe's...Plugra for baking and the Devon Clotted Cream Butter (is that what it's called? someone correct me if I'm wrong) is awesome for spreading on bread. Thickly spread, I might add.
kit

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#28 chef koo

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:59 AM

cultured butter is quite common nowadays at supermarkets. it's unsalted so ti's usually found in the freezer section. ones made in north america will say european style butter. if possible find one from france. normandy is typically regarded as the best. but don't go to your supermarket and ask for normandy butter. chances are they won't have a clue. if you go to your secialti food store and ask they'll most likely know.
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#29 Verjuice

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:10 AM

If you shop at Albertson's, you might try checking their 'organic dairy' section for Horizon or Organic Valley brand butters. They're easy to find and they make a product that is superior to the generic. Both companies put out a European-style cultured butter that is quite good for a mass market product. And relatively inexpensive.

#30 Abra

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:47 AM

I'll second the Organic Valley Unsalted, which is cultured. It's my house butter, and a very good product with actual flavor.