Friday, February 10, 2012

Ah, There's Sweetness, Madam


Could you imagine buying butter packaged this way today?  3 times wrapped and sealed on the end with a presumably way seal?  It gets major points for being retro but you'd be paying $10/lb for it because of packaging cost.  If you haven't already "liked" The Vintage Recipe Blog on Facebook I really encourage you do so.  You get to see so much more than I put up on the blog and I really have such a wonder group of vintage themed pages that I am friends with who often bring up some really good information.  For instance, the other day, Canning Granny posted a link to an article that was about a study done in Australia on the effects of eating butter.  The conclusions may surprise you as they found out that fresh butter made from the cream of grass fed cows was actually very healthy for you.  There was an increase in the number of Omega-3 fats and much more Beta Carotene than is found in commercial butter.

What does all this mean?  Well we know fats are bad... or are they?  As we are finding out, fats are a very necessary part of our diet as is cholesterol, the good kind.  Cholesterol is very necessary for brain health and it has been pointed out that certain compounds of cholesterol found in grass fed dairy lessen the possibility of heart disease.  This runs so counter to everything the food nazis want us to believe right now.  Keep in mind that this only applies to Grass Fed Dairy and not Grain Fed which is what is found in store brand butter and commercial brands like Land o' Lakes.

I really have to do a comparison between the 2.  I do know this, butter has changed alot since I was a kid.  The stuff masquerading as butter today is waxy and tasteless compared to the late 70's.  I went to 2 stores in my area that I know have butter that comes from grass fed cows, Publix and The Fresh Market, here is the brands I found and the prices:

Brand                                                        The Fresh Market<-----Price----->Publix
Kerrygold Irish Butter Salted & Unsalted           $3.99/8oz                             $4.09/8oz
Lurpak Danish Salted & Unsalted                                                                  $4.29/8oz
Beaurre d'Isigny Salted                                      $6.99/250g
Delita d'Parma Unsalted                                    $4.99/8oz
Plugra European Style <---Deleted because it's commercial butter masquerading as organic

Kerrygold and Beaurre d'Isigny are 100% Grass Fed butters, Lurpak is about 80% Grass Fed with some Grain Fed it is also a Cultured Butter (more on that in a moment), Delita is made in Italy in the Parma region and although it says it's from Grass Fed Cows the jury is still out as it has the pale color of commercial butter.  As it's a lighter whipped style butter it may just be the whipping process that makes the color light.  Now about Cultured Butter, this is why all butter in the USA is labeled as "Sweet Cream".  Sweet cream butter is just that, fresh cream made into butter.  With cultured butter part of the cream is soured such as with sour cream and then added in with the sweet cream to make the butter.  It's tangier and zippier than sweet cream butter and is a great addition to Sourdough toast.  Finally a word about Plugra "European Style" Butter.  It's made by a consortium of dairy farmers and it's almost 100% from grain fed cow's milk.  The only difference is less moisture content and higher fat but none of the benefits of grass fed cow's milk.

Tomorrow I'm going to cover the question, "What is organic?"  in an attempt to draw some guidelines while shopping that will help you choose the best product.

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