A Lesson in Butter
“Butter is elemental, just churned cream, but the very best ones hold flavors so sophisticated and elusive that they dazzle your palate while comforting you like a child.” (Oliver Strand, “Solid Gold”, May ’14, American Vogue)
I don’t ask much for when my husband has to go to Europe for work, just bring me back some butter. French butter to be exact, and make sure it’s ‘cru’, aka raw. French butter is also cultured, meaning a bit tangy and sour, whereas North American butter is sweet. We want cultured butter, not only for the taste but for the added benefit of gut friendly probiotics.
The Butter Vikings in Scandinavia are so serious about their churned craft that they make one specifically for the king of Sweden aptly called King’s Butter that is cultured butter with pearls of sweet cream dripped into it with the tip of a knife and gently folded in, allowing a taster the pleasure of experiencing bursts of sweet gold nestled in tangy, perfectly salted, creamy butter. The king, who (gasp!) once hated butter, is now a convert thanks to these artists. (I know, right? Let’s all book our plane tickets together, right now, and head to Sweden to buy out the entire stock.) The Vikings also purvey their wares at Noma, René Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant that elevated foraging to haute cuisine.
We need to eat more butter: it is high in vitamins A, E, K2, and selenium. Selenium and vitamin E are also powerful antioxidants. “Individuals receiving optimal vitamin A from the time of conception have broad handsome faces, strong straight teeth, and excellent bone structure.” (Sally Fallon, “Why Butter is Better”, Weston A. Price Foundation) Naturally, and much to my husband’s delight, I ate pounds of butter while pregnant, and will continue to do so whenever I can get my hands on those beautiful, golden nuggets. Not to mention, the kid needs to taste good butter- have to develop those taste buds early….
To get your hands on some cultured butter in the US, check out these links:
Want to make it yourself? I commend you:
Food and Wine Magazine
And to read more about the health benefits of butter (Yes, butter, can be part of a healthy diet. Everything in moderation, my friend):
Mark Bittman for The NY Times
Bon Appetit Magazine
Weston A. Price Foundation