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SF Chronicle provides us a Butter - Off (euro style butters) [moved from San Francisco Bay area board]

jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 03:42 PM

as I have often wondered myself (and unfortunately often made the decision based on whatever was available on sale) which butter is better for baking and if I've a fridge full of it, am I going to enjoy a lovely toasted onion bagel slathered with it? Nice to see
Challenge held up well in the overall scores (altho', truth be told,
I usually use just the regular ol' domestic Challenge or Land of Lakes butters for both baking & whatever...)
Chron results here: http://tinyurl.com/uv2vq
butters you have known and loved?

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  1. scarmoza RE: jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 03:50 PM

    Thanks for posting that! I'm going to have to try Jana Valley butter in my next batch of shortbread cookies. I was about to use Plugra.

    Butter tasting sounds like fun!

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 04:10 PM


      Does the print version have a table with the individual scores? I always find that more useful than the totals as I tend to agree with Roland Passot and Shelley Handler, and disagree with John Carroll.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        MollyGee RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 13, 2006 05:31 PM


      2. Ruth Lafler RE: jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 04:30 PM

        Reading the article, I think their criteria were different than mine would be, at least for the table portion of the tasting. They seemed to give preferrence to rather bland, sweet butters.

        1. a
          annimal RE: jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 04:37 PM

          america's test kitchen did one too. Land O'Lakes did pretty darn well, i think it was the front runner.

          I however, recently got a taste of Kerrygold butter... holy &#@*#@ was it good. of course, I'm sure that the fact that i got a big pat of it helped. But oh man, it was great. Stole my heart. Too bad I can't afford to use it in baking etc. now i'm going to have to hunt down the other ones.

          1. notmartha RE: jonnypea Dec 13, 2006 06:58 PM

            Interesting results... I'd tried Kerry Gold and Plugaria and wasn't impressed with either enough to try it again. Stuck with the regular TJ unsweetened for cooking/baking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: notmartha
              Pei RE: notmartha Dec 14, 2006 02:00 AM

              I like TJ's unsalted for baking too, but mostly because it's so inexpensive and seems to work pretty well.

              On bread, with just a dash of salt, I like Kerigold, Jana Valley, Lurpak, and Plugra. But if given the money and the choice, I would go for Vermont Cheese Co.'s butter with sea salt already embedded in it. Yum.

            2. toodie jane RE: jonnypea Dec 14, 2006 08:08 PM

              can anyone tell me hwich butter came in second for baking?

              why oh why didn't they list the separate scores? Anyone reading a butter taste-off review would cetainly be willing to have two kinds of butter in the fridge.

              1 Reply
              1. re: toodie jane
                MsMaryMc RE: toodie jane Dec 14, 2006 08:31 PM

                You really had to read the whole article carefully to find the individual category rankings, and at least one I got by process of elimination. I agree--why didn't they just list them all in a simple chart?? But here's the top five for baking, in order, as I read it:

                1) Jana Valley
                2) Lurpak
                3) La Baratte
                4) Challenge European-Style
                5) Straus European-Style

              2. w
                Willly RE: jonnypea Dec 14, 2006 08:16 PM

                Has anyone baked with Cabot 83%. I can get it at my local Restaurant Depot, and it's cheaper than Plugra at Trader Joe's.

                1. c
                  christy319 RE: jonnypea Dec 14, 2006 10:30 PM

                  Interesting. I just made my standard Christmas cookies with Plugra, and didn't care for the results. They came out TOO buttery, almost greasy tasting.

                  I just bought Vermont Butter and Cheese Company butter at Whole Foods-it is excellent for regular uses (I haven't baked with it, and probably won't because it's more expensive and comes in a tube shape-not easy to measure).

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