January 21, 2020

It’s Always better With Butter


With its smooth texture that melts in your mouth, butter is a necessary item in any chef’s pantry. Noma Tsheleza explores the ins and outs of this unassuming yet vital ingredient.  

Finding the right type of butter can be challenging, just because the packaging says butter does not mean that you will be getting the creamy, soft and satisfying taste that makes it amazing. When shopping for butter, its best to look for one that comes from grass-fed cows. This means that the cow lived in a good environment; grass-fed which makes it healthy and even more so delicious. Compared to grass-fed cows, there are grain-fed cows and these ones are normally less healthy, making the butterless satisfying.

Butter tastes great because of the fat content that it has, fats absorb flavour intensely. Butter also has a great feel in the mouth, the temperature of our mouth melts the butter which creates a palatable taste. An example of this is a cold pie made with oil vs one made with butter, the feeling on the roof of the mouth will be horrible if made with oil.

History with Some Injustice

Butter has come to its uprising again like in the olden days of our ancestors. Fat-free culture and diet led to the myths that all types of fat were bad and should be cut out. It was spread that butter caused high cholesterol leading to heart attacks, weight gain and more. We were soon about to say goodbye to the loved and fulfilling dairy. The busting of these claims has us back to how it used to be. Butter is the most natural fat, therefore making it healthy to consume. Butter is a source of Vitamin A, D, K and E. Butter has omega 3 acids and furthermore it aids the absorption of vitamins and minerals in vegetables. Clean eaters can confidently consume butter, as well as those seeking to lose weight but this needs a buyer to be aware of the different types of butter because some butter, especially spreads are mixed with oil to make it softer, this is unhealthier than regular butter that doesn’t have additional oils, as it remains with its natural and healthy fats.

Most chefs prefer to cook with unsalted, leaving them with space to regulate their own salt in their dish. We spoke with the amiable Chef Alecia Wilkinson, Principal of the Silwood School of Cookery and she, however, mentions that she prefers hers salted. Chef Alecia says that she is unapologetic about the standard she holds when it comes to quality butter; her tips are to not compromise on price, look at the colour of your butter before buying it and taste it if possible. Silwood School of Cookery uses butter to makes their own bearnaise sauce and hollandaise.

When looking for substitutes, it becomes difficult. Substitutes kill the real, natural taste of butter. If a vegan would like some butter, they can look at vegan butter, which is a type of margarine that has no milk.

Premium Butter Takes the Win!

When looking for butter that will enhance the aroma, taste and overall quality of your food, Lurpak takes the win. Lurpak was crowned best butter in the world at Championship Cheese Contest in 2018, beating competition from over 30 other leading butter to take the title.

Susan Greeff, principal accounts manager at Lancewood appointed as a Lurpak distributor for SA comments: “Lurpak butter is an all-natural product made with milk only sourced from Denmark made to adhere to the strictest quality tests. It is a high-quality lactic butter. Pale in colour and subtle in taste, it enhances rather than masking the flavour on food it’s used with.”

Consumers as a result of embracing animal fat are now eating more butter, not only has the consumption increased, the quality of the butter purchased has also increased. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price which is great news for premium brands. 

Types of Butter
• Salted
• Unsalted
• Whipped
• Cultured
• Ghee
• Spreadable

Many Ways Butter Can be used
• Butter can be melted to make a sauce
• Salted and Unsalted butter can be used for baking and cooking
• Spreads are great for morning toast
• Ghee is good when looking for butter that can withstand high temperatures; popcorn can be made with ghee!

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