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Dec 4, 2006 01:27 AM

Plugras butter

Hello 'Hounds. Does anyone know where to buy Plugras butter or similar in Toronto? Thanks.

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  1. I've never seen it in Toronto. I bought some recently at Wegman's in Buffalo.

    3 Replies
      1. re: MichelinStarChaser

        Please be aware that all dairy products MUST be declared when crossing the border and will probably be confiscated and destroyed. This is because the customs officers don't know the law and seem to confiscate everything.

        1. re: estufarian

          FWIW - I regularly bring butter across the border, mostly in my checked luggage. I've never declared it and I've never had a problem. Knock wood :-)

          I buy Plugra at Trader Joe's, various kinds of butter in France, and Smith Creamery butter in Louisiana. I've never found a high-milkfat butter in Toronto.

    1. Look for "Normandy style cultured butter" at most Loblaws. It's what you are looking for.

      7 Replies
      1. re: embee

        Embee, does it really have as much butterfat as Plugras?

        1. re: FlavoursGal

          Sorry, I don't know :-(

          What do you plan to use it for? You should try it whatever the relative butterfat content happens to be. If you live in the GTA, Wegman's is kind of a long drive...

          I do know it has more butterfat than regular butter and it tastes really good. But I think a meaningful difference emerges only in baking. For anything else, I'm happy with Lactancia.

          1. re: FlavoursGal

            Plugras generally gets up to about 84% butterfat, compared to 80% for our normal butter. That displaces 4% of water giving foods a richer taste.

            But for crusts, because steam is so important for the flakiest of crusts, I am not sure if less water would give you the same flaky crust.

            I have never seen Normandy Style at Loblaws that was unsalted. So although it is 82% butterfat, it is salted.

            1. re: deelicious

              I have used unsalted Normandy butter. I didn't realize there was a salted version. I guess it's what a store manager chooses to order.

              I haven't noticed any profound difference in taste between Normandy and Lactancia unsalted except in cakes and short pastries. I suspect this may be because the water evaporates when, for example, you are making a sauce. Spread on a baguette, both are delicious. The cultured flavour seems to be a more dominant influence than the extra butterfat content of the Normandy. I have had Plugras and it is very good, but I haven't experimented with it in the kitchen.

              You make an interesting point about flaky pastry. I hadn't thought about that. (And my flaky pastry isn't the greatest anyway.)

              1. re: embee

                This may not help, but in recent discussions of the best croissant in Toronto, Jacob Richler chose the Thuet version, primarily because he uses a special butter from Quebec that is higher in butterfat than most butters. Not sure where he gets it, or whether it is available to the general public, but you might want to call and ask or, start googling furiously. There are also butters made by smaller dairies around the province available at some stalls at the St. Lawrence Market, but not sure on the butterfat content. You might try the Montforte Dairy stall at the Saturday North Market: Ruth Klahsen is the cheesemaker and knows a lot about dairy products in the province. She also sells a wicked cultured butter, but again not sure about fat content. While your their pick up some of her cheese. It's amazing!

                1. re: bluedog

                  Ruth sells butter from the Stirling Creamery. I buy the Hastings Whey Butter and it tastes amazing! I am not sure of the butterfat content but you could email the company and ask.

                  1. re: zoohort2

                    Way, way back I reported on a butter tasting in T.O. and we found the Whey butter so strong it dominated everything else. As an alternative try it 'blended' 50/50 with regular butter
                    Also note that President's Choice is a cultured butter (Lactantia also makes a cultured as does My Compliments) and cultured items were easily the best in our tasting. And everything mentioned above (except perhaps Plugra) comes in both salted and unsalted versions.
                    And if you check St Lawrence market thoroughly you can sometimes find imported butters (not quite sure how they get here) which are indeed higher butterfat. Last one I found was Italian.

        2. Just located the website for Plugra (correct spelling), which is made by Keller's Creamery in the States. Here it is. By the way, there is a store locator for the U.S. only.

          1. Thanks everyone! That turned out to be a very lively and interesting discussion! I need it for baking -- also did anyone see the fairly recent NYT article about pie crusts? They recommended it for those. Since I am not travelling until Christmas, will look into some of your local suggestions. Thanks again!

            1. Lactancia puts out a butter with a higher butterfat content, called Lactancia Plus. I know prominent Montreal baker James MacGuire raves about it. Not sure if it's available to the general public.