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Butter nostalgia?

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 04:00 am
@Setanta,
we buy farm churned butter from a Pa Dutch dairy coop. We get the sweet cream (no salt) butter that we keep in a large "Butter bell". since we use it by the pound slab, the butter bell gives it an enhanced flavor that is like a very tint tweak of sort of a "buttermilk flavor"
All the dairy products we get from these guys has a distinct flavor of buttercup(Its really hard to describe).
Their butter is a little pricey(about 7.50 a pound) but nothing like youd pay fr some of the "gourmet" ****. Its a really nice artisanal product. Then they sell the Buttermilk which is totally different (nd better) than that which the big regional dairies sell.

We use a lot of butter in a week (One of my favorite meals is to make small medallions of a pork tenderloin sautéed in a butter sauce ) This time of year its served with small buttered potatoes (swimming in a garlic butter) and fresh asparagus served with a butter and cider vinegar sauce.



Super market butter is mostly just bland compared to this stuff.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 04:05 am
We got cans of milk off the milk train, and when there were holidays coming up, my grandmother would mix the cream in (which she otherwise would flop out into a bowl) and churn her own butter to put in butter molds to be used as a table decoration. It's been 50 years since i had any of that, so i couldn't comment on the taste.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 04:16 am
I buy cheap Irish butter from the local discount store.
http://www.irishfoodsforsale.com/index_htm_files/8439.png
It's very good, easily as good as most brands, but Anchor has always been my favourite.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 04:22 am
@izzythepush,
ARound here for specialty butters they will certify the source as Guernsey,Jersey, or Swiss cows. These give a high butterfat but lesser milk producers than the standard Holstein . Our Lancaster Farmer Newspaper has a weekly dairy report of those regional commercial dairies and their butterfat content.

Our butter has a really good flavor so much so that I prefer to just schmear up some toast with it and then just add a teeny bit of cinnamon. MAHvelous

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 04:45 am
They used to have these ads on RTE (Irish television) for margarine. They'd have a truck go around, and invite women in to taste their margarine. They'd then asked how it tasted, and, of course, to be polite, they'd say it had a nice taste. Then they'd ask them if they'd serve it to their family. There'd be just the slightest pause, and then they'd say, invariably: "I would." That's the kind of curt rejoinder you can expect from the Irish, and these women always had this veiled look on their face, which would silently finish the sentence: "I would . . . when bloody Hell freezes over." The folks i knew said they only sold margarine in the supermarkets which were there for the foreign residents.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 05:02 am
@Setanta,
I recall out in Kildare county, everybody had a fresh cow. At least one. They were usually these beautiful doe eyed Swiss cows.

Once, while in mid lands Ireland I bought a blue wooden butter churn that ha some years of use. I think it cost me like 10 pounds. I carefully took it apart and shipped it with some lab packages back to the States.
I have this beautiful butter churn in the dining room that came out of some Irish mamas kitchen and is covered with marks of where to fill and a churning poem. (I guess they would churn using the poem for a count)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 05:05 am
@boomerang,
I'm just wondering a bit:Kerry Gold, Lurpak, and Parmigiano Reggiano Cream Butter made locally in the USA? (Kerry comes here from Ireland, Lurpak from Denmark and Parmigiano Reggiano from ... as the name says.

Butter nowadays tastes the same all the year. When I was young, in winter butter usually had a "silage-taste", but in May you got the "May butter" from the fresh grass.

We get butter from France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the locally made here in any supermarket - I usually buy the cheapest (or "better" ones as a deal).

What I really like is raw cream butter. But besides being more expensive, you only get it directly at farms or sometimes on the market respectively in cheese shops.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 05:11 am
@farmerman,
My grandmother would churn using children in the household. "I can't do all of this myself, you know."
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 05:22 am
When I was a kid, I would get chewed out for not wanting to put margarine in my mouth. I felt it was not a good thing to eat, but could come up with no good reason to feel that way. Maybe remembering how it came originally as a white mass, to be colored butter color by the consumer had something to do with it. I was aware that it was made up by companies and not taken from cows. I learned to eat butter as a grown up, after I overcame the negative information about it, given by ignorant relatives.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 10:07 am
I like Kate's butter. I do not use much butter - for baking and when I add butter to stuff with cooking, I usually use the store brand. But for things where the taste matters alot -- ie dunking my lobster or steamers in -- I buy Kate's.

http://www.kateshomemadebutter.com/
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 10:21 am
@Linkat,
I love butter and I don't buy the cheap, generic kind.

I buy Cabots and I love it dearly. Just a touch on most things brings out the heavenly taste of many foods.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 10:24 am
Well, if you can't believe Captain Kirk, who can you believe?

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 10:26 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

My grandmother would churn using children in the household.


Didn't you eventually run out of children?

Did she use the neighbors kids then, or go to the local school?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 10:35 am
@chai2,
Naw . . . there was an endless supply of child labor in homes in them there days . . .
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2014 11:40 am
I've gotten cabots as well, but I prefer Kate's.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 May, 2014 12:42 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I remember butter tasting better when I was a kid...
I buy some expensive butters now trying to find one that tastes like the butter I remember and nothing comes close...They're all pretty good but not as good as the butter I remember. Am I suffering from butter nostalgia or has butter gotten bland?

I remember it tasting better too, much better.

I think some of it is due to nostalgia, and some is due to change in the product. Butter here has gotten bland.

For a very long time I used the reduced fat faux butter spreads, like Promise. Then I recently decided I wanted to go back to the real thing, so I began buying Land O Lakes, and tried both the salted and unsalted varieties, and was very disappointed in the taste of both. This wasn't the butter I remembered. And I don't think that's all attributable to nostalgia or changes in my taste buds.

When I was in Ireland, it really struck me how much better the butter there tasted, the yogurt tasted much better as well.





Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 May, 2014 12:54 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
When I was in Ireland, it really struck me how much better the butter there tasted, the yogurt tasted much better as well.

European butter has up to 85% milk fat. And we have mainly cultured (sour) butter instead of sweet cream butter like in the USA.
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 May, 2014 01:24 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks for pointing that out, Walter. It made me do a little research and I found this

Quote:
The modern process of making buttermilk and butter begins when cream is removed from pasteurized whole milk in continuous centrifugal separators spinning at 30,000 RPM. The resulting cream contains 40% butterfat, and is known as heavy, or whipping, cream. From the separator, the heavy cream travels directly into continuous “ribbon” churns, which process it into sweet cream butter and high-fat buttermilk. The buttermilk is high fat because ribbon churns are not very efficient at churning all of the butterfat into butter. This buttermilk is then re-separated to remove the excess butterfat, and dried for industrial applications such as commercial ice cream and baking products, as well as consumer packaged goods like buttermilk pancake and baking mixes. The butter made this way is called “sweet cream” butter because the cream it was made from was not cultured or acidified. This differs substantially from the traditional method of making butter, both in the butter-making process itself and in the flavor of the butter produced. Dairy production used to take place on family farms and in small creameries, and butter was always made in small batches. Back then, once the cream was separated from the milk, it was put into holding tanks for up to a day before it was churned into butter. This allowed the cream to settle from the agitation of the separation process and gave the butter-maker time to culture his cream. The cream was cultured before churning for two very practical reasons. Heavy cream is 40% butterfat and 60% milk solids and water. Adding a lactic acid-producing culture to acidify the cream before churning helped to separate these two components during the churning process. As the butterfat solidified as butter in the churn, the fluid that was drained away became known as “buttermilk,” the by-product of butter-making. Adding live cultures to the cream also yielded a more “pure” butter, as they consumed proteins in the milk solids to produce lactic acid. This added to the storage life of butter, because any remaining milk proteins could ferment or “spoil,” making the butter rancid. To further prevent spoilage, the butter-maker would also wash the butter with water after churning to remove residual milk solids. In addition to these practical benefits, culturing the cream before churning gave the butter a unique flavor—very different from the flavor of today’s supermarket butter. Before the advent of the large commercial dairies, Minnesota and Wisconsin used to be dotted with small creameries, each with its own particular flavor of butter made from closely guarded family cultures...

However, with the modernization of America’s dairy industry in the 1940’s and 50’s came the introduction of continuous churns and the demise of cultured butter and real cultured buttermilk. Modern “buttermilk” is made by adding lactic acid-producing cultures directly to skim milk, rather than to the cream that is churned into butter and buttermilk. Although it’s somewhat misleading, “buttermilk” became the widely used term for cultured skim milk, and even though it doesn’t contain a drop of real buttermilk, the name was “grandfathered” into current usage. If introduced now, it would never pass present-day labeling requirements. - See more at: http://sacofoods.com/facts-and-info/view/notes-on-cultured-butter-and-buttermilk#sthash.k56JHNsT.dpuf


I think part of the reason I remember butter tasting better when I was younger, in the 1950's and 60's, was because more of it was cultured. So it probably did taste better, and the difference I now note isn't due to nostalgia or any changes in my tastebuds.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 May, 2014 02:10 pm
@firefly,
I buy the what cows eat explanation for this, that bobsal mentioned re the blandness of flavor in our butter now.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 May, 2014 02:24 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I buy the what cows eat explanation for this, that bobsal mentioned re the blandness of flavor in our butter now.


Maybe
Quote:
Dr. Mike Hutjens who teaches two on-line dairy classes and three dairy classes on the University of Illinois campus agrees with the late Dr. Jarrett's summary of innovations.

"Computer technology and software programs allow for continual improvement in rations, with the ability to predict rumen microbial yields, amino acid flows, rumen pH, milk urea nitrogen values, fatty acid levels and the environmental impact of nitrogen and phosphorous excreted in dairy cow manure," Hutjens says. "Balancing long chain fatty acid levels and types to predict desired milk fatty acid composition is possible."

Hutjens contends that computer technology and software will continue to advance what dairy farmers feed their cows.

"In the future, we may balance for NDF (neutral detergent fiber) but balance each fiber fraction to predict performance-lignin, hemicelluloses and cellulose," Hutjens continues. "Computers will ‘see' and adjust for feed particle size, heat stress impact on the rumen environment and pH, impact of cow comfort on feed intake and digestion, refine dietary cation-anion difference calculations, adjust mineral levels based on bioavailability and predict nutrient efficiencies-dry matter, protein, energy and minerals-delivered by the ration feed ingredients monitored by feed models."

Twenty years ago, rations were hand calculated. Use of computers has led to more complete evaluations of nutrient profiles in rations and allowed for economics to be included in ration formulation decisions.

http://www.agriview.com/news/dairy/feeding-innovation-a-look-at-how-feeding-dairy-cows-has/article_40bba7d4-599b-11e1-9afe-001871e3ce6c.html

But then how do you explain that we are not also complaining that milk no longer tastes as good?

I am leaning towards some combination of food safety regulations and technology. I do note however that the Washington dairy farmer I quoted was very clear that the best butter comes from organic cream, preferably raw, which does argue a feed issue. I also note that Tillamook insists that its products taste better in part because of what they feed their cows.
 

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