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question about butter

Charentes-Poitou, Luprak, or Plugra? I don't bake, I just like my butter to be rich and flavorful. I also know that butter from europe, as a rule, has much less water content than american butter, no?

thanks!

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  1. I'm a huge fan of Vermont Butter & Cheese's Cultured Butter. I don't know if it's nationally available, but I get it at a Whole Foods in Rhode Island. It is flavorful, lightly salted, and delicious. If you have some perfect spring vegetables, they are the ideal vehicle. Well, that or an outstanding bread.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tartinet

      Kerrigold.

      Lurpack is ok but I like mine saltier.

      1. re: Tartinet

        A second vote for Vermont Butter & Cheese!

        1. re: Non Cognomina

          I'll third it- too bad it's not being sold as much in the DC area right now. it's stunning.

      2. Of the non-local nice butters we can get in Seattle, we've determined after much sampling that we prefer the Celles sur Belle French butter (unsalted). E thought he preferred slightly salted butter for eating on bread, etc, until we started trying 'premium' butters. Now he finds that he prefers the unsalted (which I've always preferred, myself). Here are some we tried that were okay but we didn't love: Kerrygold, Plugra, Vermont Butter & Cheese company, Double Devon Cream butter (from Trader Joe's), and a French butter in a blue and white checked package (name escapes me, but I'm thinking it was from Brittany) with large flakes of sea salt in it.
        Celles sur Belle was the hands-down winner for its well-rounded flavor.

        1. The SF Chronicle did a taste test of european style butters. Challenge European Style edged out Lurpak, but "best" is largely a matter of personal taste. The descriptions in the article may be helpful, but you really need to do your own side by side taste test.

          European butters have a higher fat content (I guess that also means less water, but % fat is what they list on the label) and the cream is allowed to sour slightly before churning.

          http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

          1 Reply
          1. Y'know, the Land o' Lakes salted is really quite, quite good. We foray into Hope Creamery (very good) and Plugra on occasion, but have been extremely happy with the L o' L. More affordable than some, also -- bring on the butter!

            3 Replies
            1. re: cayjohan

              I second Land o' Lakes, both salter and unsalted.

              1. re: jackrugby

                The salinity content of the salted is way too varied for me to cook with.

              2. re: cayjohan

                Jfood is also a big fan of LOL. Purchased some Cabot's when the grocer was out of LOL and it was not very good. The Mrs jfood's mom brought over some, jfood thinks the name was Amy's, butter from northern CT, somewhere. It was really good. Jfood keeps looking for it in the local grocer and hasn't found.

              3. Cook's Illustrated did a blind taste test recently and claimed they could not come up with any definitive results....butter is butter. I don't know if I agree, because I think Plugra certainly tastes different and I like it. They did point out that fat % are very marginal.

                4 Replies
                1. re: markethej

                  I'd love for them to do a blind taste test of some of the butter heavy recipes in which I make sure to use Plugra (or one of the others) like poundcake or shortbread. I'll bet the results are different!

                  1. re: markethej

                    You do mean that Cook's Illustrated's blind taste in cooking and baking with butter, right?

                    1. re: HLing

                      Didn't read the article. I was just commenting on what the previous poster had written where it was not mentioned that it also included baking - I guess you know more about the article than me. Either way, I taste the difference in what I make when I cook with European butter.

                    2. re: markethej

                      I found that hard to believe. Last week for fun I did a butter tasting w my friends. (Vermont, Kerrigold, Lanzarana? fm WFM, and Parmaggiano) Just average folks, some cannot even be called a foodie, nobody is a chef or restaurant critic, but we can all tell the difference and name our favorites.

                      Vermont gets the majority vote. (a guy insisted that Kerrigold is the best but changed his mind after tasting Vermont) Some like the Parmaggiano butter, and some don't mind the good old LoL. We didn't have Plugra or Isigny. Would like to try that one too. And the goat butter as well.

                      And then the next day I went to Panera and when I spreaded the butter on my butter - I know I have been spoilt!! Ack!