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Where can I buy European butter?

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Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 10:16 AM

Where do you purchase European butter and do you have a favorite brand?

Thanks!

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  1. s
    sierraskyesmom RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 10:31 AM

    Do you have a Fresh Market there? I saw some there, but have never used it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sierraskyesmom
      maxzook RE: sierraskyesmom Aug 18, 2010 12:24 PM

      If you're talking about the Fresh Market chain, they only have stores east of the Mississippi:

      http://www.thefreshmarket.com/stores/...

    2. WildSwede RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 10:51 AM

      I remember seeing some different kinds at Whole Foods (Pasadena). I bought Kerrygold Irish butter thinking it would be delicious like the Scandinavian slightly salted butter, but it was awful. The package, minus a pat, has been sitting in my fridge for months now.

      11 Replies
      1. re: WildSwede
        t
        TerriDawn RE: WildSwede Aug 18, 2010 11:14 AM

        I've seen Kerrygold Irish butter at Smart & Final. Thanks fo rthewarning. I've seen at least four different choices of European butters at Whole Foods in Culver City.

        -----
        Smart & Final
        10113 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

        1. re: TerriDawn
          Mattapoisett in LA RE: TerriDawn Aug 18, 2010 09:00 PM

          Is there a secret Whole Foods in Culver City I don't know about?

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
            s
            sel RE: Mattapoisett in LA Aug 18, 2010 09:12 PM

            Maybe WF Venice?

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
              hnsbmg RE: Mattapoisett in LA Aug 18, 2010 09:15 PM

              There will be as soon as Los Angalus changes its name to Culver City. ;-)

              TerriDawn may be thinking of the one on National Blvd., not far from CC.

              1. re: hnsbmg
                Servorg RE: hnsbmg Aug 24, 2010 09:07 AM

                "TerriDawn may be thinking of the one on National Blvd., not far from CC."

                Hey, now...no ignoring (or tarring) the proud community (village? suburb? zip code?) of Mar Vista with that weak "...not far from CC crap!!!" ;-D>

          2. re: WildSwede
            WildSwede RE: WildSwede Aug 18, 2010 11:50 AM

            Interestingly, I just got my email from America Test Kitchen's Test Kitchen and they were rating premium unsalted butter. They had only one Highly Recommended: Lurpak Unsalted Butter (Danish). Recommendeds were: Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. (domestic); Isigny Ste. Mere Beurre de Barrate (French); Beurre de Chimay (Belgian); and Land O Lakes (domestic). I am not listing those that were recommended with reservations or not recommended (2 domestic and one French). Let us know if you find one that you really, really like.
            Trader Joe's once (or maybe still) had a Danish butter that I really liked (lightly salted) but it was spreadable and in a tub.

            -----
            Trader Joe's
            1600 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

            1. re: WildSwede
              hnsbmg RE: WildSwede Aug 18, 2010 05:34 PM

              Lurpak from Denmark is indeed good (and widely available), but I put Celles sur Belle Beurre Grand Cru AOC above it -- not only creamy but actually delicious, both on bread and in prepared dishes. I also really like the butter (Delitia brand) from the dairy farms that supply parmigiano reggiano cheesemakers. It's delicate and mild, excellent on bread, crackers, and muffins. I've gotten all three butters at Surfas.

            2. re: WildSwede
              b
              bad nono RE: WildSwede Aug 18, 2010 02:55 PM

              Being from Normandy I'm super partial to Isigny Sainte Mère (which you can find as Surfas) but I should let honesty trump my patriotic pride because the Kerrygold unsalted butter is awesome for baking.
              If you buy Kerrygold it's cheaper at Trader Joe's than anywhere else. And Isigny St. Mère is cheaper at Surfas than at Whole Foods.

              And I'm with Das Ubergeek about Russian butters, you can also find them at most Jons.

              1. re: WildSwede
                c
                Captainspirou RE: WildSwede Oct 3, 2010 11:56 PM

                I think Kerrygold is excellent and you're the first person I've heard of that doesn't like it.

                1. re: Captainspirou
                  Servorg RE: Captainspirou Oct 4, 2010 04:32 AM

                  I have bought Kerrygold a few times and I've never found anything particularly compelling about its taste that would drive me to buy it again. Not bad, just nothing great or even more than good.

                  1. re: Servorg
                    g
                    glutton RE: Servorg Oct 5, 2010 08:24 AM

                    Compared to widely available, mass-produced american butters, I have found Kerrygold to be much better, especially when baking. But compared to the higher quality american and european butters, I don't think kerrygold stacks up that well. Many of the other butters listed on this topic easily beat Kerrygold in both baking and other uses. I am partial to the Bordier butter that I brought back from Paris, but that's almost exhausted at this point. Therefore, I'll likely move onto some combination of Lurpak, Vermont Butter & Cheese Co, Meyenburg Goat Butter, and some other european butters that I happen to find in specialty shops. I am willing to spend a lot of money on butter because a little goes a long way and I don't typically use large quantities unless I am baking.

              2. c
                Cathy in SoCal RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 11:22 AM

                Thanks, I will look at whole foods. Any other replies as to preference would be great too.

                1. s
                  sel RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 11:32 AM

                  I've seen plugra and other imported butters at Surfas Restaurant & Supply .

                  -----
                  Surfas Restaurant & Supply
                  8777 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: sel
                    Peripatetic RE: sel Aug 18, 2010 04:38 PM

                    The Pasadena Whole Foods (Arroyo Parkway location) usually has plugra.

                    1. re: Peripatetic
                      Servorg RE: Peripatetic Aug 24, 2010 09:10 AM

                      My Ralphs (Olympic and Barrington) has plugra and kerrygold. I have taken to buying the new (at least new to me) Tillamook butter they have added and it's pretty darn good.

                    2. re: sel
                      Steve2 in LA RE: sel Nov 18, 2010 11:44 AM

                      Don't forget Gelson's carry's Plugra and other high-end butters. (Sure do miss the large blocks of Plugra TJ's used to sell.)

                      1. re: Steve2 in LA
                        j
                        Jwsel RE: Steve2 in LA Nov 27, 2010 04:22 PM

                        The Gelsons in Encino did not have Plugra earlier this week when I tried to find it. The Ralphs across the street had Plugra salted butter, but no unsalted.

                        1. re: Steve2 in LA
                          perk RE: Steve2 in LA Mar 25, 2012 05:30 PM

                          Yea, me too. Trader Joe's had good prices. But you can also find Plugra at most Smart & Final stores....and the price is good.

                          1. re: perk
                            RandyB RE: perk Mar 8, 2013 09:48 AM

                            I do a lot of French pastry, particularly with laminated doughs. That would include puff pastries and breakfast pastries like croissants. For quite a while I used Plugra. Plugra is preferred by many professional pastry chefs for its cultured flavor and high butterfat content, as well as a better price than imports or some domestic competitors.

                            Trader Joe's used to carry the one pound Plugra (red wax paper) for a ridiculously low price. A few years ago they stopped carrying it. I am guessing, but it may be because the producer refused to certify that all cream used in Plugra was BHT-free.

                            Although I still occasionally buy Plugra at Whole Foods, my current favorite among American butters for French pastry is Organic Valley European Style Cultured butter. It has a good flavor and high butterfat content.

                            A local (Seattle) pastry chef recommends Wüthrich butter. Unfortunately, it is not sold at retail. You can order it online in 36 lb quantities.

                            I like some imported French butters, too. I use them when I'm in France, where they are in the supermarkets. I think the American ones I mentioned above are so good that it isn't worth the extra price when I'm in the US to buy French butters.

                            When I travel and want to bake for my friends, for example in Australia, there may be fewer choices. Then Kerrygold is my usual standby. It seems to be available almost everywhere.

                      2. a
                        Allmodcons RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 11:59 AM

                        Persian markets often have a good selection of butter... I get lightly salted Lurpak at my local (in OC), for instance.

                        1. Das Ubergeek RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 12:54 PM

                          Russian stores have EXCELLENT butter; far better than Danish butter. Where are you? We can recommend Russian stores in your area. Specifically, a few suggestions:

                          1. Rasputin Grocery, on Ventura in Encino
                          2. Blackjack Market, on Sherman and Bellaire in North Hollywood
                          3. Odessa on Santa Monica east of Fairfax in West Hollywood
                          4. Moscow Deli on Harbor north of Baker in Costa Mesa
                          5. Russian Gourmet on Lake Forest between Muirlands and Rockfield in Lake Forest

                          -----
                          Moscow Deli
                          3015 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            omotosando RE: Das Ubergeek Aug 19, 2010 01:13 AM

                            I am intrigued. Anything else I should be on the lookout for at a Russian deli. Cheese?

                            1. re: omotosando
                              Das Ubergeek RE: omotosando Aug 19, 2010 12:24 PM

                              Not cheese but tvorog (tvah-ROHG), the Russian answer to Quark. It gets put into blintzes and is just insane.

                              Smetana (sme-TAH-nah), the unbelievably amazing thin Russian sour cream that makes creme fraiche look like a piker.

                              Morozhenoye (mah-ROH-zhuh-noh-yeh), Russian ice cream, justifiably famous and a taste of Moscow summer "kiosky"... the Dadu brand is good and is usually sold in the freezer section.

                              Sausage, dozens of varieties; soups (borsch, schi, solyanka, etc.); prepared salads; poppy-seed brioche rolls; dark rye breads that go perfectly with the butter and maybe some sliced radish; chicken cutlets (Russians actually know how to make chicken taste like something besides the culinary void it usually is in America). Smoked fish, enough to make a New York Jewish housewife kvitch with joy, and pickled ANYTHING.

                              Dumplings, both meat-filled (pelmeny) and fruit- or sweet cheese-filled (vareniki), available in the freezer section.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                h
                                happybaker RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 25, 2012 08:22 PM

                                Das - I am two years late to this thread - and it's STILL making me drool!

                                Would tvorog be like farmers cheese? That's what my grandmother used to fill blintzes...
                                Do these folks have poppyseed pastries (such as strudels) or is it just used to top brioche or challah?

                                And, I'm kind of equally far from Odessa or Blackjack - between the two, do you have a preference? Thanks!

                                1. re: happybaker
                                  Das Ubergeek RE: happybaker Mar 26, 2012 11:44 AM

                                  Yes, tvoróg is pot cheese. It's thick enough to stand on its own (it doesn't run like yoghurt).

                                  Odessa has makovny knish (poppy seed roll) for sure and so does Moscow Deli; couldn't say about Blackjack. Makovny knish or makovny rulyet has a filling made of sweetened poppy seeds, not just seeds sprinkled on top (in fact many kinds don't have the seeds on top). I live in Orange County, so I don't go up to Encino very often. I'd say in general, Odessa will do you better than Blackjack and the people are kinder.

                                  A note that Russian Gourmet in Lake Forest has closed since my original reply.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                    h
                                    happybaker RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 26, 2012 03:27 PM

                                    Oh I'm DROOLING at this - -

                                    "Makovny knish or makovny rulyet has a filling made of sweetened poppy seeds, not just seeds sprinkled on top (in fact many kinds don't have the seeds on top)."

                                    It sounds like heaven - Odessa it is!

                                    When I go to LACMA, I'll usually do a fairfax sweep afterwards and hit Bargain Fair for dishes then Diamond Bakery for a square challah - next time I'll add Odessa to the plan. Thank you SO much!

                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                      h
                                      happybaker RE: Das Ubergeek May 19, 2012 05:18 PM

                                      Das -

                                      Finally went to Odessa Grocery today!

                                      I was going to be near the one in North Hollywood and called to see if they would have the poppyseed filled rolls today. (The last time I called, they had none.) Today when I called, the woman said she'd check then I heard stream of Russian being spoken, then "Da." "Da." "Da." My gal comes back to the phone. "Yes will will have them, we will bake some up now. They will not be ready until after 1pm. Come then."

                                      I did.

                                      I was expecting individual rolls, it was actually a large (almost two pounds) U-shaped bread. Like a rolled challah filled with poppyseed. But that filling is DIVINE. So fresh and rich and not too sweet. Way better than canned.

                                      I hope to check out the west hollywood one in the future. But I now have poppyseed pastry to make me happy Today!

                            2. sku RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 01:16 PM

                              Cheese shops are a good bet. The Cheese Store of Silverlake usually has Isigny Ste. Mere, President, Parmigiano Reggiano butter and a few others as well as Vermont Butter & Cheese butter (which I preferr to the European butters).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sku
                                c
                                carter RE: sku Aug 19, 2010 11:22 AM

                                I just bought vermont butter & cheese butter from Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City and it is superb.
                                Also, try Cube on La Brea just south of Melrose for a Wisconsin butter that is nearly as good.
                                But that kerrygold is truly ho-hum. Plugra better, and available at most whole foods markets.

                                -----
                                Artisan Cheese Gallery
                                12023 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA

                              2. la vida dulce RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 18, 2010 07:28 PM

                                Ralphs has both Kerrygold & Plugra

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: la vida dulce
                                  maxzook RE: la vida dulce Aug 19, 2010 09:00 AM

                                  Plugra sounds like the drug you have to take when your arteries choke from eating too much Kerrygold.

                                  1. re: maxzook
                                    Das Ubergeek RE: maxzook Aug 19, 2010 12:25 PM

                                    Especially since "plus gras" is French for "fattier" or "more fat".

                                2. r
                                  rkmla RE: Cathy in SoCal Aug 23, 2010 07:57 PM

                                  At Whole Foods and La Brea bakery you can get Pamplie - Beurre de Baratte Extra fin - fleur de sel de I'ile de Re - Charentes Poitou. Great on toast! Surfas has Plugra - I find it to be wonderful for cooking but not spreading on bread. At Vons and Trader Joe's you can get Kerrygold, which I found to be decent and my bf actually prefers it.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rkmla
                                    WildSwede RE: rkmla Aug 24, 2010 12:52 PM

                                    I am heading to Whole Foods after work to see if I can find that Pamplie (sounds delicious)!! Thanks!

                                  2. t
                                    trvlcrzy RE: Cathy in SoCal Sep 29, 2010 02:27 PM

                                    Isigny (France), President (France), Lurpak (Denmark) and Cadi (Spain). Whole Foods carries all of them and La Esapanola in Harbor City carries Cadi which I buy when I purchase their ham and Mato (fresh cheese).

                                    16 Replies
                                    1. re: trvlcrzy
                                      g
                                      glutton RE: trvlcrzy Sep 30, 2010 03:23 AM

                                      As long as you're heading to WF for all these butters, I suggest you pick up the Meyenburg goat butter, too. Different, a bit more tangy, and definitely fantastic.

                                      1. re: trvlcrzy
                                        c
                                        carter RE: trvlcrzy Sep 30, 2010 08:37 AM

                                        Can you discuss the merits of any of those butters mentioned.
                                        I buy Vermont Butter & Cheese butter, which is reallllllly good, so trying to get me to change takes some effort.

                                        1. re: carter
                                          a
                                          AAQjr RE: carter Oct 1, 2010 09:09 PM

                                          Btw..Surfas has the larger size of the VB&C butter. They also carry one of my favorite butters from Wisconsin Wuthrich European style butter, which is an excellent cultured butter about 83% fat and an great price ~5$ for a pound. Very strong buttery taste and great for pie doughs ect.
                                          Also should be mentioned Spring Hill Cheese Co out of Petaluma is at some farmers markets and I love their butters and they claim an impressive 85% butterfat. They make one with french Guerande sea salt as well.

                                        2. re: trvlcrzy
                                          Das Ubergeek RE: trvlcrzy Sep 30, 2010 02:15 PM

                                          I've been alternating between Isigny-Ste.-Mère and Président for three weeks (I'm currently in France, where the default breakfast is coffee and tartine) and I have to say there is no contest: Isigny-Ste.-Mère is far, far superior. Not that Président isn't much better than, you know, Trader Joe's brand, but if you're going to pay the import premium...

                                          I actually went to the town of Isigny-sur-Mer last weekend. It was... butterlicious.

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                            WildSwede RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 30, 2010 03:45 PM

                                            ;-)

                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                              b
                                              baloney RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 30, 2010 04:17 PM

                                              Slightly off-topic but, Das, how would you compare the Isigny to let's say Bordier or Pascal Beillevaire? Those were my two favorites in France my last trip and am pining for similar tastes again!

                                              And slightly ON-topic, how much is the Isigny butter at WF? I believe I've read Surfas carries it as well? Anyone know the price there also?

                                              1. re: baloney
                                                b
                                                bad nono RE: baloney Sep 30, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                Bordier is artisanal butter made in small batches, Isigny St-Mère is industrial (and usually pasteurized).
                                                Surfas carries Isigny in 500g logs for under $9, if I recall accurately.

                                                1. re: bad nono
                                                  b
                                                  baloney RE: bad nono Sep 30, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                  But isn't Bordier, as well as a majority of producers, pasteurized these days? No matter, I'll have to give the Isigny a try myself to see if it's worth the $9...

                                                  1. re: baloney
                                                    b
                                                    bad nono RE: baloney Oct 1, 2010 08:56 PM

                                                    I would have thought his was raw butter, but I haven't a package handy to confirm, alas.

                                                    I grew up on farmhouse raw butter myself, nothing compares.

                                                2. re: baloney
                                                  Das Ubergeek RE: baloney Oct 2, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                  I bought some Le Gall this morning to eat with my rosette and St.-Marcellin, and it's also quite good. Don't know if you can get it aux States, though, because it's au lait cru.

                                                3. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                  b
                                                  bad nono RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 30, 2010 04:35 PM

                                                  Oooohhh you're near my hometown. Don't miss farmhouse hard cider. You should be able to buy it at farmer's markets, if you're near Caen, the Friday (place Saint-Sauveur) and Sunday (place Saint-Pierre) morning ones. And, if you go to these markets, don't miss farmhouse butter and crème fraîche au lait cru.

                                                  Did you have any salted caramels by Dupont d'Isigny?
                                                  You're making me very homesick.

                                                  And to go back to the OP, I bought some President for under $3 at the Jons supermarket on La Brea & Fontain a couple of weeks ago.

                                                  1. re: bad nono
                                                    maxzook RE: bad nono Oct 1, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                    "And to go back to the OP, I bought some President for under $3 at the Jons supermarket on La Brea & Fontain a couple of weeks ago."

                                                    Criminy, I've paid more than that for Land-O'-Lakes.

                                                    1. re: maxzook
                                                      b
                                                      bad nono RE: maxzook Oct 1, 2010 08:55 PM

                                                      but don't feel bad, because the President comes into 250 grams packets, whereas the Land O'Lakes must weight a pound (over 400g, then), so in fact you probably paid less.

                                                    2. re: bad nono
                                                      Das Ubergeek RE: bad nono Oct 2, 2010 12:34 AM

                                                      We did have farmhouse cider—we stopped at a house near St.-Laurent-sur-Mer and had it actually. To keep this on-topic, is there ANYWHERE to get cidre de Normandie in LA? I mean, ANYWHERE? I couldn't even find it in Paris, so I assume not...

                                                      --DU, actuellement à Lyon...

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
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                                                        glutton RE: Das Ubergeek Oct 2, 2010 04:18 AM

                                                        I'm not sure if they still have some bottles, but the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills carried Eric Bordelet's ciders. I've tried dozens of ciders over the years in the US, France, and Spain and have never found one to match Eric Bordelet. He uses fruit from pear and apple trees that are over 200 years old and the result is a light, effervescent cider that could easily compete with a champagne on the table. It's extraordinary stuff.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                          b
                                                          bad nono RE: Das Ubergeek Oct 2, 2010 05:42 PM

                                                          nooooo you can't alas. At some point Monsieur Marcel was carrying some overpriced industrial one, but he stopped about a year ago.

                                                          I had Bordelet cider, which is not made in Normandy at all but in Mayenne (it's close by, but it would be like saying Portland, OR, is in California) and... it's too light. Nothing in common with the real hardcore stuff I grew up on.
                                                          We used to make hard cider in my family, and real hard cider is dense, cloudy and very alcoholic. Bordelet makes cidre doux, not cidre brut or bouché, his is closer to the sweet stuff they make in Brittany.
                                                          His perry is good though.

                                                  2. j
                                                    JudiAU RE: Cathy in SoCal Oct 3, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                    You don't need to buy imported butter to find a good choice in LA. Organic Pastures, Organic Valley (lovely grass fed in the green package, or the yellow cultured), Vermot Butter and Cheese, and the various butters sold at the farmer's market are all excellent.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: JudiAU
                                                      Das Ubergeek RE: JudiAU Oct 3, 2010 07:30 PM

                                                      Well, I haven't had Vermont B&C or Organic Pastures, but Organic Valley isn't remotely close to French (or Russian, ohmygodtheirbutter) butter. Also, none of the farmers' markets I go to sell butter. Where do you get yours?

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                        a
                                                        AAQjr RE: Das Ubergeek Oct 4, 2010 01:50 PM

                                                        Spring Hill cheese co out of petaluma (mentioned upstream) sells butter at various markets around town, in addition to their quark, cheese curds (both good) and cheddar (okay, but I wish they would age longer).

                                                        IIRC they are at Wed, Sat & Sun Santa Monica and Sunday Hollywood.

                                                        Organic pastures has raw butter (sometimes and not cultured) at Wed, Santa Monica..

                                                      2. re: JudiAU
                                                        c
                                                        carter RE: JudiAU Oct 3, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                        Judi, have recently bought Vermont butter & cheese twice, really like it, yet wonder how you might compare it to either of the organic versions you mention, which I see at Whole Foods. I get the Vermont Butter & Cheese at Artisanal Cheese Gallery in Studio City, fwiw!
                                                        I am not a fan of grass fed beef, yet not sure if that has or doesn't have any bearing on the overall buttery taste of these products.

                                                        1. re: carter
                                                          g
                                                          Galen RE: carter Oct 3, 2010 11:42 PM

                                                          I like the French butter in red tins from Sandwich Express (Vietnamese sandwiches) in Reseda. Especially good when fresh warm bread is just coming out the oven.

                                                          -----
                                                          Sandwich Express
                                                          18575 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

                                                      3. b
                                                        barbian7 RE: Cathy in SoCal Nov 18, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                        The merits are in the flavor of using butter made from milk by grass-fed cows. This butter also carries more nutrients than cows that are confined. It's also a more humane choice, which is what I strive to buy. I also like Strauss European-style butter.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: barbian7
                                                          tenxtone76 RE: barbian7 Nov 27, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                          I heard the main reason butter in a place like France was better was because it was not over pasteurized. Due to American codes, do they allow butter like that in the states, even as imports?

                                                          1. re: tenxtone76
                                                            g
                                                            glutton RE: tenxtone76 Nov 27, 2010 03:33 PM

                                                            I do not think that is the explanation. I believe the butter is higher in fat in France and that's the biggest reason. It also is salted, which changes the flavor. USA butter tends to be sweeter.

                                                            1. re: tenxtone76
                                                              a
                                                              AAQjr RE: tenxtone76 Nov 27, 2010 04:01 PM

                                                              You would not be able to import 'raw' or unpasteurized butter from Europe. You can pasteurized milk to different lvls ie pasteurized vs ultra pasteurized. That information is not readily available to consumers. I personally don't think salting has much to do with it plenty of average butter is salted. Typically European butter is A) Higher in Fat and B) Cultured. Of course there are excellent American butters that fall into those categories as well including those mentioned above: Vermont Butter and Cheese, Wuthrich, Spring Hill, Sierra Nevada Cheese Co butter.

                                                              1. re: tenxtone76
                                                                j
                                                                Jacquelynn RE: tenxtone76 Jun 17, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                Indeed they have a minimum butterfat of 82%-86% rather than 80 % for most American butters. They are also usually pasture cows. This article in the new York times will tell you all you ever wanted to know about French butter- http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/17/din... My favorite domestic butters are Strauss European style organic available at Bristol or WF and Organic Valley cultured Pasture Butter which is in the green package and only available may-sep at WF but I have not tried Vermont cheese co. Which is also supposed to be very good. The Beverly Hills Cheese shop has isgny and Echire French butter.

                                                            2. huiray RE: Cathy in SoCal Mar 25, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                              Uhhh...what exactly is the difference between "European Butter" and NON-"European Butter: ?

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                c
                                                                chez cherie RE: huiray Mar 25, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                                Huiray, European butter is usually cultured. A lactobacillus culture (which is naturally occurring in milk products, but is added in controlled conditions and amounts) is added when the cream is churned, which produces a richer flavor.

                                                                1. re: chez cherie
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                                                                  GoodEatz RE: chez cherie Mar 25, 2012 03:55 PM

                                                                  And the brand I like from trader Joes is Plus Gras I think, which means extra fat. Really good and not too expensive. Cherie taught me that! Hi Cherie! Also, there is a European butter in the Asian markets by the checkout stand. It is in a tin meant for shelf storage. It too is high in fat and delicious. Great for camping because it needs no refrigeration.

                                                                  1. re: GoodEatz
                                                                    c
                                                                    chez cherie RE: GoodEatz Mar 25, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                                    oh, cool, good eatz! hello.
                                                                    sadly, tj no longer carries plugra, but some smart and finals do--i get mine from the one on foothill in tujunga, and it freezes well, so i buy about 8 at a time. i want to look for that butter in a tin you've mentioned--which market do you find it?

                                                                    1. re: chez cherie
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                                                                      GoodEatz RE: chez cherie Mar 25, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                                      I get it at the large market on Westminster and Brookhurst in Garden Grove. It is called Beurdell Buerre Demi-Sel and it is from France. I took your classes in Pasadena a long time ago and I use what I learned there every day.

                                                                      1. re: GoodEatz
                                                                        c
                                                                        chez cherie RE: GoodEatz Mar 25, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                        Wow-- that made my night! Thanks so much-- now Im extra glad you are eating good butter! (just to keep things on track...;-))

                                                                  2. re: chez cherie
                                                                    Das Ubergeek RE: chez cherie Mar 26, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                    Also, some European butters are half-salted butter. Isigny Ste.-Mère, for example, is a half-salted, cultured butter from Normandy, France and one of the two standards by which I measure all butter.

                                                                    (Sorry, chez cherie, I wasn't actually replying to you, just adding to your post—I am sure you know your butter!)

                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                      c
                                                                      chez cherie RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 26, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                      the more info, the merrier, das ubergeek! (butter is my best--also my worst--friend. along with duck fat, mais oui!)

                                                                      1. re: chez cherie
                                                                        Das Ubergeek RE: chez cherie Mar 26, 2012 11:37 PM

                                                                        Duck fat... I have a few crocks of gésiers confits left, so plenty of that.

                                                                        I should probably link here: I usually culture and churn my own butter, which takes about 95% less time than you'd think. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/814387

                                                                        It isn't as good as Isigny, because the cream in Isigny is superior, but it's close enough.

                                                                2. b
                                                                  bad nono RE: Cathy in SoCal Mar 26, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                                  Since this thread has been resurrected, I want to tell the world Whole Foods sells a totally insane Icelandic butter called, er... Smjörr (?) or something like that. Wrapped in green foil. It's fabulous for baking (a bit harder to work with than Kerrygold) and it tastes really good. I bake the best tart dough ever with it. Sometimes it's on sale and you can get 2 packets for $6. Try it, folks.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: bad nono
                                                                    h
                                                                    happybaker RE: bad nono Mar 26, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                                    Is it this?

                                                                    http://www.smjor.is/Butter-in-Iceland/

                                                                    1. re: happybaker
                                                                      b
                                                                      bad nono RE: happybaker Mar 26, 2012 10:05 PM

                                                                      yes! I use the unsalted version, in a green package.

                                                                      1. re: happybaker
                                                                        Das Ubergeek RE: happybaker Mar 26, 2012 11:32 PM

                                                                        I love Iceland for their creative naming. Smjör just means "butter" in Icelandic. It'd be like opening a package of the very best steak on the planet, with a label that says, "beef".

                                                                    2. l
                                                                      Lambster RE: Cathy in SoCal Mar 31, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                      Aw . . . what a wonderful thread!

                                                                      I'll be baking a triple-layer chocolate cake and I usually use Kerrygold butter and Callebault bittersweet chocolate from Surfas. This time I'm going to use duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and, after reading this thread, I'd like to try a different butter.

                                                                      What is the absolute best butter (with the highest fat content) for baking? I don't care how much I have to pay.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Lambster
                                                                        c
                                                                        carter RE: Lambster Apr 13, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                                        Well, Das Ubergeek mentions Isigny Ste.-Mère, and that is what I have in my frig right now, and I must say it is better than other French or Irish ones I have tasted.
                                                                        Got mine at Surfas, but would love to find a source in the Valley. May have to see what Artisan Cheese Gallery is carrying these days, even though I am not in love with the place or its personnel.
                                                                        Vermont Butter & Cheese is also very good, yet I still prefer Isigny Ste.-Mère.

                                                                      2. j
                                                                        Jerry P. Santa Monica RE: Cathy in SoCal Apr 12, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                        Nicoles in S. Pasedena as great french butter like Lescure.

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