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Fat Guy

Kerry Gold and other high-end butters

30 posts in this topic

Why is Kerry Gold butter so good? It's a product you can get in a lot of supermarkets, so they must make a ton of it, but it tastes like a small-batch, artisanal product. What makes it taste the way it does?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It is Irish supermarket butter. I do not know if it is so good as much as, apologies every one but American supermarket butter is really bad.

Actually, I find Land o Lakes unsalted perfectly fine for all my baking needs.

As to Kerry Gold, I can't answer the "why" it's so good; just happy it is and it's readily available.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Erm, can I ask if people in the UK also consider this a great butter? Because I would consider it to be a pretty average (as in not-so-great) butter. Put it this way - there are definitely other butters I would use if I wanted decent butter!

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Erm, can I ask if people in the UK also consider this a great butter? Because I would consider it to be a pretty average (as in not-so-great) butter. Put it this way - there are definitely other butters I would use if I wanted decent butter!

That is how I felt. Till I moved to the US and tasted US butter. It just tasted bland and mostly rancid to me. Unless you dropped 7 dollars or more on something that came from a local farm. To be honest I just did not eat butter till kerrygold appeared. It is so much better than what is on offer in a US supermarket, it makes it seem amazing.

I used to go home at Christmas and just eat butter and bread for a week.

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It may be Irish supermarket butter, but I like it better than the Danish Lurpak I was addicted to!

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Erm, can I ask if people in the UK also consider this a great butter? Because I would consider it to be a pretty average (as in not-so-great) butter. Put it this way - there are definitely other butters I would use if I wanted decent butter!

Please name them. I buy whatever is on sale never giving much thought to taste.

When I googled kerrygold, plugra also came up. Made by Keller in the USA with same price and butterfat content as KG. Any opinions?

Edited to add: I'm in Pennsylvania, USA.


Edited by Mano (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

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^^^

Where are you based? I'm in the UK and I prefer any number of the local butters I can get, often there's a lot of organic or from speciality cows/sheep/goats. In the supermarket I tend to go for Yeo Valley butter because it's organic and I like the taste. Same for Rachels. Actually I'd go for supermarket own brand organic or "finest" butter over kerrygold too. This is also because I'd prefer unsalted over salted butter when buying. When it comes to actually eating it I do tend to salt it if just having with bread, but I like to try it unsalted to check the flavour.

Interestingly enough my Mum looks down most of all on butters such as Lurpak and Anchor, because they're not British. This comes from the fact that she grew up with local butter, milk and cream from the farm that her father and brother worked on, and she doesn't like the idea of not supporting British farmers when it comes to dairy and meat.

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Things that affect the flavor of butter include the amount of butterfat, whether it is cultured or not, and what the cows eat, so it's certainly expected that butter from different regions made in exactly the same way with the same amount of fat will taste different. The culture can also vary among cultured butters.

Of the imported, high fat, and cultured butters one can get in New York, I like Celles sur Belle myself.

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The brand that I regularly use is President, which I think is way better than Kerry Gold....

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I've been using Amish roll butter from Minerva Dairy for years. Good butter, and fortunately available at the local coop for less than $8 for two pound roll.

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I like Kerrygold and find the flavor to be second only to my homemade butter.

A few years ago I got a special order of butter that I think was from Vermont but that was a one time offer and it isn't available here - and I don't like the other Vermont butter at all.

I don't care for Plugra, President or Anchor. Of the butters sold in local supermarkets, Challenge is the biggest seller, Tillamook, Land O'Lakes the next. I think they are pretty tasteless.

Alta Dena butter is okay but doesn't have the flavor of Kerrygold.

Years ago Knudsen dairy used to produce an excellent butter with superior flavor but the quality went downhill after the company was purchased by Kraft. I haven't seen it in local markets for some time.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

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My take on Irish butter vs US butter is that in Ireland the climate is pretty ideal for grasses and that cows in Ireland have fresh grass pretty much year round. That has got to help make great butter.

HC

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Andie, I totally agree. I'm no butter novice. I've had most every brand available in New York City, which includes major brands from all over the world. And I've had local, artisanal butters here and in several countries. I think Kerry Gold is simply great butter. Not the best I've ever had but the best I've been able to get regularly and easily in local supermarkets.

Jenni, I'm able to get Kerry Gold both salted and unsalted in the stores near me.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I enjoy Kerrygold - we used to get it when my family lived in England in the early '80s.

Of the European butters available over here, I think I slightly prefer unsalted Lurpak to Kerrygold - plus the Lurpak doesn't have the flimy Kerrygold packaging which just shreds into slivers (quibble I know).

Plugra is absolutely awful - I'd rather get Land O'Lakes.

And Echiré blows all of the above out of the water.

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Andie, I totally agree. I'm no butter novice. I've had most every brand available in New York City, which includes major brands from all over the world. And I've had local, artisanal butters here and in several countries. I think Kerry Gold is simply great butter. Not the best I've ever had but the best I've been able to get regularly and easily in local supermarkets.

Jenni, I'm able to get Kerry Gold both salted and unsalted in the stores near me.

Steven, you posted about a special offering of Cabot butter in Nov. 2004

I ordered that special and I really liked the Cabot "83" cultured butter but didn't find the other to be that much better than butter I can buy locally. (Not Kerrygold)

I guess on the whole, I still prefer my homemade product, mainly because I can control the amount of salt that goes into it and when culturing the cream, can control that also.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I do like the flavor and rich golden color of Kerry Gold butter, but I prefer the small-producer French butters that I can get at the one upscale market in town. The butterfat content isn't much higher than Kerry Gold, but the French butters have a richer, deeper flavor for my tastes. Tillamook Dairy butter is my regular use butter.

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Jenni, I'm able to get Kerry Gold both salted and unsalted in the stores near me.

That's good to know. Perhaps I haven't looked carefully enough. It seems I have been spoiled with my butter choices so I am rather dismissive of generic butters such as Kerrygold, Anchor, etc. Of course, if others are enjoying it and find it a good choice for their purposes, then that is valid too!

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It may be Irish supermarket butter, but I like it better than the Danish Lurpak I was addicted to!

Well, I can understand that, since Lurpak just Danish supermarket butter!


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I've never tried Kerry Gold, but you've convinced me to try. Usually I buy Kate's Homemade Butter, made in Maine. It's good and readily available around here.

Agree that most US butter is pretty awful.



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According to the Kerry Gold marketing literature, it's all about the grass:

"In Ireland, cows roam free in fresh air and graze in lush pastures of tender grass. From this benign environment and extraordinary diet come luscious milk so rich in beta-carotene, it can turn butter and cheese into a natural gold."


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I really like Wuthrich European Style Butter which I can sometimes get as Surfas locally. I think it's from Wisconsin. Buerre Echire is great but expensive if you're using a lot for pastry I wish we could get their double cream out here. Kerry gold great for some things especially on home made toast but the flavor is a little assertive for me for things like scrambled eggs.

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San Francisco Chronicle Food Section over the years has had many articles on the variety of butters readily available in supermarkets often with Tasting Panels. What follows are links to a selection of articles.

Organic Butter Tasting Panel

SFC Tasting Panel Organic Butters

General Discussion of Butters and What Makes Them Different (note last half of article is recipes)

San Francisco Chronicle - Butter

Another Lengthy Article & Tasting Panel's Preferences (at the end of the article

Article II with Tasting Panel

European Style Butters & Tasting Panel (KerryGold is #5)

SFC Tasting Panel - European Style Butters


Bob Sherwood

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The grass the cows eat? It is produced under license in Finland, Spain, and in South Africa. That I know of.


The perfect vichyssoise is served hot and made with equal parts of butter to potato.

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San Francisco Chronicle Food Section over the years has had many articles on the variety of butters readily available in supermarkets often with Tasting Panels. What follows are links to a selection of articles.

Organic Butter Tasting Panel

SFC Tasting Panel Organic Butters

General Discussion of Butters and What Makes Them Different (note last half of article is recipes)

San Francisco Chronicle - Butter

Another Lengthy Article & Tasting Panel's Preferences (at the end of the article

Article II with Tasting Panel

European Style Butters & Tasting Panel (KerryGold is #5)

SFC Tasting Panel - European Style Butters

I certainly don't agree that Lurpak and Plugra are better than Kerrygold. And the Strauss butter always tastes a bit spoiled to me.

But then again, I taste things that other people don't.

I have tasted these and other butters side-by-side on low-salt, fat-free saltine crackers.

I think this is a better base for tasting just the butter because it is a more neutral flavor than plain bread.

I have a problem with the Challenge European style butter because to me it is too "waxy" which is the only word I can think of to describe what I sense when I taste it.

It's better than the others but doesn't have the creaminess of the Kerrygold.

I think that this is pretty much a personal thing and not everyone is going to like the same thing. There is more complexity to butter than one may think.

I have to say that there is one French butter that to my taste is far superior to any others that I have tried and I have been trying to achieve that flavor with my homemade stuff for years.

And that is the lightly salted Isigny AOP Butter.

I could eat it like candy. :wub:


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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