When is margarine ever preferrable to butter?
- ipsedixit Oct 30, 2009 10:15 AM
Unless making something vegan, I am wondering if there are times when margarine is a decidedly better choice than butter?
Granted, butter is higher in saturated fats but margarine has trans-fats, which in my opinion is actually worse.
While some butters have horomones, generally that isn't a major problem and butter has the added advantage of vitamins (K and E) that margarine does not.
Perhaps the one advantage I can see margarine having over butter is in the cholesterol department. But it's been generally shown that dietary cholesterol has little impact on HDL or LDL levels -- it's saturated fats (which, gratned, butter has chock full of).
But given all that the ONE deciding factor for me is taste and texture -- butter just wins hands down.
So, I am curious, unless you are doing something vegan, is there a time you choose margarine over butter when you take into account taste, texture and overall health factors?
To broaden the vegan exception, margarine is also important for kosher applications when you can't use butter. For example, in a meat dish or in baking a pareve (neither meat nor dairy) item. If you want cookies after your hamburger, must have margarine, no butter.
In Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen, he says that for some pannee-ing and sautee-ing applications, butter just doesn't have enough oil to accomplish what he wants, so he will use margarine as a substitute.
For me it's often preferable as a spred on toast. I am not fond of the taste of butter alone (I like it in things), but there are several margarines whose taste I like on toast.
There is also the dairy allergy exception as well. I have to make baked goods with margarine because my son and some kids at his school hav a dairy allergy.
Personally, I prefer butter. :)