Butter Taste-Off

October 13, 2010

A world without butter is, to me, a very sad place. In the list of foods I can’t live without, it ranks very high. I like it sweet and cold, and I have a very hard time understanding how anyone could possibly want it warm and salted.

My basic butter choices are Plugra and Land o’ Lakes. (Although I’ve been unhappy with Land o’ Lakes since they stopped wrapping their butter in foil; sweet butter is fragile, and foil provides the best barrier to the off-flavors it so easily absorbs.) But the store had sold out of both, so I decided to buy three other brands, from three countries, and have a butter taste-off.

Celles sur Belle, a French butter from Charentes-Poitou was the most expensive of the lot. Creamy and delicious, it was the most neutral. However, given its price, I wouldn’t buy it again.

Jana Valley from the Czech Republic was the least expensive of the butters, a little more than half the price of the French butter, and definitely one I would buy again. Of the three butters, it had the purest cream flavor.

Kate’s Homemade Butter from Maine was the big surprise to me. It was the median-priced butter, with a clean, sweet flavor. This is the one I want on my morning bread.

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4 Comments

  • When I was very young, my mother or grandmother used to send me to the nearby ‘Epicerie’ to get a slice of butter from one of the ‘Mottes de Beurre’ wrapped in butcher paper.
    You had the choice from lightly salty to very depending on your taste.
    Now I often but 365 butter (Whole Foods) or Cabot.
    Butter from Charentes-Poitou is good though.
    Serge
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

  • ABakingLife says:

    I am so happy to see another person promoting Kate’s! I love butter, love to try out new ones (Vermont Cultured and Meyenberg Goat Milk butters are recent favorites), but my family always, always comes back to Kate’s. The fact that it’s somewhat local for us makes it that much better! I will now be on the look-out for Jana Valley.

  • Kate’s butter is all I buy in Maine.
    You should try their Real Butter Milk. It makes the best biscuit using a good southern flour. And then of course butter on the biscuits. They have been known to cause swooning.

  • how wonderful that you gave Kate’s their well deserved shout out!
    (my sisters operate a small csa/baked good business in southern maine and they exclusively use kate’s. yum)

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