Knowledge Base > Barton Seaver - Fat and Flavor

Fat and Flavor

Barton Seaver - Fat and Flavor

This event was on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Barton Seaver to discuss the wide world of cooking and finishing oils (and butter, of course!). We’ll discuss strategies for making the most of this culinary staple and exp… Read More.



Can you share how you select a good butter? What should we look for?

— Beth Alwin


So use a good butter is a what would constitute a good butter in a way to look for it? You know here price is is actually a pretty good measure. Commodity Butters are sold. I mean they're sort of the Lost layer at stores right milk milk sugar eggs flour or what grocery stores, you know compete on in order to get you in the door, right? If they've got the sale on eggs and milk this week it gets you in the door and you're gonna buy the all the other stuff where they actually make their profit, right? So butter has long been sort of seen as a lost leader a place where grocery stores lose money on in order to gain the rest of your business. Commodity butter is not good butter. Now. That's why I was talking about earlier, you know sort of it comes from a system of animal husbandry that I cannot support anything that is competing for the lowest price. To me is is not focused on the ethics or sort of the larger circumstance of what that ingredient is supposed to be and how it presents our responsibilities to the world, right? I understand also had. you know people have different budgets and you know, we all live in different realities. So I I am not making cat placing any judgment on this by any means whatsoever. Just saying that there are Well, whenever we buy anything we are we are acting as part of a system and we should be aware of of our actions. That's all I'm saying. So what is good butter? Good butter is inherently going to be higher priced than commodity butter. It's typically going to be branded. You're gonna see things like pastured cows grass-fed. You're going to see some Family names on there Etc. Look, you know Brands like Vermont Creamery. Kate's butter are good. And these are nationally I don't know about Kate's but I think Vermont Creamery is nationally available. If you can shop at a Whole Foods, they do a really good job. They've got a nice selection of Butters Wegmans has a great selection Butters. So I'm just looking for. some things on here that Yeah, so this is cultured for 82% butterfat anytime. You see any claims of 82 83 84 percent butterfat. That's a good thing. Why because fat costs money what doesn't cost money water. Right. So commodity butter is going to have a lot more water in it. So any claims of fat content higher than 82 83 84 somewhere in that range. That is the mark of a good butter. I mean, I know some of these are all just you know, marketing, you know, like natural and light and and all that stuff, but 82% butterfat is you can't fake that. Yeah cultured butter is another one to look for simply put that's an added extra step steps always cost money. So good only good butter or butter that is Aspiring to be good is going to to reach that thresh is to bother with taking that step. I mean this one look at it. It's got flowers on it and like a really nice label and it's like a really nice. Named Farm. It's called Hylan farm, and it's lovingly handcrafted at our Berkshire our Berkshires farmstead. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Okay, you had me at hello, right? so that's what you're looking for. The bit of a circuitous answer, but there's just not one. There's no like good butter counsel with a certified stamp of approval that I can just point you to but the last one that I didn't point you to was this is better to better to come argue camarg. My French is lost in my covid. I know how to say this. This is a Belgian sea salt. I am I'm just lost anyway, French Butters any french butter that has made it overseas any imported butter Beth to your question. Any butter that somebody's imported to this country is going to be a good butter. Otherwise, we've got lots of dairy over here. We've cut plenty of capacity to make our own cheap butter. So Kerry gold schmear coming from Iceland Kerry gold from Ireland any any sort of product of origin.
Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

Chef, Educator, Author