If you like rich, butter flavor and prefer a courser cake, go for the Straus. Vermont Cultured Salted Butter. Butter tends to be cheaper in November than in December, when more people bake. Butter is a dairy product made from milk or cream. One butter, Challenge, tasted so salty that we were sure it had been mislabeled as sweet butter. A Chronicle survey of prices in November and December showed vast differences between months and between stores. Along with 80% butterfat, the average butter sold in the United States contains about 16-18% water and 2-4% additional components, such as milk solids and sometimes salt. If you're both a health-conscious diner and a cookbook enthusiast, you may have noticed that the terminology in your cookbooks changes over time. Are you still trying to unlock the secret behind a perfectly flakey pie crust? It also tasted saltier and had a pronounced butter flavor. Each butter may have been exposed to any number of problems in shipping, storage, stock rotation or packaging, all of which can affect the delicate taste. Sweet Cream Butter. The best news may be that it is a relative bargain. Here are the results: . The butter we all know and love is of the sweet cream variety. -- The Bottom Line: It comes down to personal preference. Full-fat milk is usually homogenized at the dairy, a process that makes the fat globules so small they'll remain evenly dispersed throughout the milk and not separate, as they otherwise would. After much discussion with baking and science experts, we concluded that the high amount of fat in the Straus cake kept it from developing as tender a texture. -- 5. Others prefer the rich mouthfeel and flavor of high-fat butter, especially when it comes to croissants and puff pastry. -- 4. Beyond butterfat, there is another important distinction between American and Irish butters—the U.S. has a much stricter grading system than Ireland does when it comes to assessing butter. Celles sur Belle. Branded as “France’s #1 Butter,” Président has a high fat content—and that’s why we’re … Clarified butter is butter with the water and milk proteins removed, leaving a composition of 99-100% pure butterfat. Once baked, the Straus crust was the flatest, and was soft and just slightly crisp. Lucerne surprised us with its mild dairy notes and fresh taste, which some described as almost floral. In order for a churned dairy product to be considered butter, it must contain at least 80 percent butterfat. -- 2. Plugra, in particular, suffered from this. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care: High Dairy Fat Intake Related to Less Central Obesity -- A Male Cohort Study With 12 Years' Follow-up, European Journal of Nutrition: The Relationship Between High-Fat Diary Consumption and Obesity, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease. Maybe that extra two percent really pushed this butter from being good (like it’s honorable mention cousin) to great. Although The Chronicle's Best Way column recommends using equal parts of shortening and butter in a pie crust, we prepared all-butter crusts for our test. One butter executive advises buying butter in November when it is cheaper and freezing it. In January 2000, multiple component pricing became the milk pricing system for about 90 percent of federal order milk production. Consumers can't even count on sell-by dates, since those are not required by law and and can be arbitrarily set by the manufacturer. Somebody walking by with strong perfume on or even a cart with three crabs in it can affect the flavor," says Marc Halperin, culinary director at San Francisco's Center for Culinary Development. Distribution is limited to a few Western states. Therefore, sell-by dates wouldn't mean much. The remainder consists of water and a small quantity of milk solids. Supermarkets like Safeway, which sells Lucerne butter, will offer discounts on their house brand to beat out competitors like Challenge or Land O' Lakes. Milk fat and butter fat are therefore the same thing, varying only in their concentration. One camp prefers a high-moisture butter to get the crispness and lift that comes when water turns to steam and explodes the fat globules that surround it. Surprisingly, a high butterfat content wasn't the key to the best-tasting butter. Whole milk usually has around 3.5% butterfat. It had a deep, butter flavor and a powerful, nutty aroma. The lipids or fats point into the center of the globule, while the phosphates or proteins like the watery liquid outside of the globules. The Land O' Lakes sauce, a pale lemon yellow, had the best balance, allowing the flavors of shallot, vinegar and wine to blend nicely into a whole. Plenty of luxe types of butter exist on the market, but time-honored supermarket staples like Land O'Lakes can totally get the job done, especially in a utilitarian baking context. " Butter is almost entirely fat, as it is made by separating out the fat and then whipping it to encourage it to coalesce into a mass. The Straus cake was rich in butter flavor and had a course, rustic texture. Because of butter’s low melting point, the dough tends to spread during baking before the structure sets. The Cremerie Classique sauce had what looked like fine pepper sprinkled throughout and a light nutty butter flavor. It is a rush of tangy, salty … Generations of health professionals have advised the public to limit their consumption of butter and other full-fat dairy products because saturated fat consumption had been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. It’s created when cream is vigorously churned, which causes its solids (butterfat) and liquids (buttermilk) to separate, and ultimately results in the firm product we all know and love. . Gerber Butterfat Content Determination Method. If you allow unpasteurized milk to stand, it separates into cream (mostly butterfat) and skim milk (mostly water). In 2015, the shift started – th… The Land O' Lakes cake had a much lighter texture and the flavor faded quickly. Butter fat testing using Gerber method is one of the many quality assurance test procedures carried out in milk. The Cremerie Classique sauce had a slightly sharper flavor from the wine and vinegar reduction. This French standard, which involves simply melting butter until it browns, is making a comeback as a simple sauce for vegetables and fish. A more natural diet, produce a better milk, and then better butter. The three cakes we baked couldn't have been more different. Does Butter Really Make Everything Better? In making the pastry, there was little noticeable difference in the three brands of butter, although it appeared that the Straus butter blended into the dough quicker. To determine the difference in moisture content, butterfat, salt and milk solids, we turned to the scientists. While that changes its quality slightly, the savings can sometimes be as much as $1 per pound. That extra 2% of butterfat … Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. The Straus sauce looked like coarse pepper had been sprinkled over it. Where Does the Fat Come From in Instant Oatmeal? It's light-colored, mild and slightly grassy tasting. Butterfat ranged from the legal minimum of 80 percent to nearly 86 percent. We bought all the butters at the same time and immediately put them into self-sealing plastic bags. The Cremerie Classique cake was tender, but not quite as light as the Land O' Lakes cake. This test was so interesting that we ended up repeating it four times. -- The Bottom Line: Cremerie Classique had the best balance of rich butter flavor and performance. Others said it was simply yummy. We used the average of the two scores. Butter is a commodity, and wholesale prices are set largely through trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Its butterfat content is 82%, which … Butters … -- The Bottom Line: Land O' Lakes makes the best beurre blanc. As you noted, the nutrition facts counts for Land O' Lakes at 80% butterfat and Kerrygold at 82% butterfat are the same. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Many researchers are now revisiting the earlier assumptions about dairy fat and its relationship to health concerns, in search of a better and more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms involved. Vivien Straus attributes that to the vagaries of her small dairy. The fat content of whole milk can vary among individual cows, among breeds or even from month to month as the animal's fodder changes. For a series of performance tests, we selected the butter with the highest fat content (Straus Family Creamery, at almost 86 percent), the butter with the lowest fat content and the highest water content (Land O' Lakes with 80 percent fat and almost 18 percent water) and our favorite table butter, Cremerie Classique (82 percent fat and about 16 percent moisture). Butterfat ranged from the legal minimum of 80 percent to nearly 86 percent. The distinctions between different kinds of milk and cream labels can be confusing. What’s the big deal? Président. Price: $$ Plugrá is a European style butter that was specifically designed to produce superior baked goods. The Chronicle spent several weeks exploring 15 widely available brands of unsalted butter. The high-fat Straus butter made a sauce that was thicker, deeper in color and decidedly buttery. This rich butter is made in Ireland and has a pale yellow color, because it is made from grass-fed cow’s milk, free of antibiotics and hormones, with 82 percent butterfat. Lower fat content means that the butter contains more water, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for baking. (Tie) Lucerne (Safeway) and Land O' Lakes. The answer is butterfat. To see just how different the spread would be, I baked two batches of our Self-Rising Crunchy Sugar Cookies (one made with all butter, one with all shortening), for another shortening vs. butter in baking comparison. Because Straus butter is made from cows that graze and isn't ultra- pasteurized or cultured, it is particularly volatile. Modern cookbooks turn that around, referring to butter by its milk fat content. That extra 2 percent is usually made up of fat, which helps the butter become the delectable, spreadable texture you know and love. Before that, butter is 16-17% water and 1-2% milk proteins (also known as milk solids). Most breeds average 3.5 percent to 4 percent butter fat. -- 1. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, a single teaspoon of butter contains 4 grams of fat, of which 2.5 grams is saturated fat. This French import is slightly oily and has a light tang and rustic look. "It always has the best results." The people who run the Safeway dairy labs in Walnut Creek agreed to send our set of unlabeled butter samples to an independent lab they regularly contract with. The remaining traces of milk are rinsed out of the butterfat in cold water and the mass is compressed into a solid lump or brick of butter. The Difference Between Salted and Unsalted Butter The only real difference between salted and unsalted butter is literally the salt: All butter is made from milkfat in cream and contains at least 80 percent milkfat, 18 percent water, and 2 percent solids (mainly protein and salt), explains Jen Giambroni, a dairy expert with Real California Milk. We whisked them into beurre blanc and baked them into pound cake. It is available at markets like Andronico's and Whole Foods. The only marking on samples were numbers, and each butter was tested twice. Berkeley Farms. The fat in butter is much more concentrated than it is in milk, averaging approximately 80 percent of the butter's weight. The milk that is used to produce this butter is from cows that eat grass. Salted butter typically contains 1-2% salt by weight, or about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt per stick. But the Land O' Lakes crust seemed a good choice for sturdier uses like pot pies. Clear butterfat rises to the top of melted butter and may be poured off, leaving the albuminous curd and water that favour the growth of organisms promoting rancidity; thus, anhydrous butterfat does not become rancid as readily as butter and can be stored unrefrigerated for several months. Twelve years after the initial survey, participants with a high intake of dairy fat had the lowest rate of central obesity, while those with the lowest consumption of dairy fat had the highest rates. It has nearly 85 percent butterfat vs. approximately 80 percent for regular (American) butter. I live in Canada, where a breadth of butterfat options are available, but butters with butterfat ratios above 80 tend to be quite pricey. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. Butter (German: "die Butter") is made from butterfat in the cream of cows, sheep, and goats (and sometimes other mammals). . The packaging on some sticks of unsalted butter boasts their contents have an 85% butterfat content. Prices generally drop again in January. Very wrong. "Fat really absorbs moisture molecules quite well. We ate them plain and spread them on bread. Other butters tasted included Clover Stornetta, Challenge, Horizon, Straus Family Creamery, Organic Valley, Tillamook, Luvpak Danish, Challenge European, Plugra and Beurre President. That is probably because high-fat butter softens and melts faster. We sent them to a laboratory for scientific analysis. The differences in taste and performance amazed our team of tasters. New studies suggest that this might not be the case, however. Because the percentage of milk solids differs in each butter, and those solids become dark brown particles in the sauce, each sample looked different. European-style butter is slow churned and cultured which creates a creamier texture with less moisture. The butterfat (also known as milk fat) is found in small, round globules surrounded by a membrane of phospholipids and lipoproteins. The Cremerie Classique cake had a pronounced sweetness and rose higher than Land O' Lakes but not as high as Straus, which rose the highest just out of the oven but ended up with the densest texture. Other sources include butter or anhydrous milkfat. It is a simpler modification of the Babcock method with special butyrometers for various dairy products. But, bottom line: It didn't do well in our tasting. What Are the Benefits of Ingesting Coconut Oil? Many of the butters received low scores because they had off-flavors which we surmised they had picked up during transport or on the supermarket shelf. This butter is not discreet. Shortages in cream supplies and higher demand can drive prices up, as was the case in 1998 and early 1999. The Cremerie Classique cake seemed like a good compromise, with a lighter texture. American butter is usually around 80 percent fat, although the exact amount varies from brand to brand. This keeps them from pooling together like the oil in your vinaigrette, but they're still lighter than the watery whey and will tend to rise to the top of the milk. In the Land O' Lakes cake, the steam created by the extra moisture and the lighter butterfat made for a lighter cake. Fat in Butter The fat in butter is much more concentrated than it is in milk, averaging approximately 80 percent of the butter's weight. These butters are not cultured, so expect a more neutral flavor. This European-style butter from Raven Creamery Co. in Portland, Ore. is sweet, with hints of vanilla and tang and lots of old- fashioned butter flavor. This portable charger is $14 and can charge your phone 6... How a virtual movie club has helped me survive the pandemic, Silliker Laboratories of Northern California. A 2012 study published in the "Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care" reviewed the overall health of a group of middle-aged rural Swedes. To make clarified butter, you simmer unsalted butter in a pan over low heat. We used the butterfat and moisture levels, which are listed in an accompanying chart, to determine which butters to test in cooking. Butterfat, also called Milk Fat, natural fatty constituent of cows’ milk and the chief component of butter. All of the samples we tried had a variety of dates, many extending into 2001. Sweet cream butter is made from butter that is fresh and sweet tasting, rather than aged and tart. 1. Saturated Fats Are Primarily Found in What Groups? The strong flavor appealed to some for eating at the table but others thought it would be too rich for baking. Cremerie Classique. When mixed with shortening, it should produce a crust with even better flake. A 2013 meta-study published in the "European Journal of Nutrition" reviewed 16 earlier studies, with similar results. Anchor Like Kerrygold, Anchor is yellow because of the grass the cows are eating, compared to the white butter derived from the milk of corn-fed cows. The remainder consists of … Butterfat contains about 3% trans fat, which is slightly less than 0.5 grams per US tablespoon. In older cookbooks, you might find cream, milk and low-fat milk described in terms of their content of butter fat. When Put to the Test, Here's How Butter Brands Stack Up, In 1999, California, the second largest producer of butter in the nation, produced 343 million pounds of butter. The theory here is that the fat coats the tongue, canceling out the sharpness of the other ingredients in the sauce. The best source of butterfat in ice cream for high quality flavour and convenience is fresh sweet cream from fresh sweet milk. Butter is a natural food made from milk, while margarine is a processed food made from chemically altered vegetable oils. In 2013, protein was almost double the price of butterfat, $3.30 per pound to $1.66 per pound. Our cultured butter also has less moisture than sweet cream butter, which also boasts great results in cooking and baking. At the same time, the water content in the butter is evaporating, and what’s left is pure butterfat. One of the advantages of multiple component pricing is: It provides clear pricing signals to dairy farmers in regards to the economic value of milk components. The Land O' Lakes sauce was more uniform in color, with a few flecks and a neutral flavor. Land O' Lakes, from Minnesota, was characterized as the classic American butter. Horizon was $3.99 in November and $4.99 in December at Andronico's; at Safeway, Tillamook was $2.89 in November and $4.19 in December. Although butterfat is typically 82% in Europe, in the US most butter is actually 80% (US dictated minimum). From 2000 to 2014, the average annual producer protein price was higher than butterfat every year. How Is Fat Separated From Milk to Make Skim Milk? Land O' Lakes butter is my go-to butter for baking," explained recipe developer Leah Klein of City Living Boston. The more fat, the less balanced the sauce. Cremerie Classique is made by Raven Creamery in Portland, OR, a small dairy employing just 11 people. Whipping cream can have between 30 and 35%, and heavy cream has at least 36%. Butterfat definition is - the natural fat of milk and chief constituent of butter consisting essentially of a mixture of glycerides (such as those derived from butyric, capric, caproic, and caprylic acids). They all begin with whole milk, which consists of three components: water, milk solids, and butterfat. The standards for the minimum amount of butterfat in butter are different in Europe and America. The Land O' Lakes crust was bland, but had a crisp flake and more height. In a blind tasting, some of the expensive, high-fat butters Bay Area chefs swear by scored very low because they had slightly musty, off flavors probably picked up from store refrigeration. When it comes to flavor, our panel discovered that how a butter is stored makes almost as much difference as how much flavor-giving butterfat it contains. 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While American butter contains just 80% butterfat, European butter has been churned for a longer period of time, giving it 82% butterfat. Near perfection. Even Land O' Lakes, the only national brand, and house brands like Safeway's Lucerne, crept over $4. European-Style Butter. 3. The biggest difference in Kerrygold butter starts with the milk. It's not subtle. It's creamy and rich from butterfat, but not so high in fat that it is overwhelming. Irish butter brands usually follow the European standard of producing butter with an 82% butterfat content, though there are variations. This high-fat layer, known as cream, can then be churned to bring the fat globules together and form butter. But the labels for Straus Family Creamery (a Northern California dairy) at 85% butterfat and Vermont Creamery at 88% butterfat are also the same: both read 12 grams of fat and 110 calories per 1 T. serving. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen; Harold McGee. This mild, sweet butter, made in Hayward, tastes fresh with a slight tang. Since production varies, depending on how many nonfat products are sold (which enables the dairy to siphon off the extra cream) and how much milk the cows produce, Straus often freezes its butter for later sale when supplies may be low. -- The Bottom Line: The flavor and aroma of Straus made it a clear winner. Spent several weeks exploring 15 widely available brands of unsalted butter labels can be confusing at least %! Slightly grassy tasting butterfat ) and Land O ' Lakes crust seemed a good choice for sturdier uses pot... Of butter fat are therefore the same time, the steam created by the extra moisture the... The average annual producer protein price was higher than butterfat every year butter, it separates cream. 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