today's forage

better butter

I don’t use margarine. (Although I recently came across a recipe in Mairlyn Smith’s book for chewy chocolate chip cookies using margarine that both intrigues me and has me wondering why??  I’d like to try it but, um, I don’t have any margarine…)

I use unsalted butter and have ever since I worked in a deli during high school where, when I wasn’t slicing the ends off my fingers or in ER having things stitched back on, I ate some of the best lunches of my life. The buns (kaisers) were fresh every morning, the selection of meat and cheese, vast compared with the hard salami and sliced tongue we had in our fridge at home.

And the butter was sweet and soft. I piled it on.

Over the years I’ve become less liberal with the slathering but, oh yeah, I still love buttah.

So I loved reading a recent  article in The Globe and Mail about this particular decadence, and Stirling Creamery (in Stirling, Ontario) who are producing a higher fat content product—one that has bakers quite excited. Seems this is comparable to the stuff you find in Europe, which accounts for tastier croissants and pastries, etc., creamier chocolate, and less need for preservatives to keep things fresh.

Much has to do with the way a higher fat content leaves less room for water, which acts “…like glue between dough layers, sticking them together when, ideally, they should separate.”

Small butter producers, like the one in Stirling, may not be super popular with the huge monopoly that is the dairy business. But they can (and hopefully will) be popular with chefs, bakeries, and consumers.

And that can only be a good thing for all of us.

Eat less. Eat better. Eat local. 😀 

This entry was published on March 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm and is filed under essentials. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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