Anything with butter tastes fantastic, but with cultured butter, it feels even better. What more can you ask for if your morning toast or pancake has a melting-in-the-mouth extra flavor of tanginess and creaminess of cultured butter?
Types of Butter
There are six different types of butter, and you may even not know about them all. Some of the kinds of butter sold in the market are natural butter, whereas others are margarine or just fake butter. Butter is a dairy product made from cream and milk. ‘Real’ butter contains more amount of water, less fat, and calories. Margarine is an oil-based product. Generally, it is made up of 80% vegetable oil, water, and added flavor to make it taste like butter.
To explain it more conveniently, we have further described how to spot a real or fake butter when you see one.
- Unsalted Butter or ‘Sweet Cream Butter’ – Real deal
- Salted Butter – Real deal
- Whipped Butter – Real deal
- European Style or ‘Cultured’ Butter – Real deal
- Spreadable Butter – Somewhat a real deal
- Butter-like Spread – Fake butter
The two most common types of butter are American style and European style cultured butter
What Is Cultured Butter?
It is also called ‘Antique’ butter and is obtained by adding live cultures into butter. Due to its specific and peculiar tangy flavor, chefs use it wherever it adds uniqueness to the recipe.
Differences Between Regular and Cultured Butter
Butter is an essential cooking and baking ingredient that is derived from cream. After churning cream, the fats and liquid separate, the fat which is collected is called ‘butter.’ The liquid part, which is called buttermilk, is also a by-product of the process.
This additional fermentation step in butter making is what differentiates cultured butter from regular American-style butter. The process resembles the fermentation of wine since, over a while; the wine develops the perfect taste and smell. In this process, you ferment cream instead of grapes. Grapes take time for all the right aroma to be extracted; likewise, culture also needs time to achieve its required tangy flavor and creamy, fluffy texture.
Moreover, cultured butter is collected by the addition of live bacteria, or culture, into the butter, while in regular butter, the cream is added into the churning machine. Eventually, it gives a higher fatty product, makes the butter silkier and smoother, and gives a richer taste.
History of Cultured Butter
Butter originated thousands of years ago when our ancestors started herding animals. In ancient European times, when there was no modernization in machine-made butter, milk and cream were collected from several milk resources and stored for many days. Over time, the cream ferments, and this is where cultured butter is originated.
Culturing wasn’t created to make the butter tangy; it happened so just because of the practice. If there was a farmer with a herd of cows, it was likely that he needed quite a few days to collect milk and cream to get some batches of butter.
In the 1970s, due to cold storage facilities, a more flavored cultured butter came into being, where they added lactic acid and bacterial cultures into fresh cream. According to the producer’s point of view, this method is quite effective and efficient, as, in aging, the cream takes quite more space than storing the finished butter.
Nowadays, we get cultured butter from factories where pasteurized cream ferments by the addition of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria.
Benefits of Cultured Butter
- Cultured butter has less humidity than sweet cream butter, which also enhances the results in cooking and baking. Due to the extra creaminess and light whipped texture of cultured butter, it is one of the favorite ingredients of bakers in the bakery. It gives a more perfect, flakier crust to the baked products like pastries, tarts, cookies, croissants, and pies. After all, who doesn’t want a little extra treat for the taste buds?
- Cultured butter has a high burning point, meaning it can be cooked at high temperatures. Higher smoke points turn out the perfect brown scorch on a steak and are ideal for sautéing fish and vegetables. Here are a few dishes whose flavor you can enhance by using the cultured butter:
Cultured butter gives a rich tangy flavor to baked potatoes, and you could even have it without the cheese.
Try your perfectly cooked steaks with a thick slice of cultured butter to keep the meat moist and delicious.
Make your sauce with cultured butter and cook the best bechamel for your steak or any other sauce which requires thickness. In the end, you can add cultured butter for extra shine.
It will give your veggies that mouth-watering, shiny finish. Saute your carrots, green beans, broccoli, and mushrooms in cultured butter.
- Gut bacteria and mental health are connected. The cultures may produce helpful anti-bacteria, which act as a probiotic supplement for the gastrointestinal tract, eventually stabilizing the brain activities which get affected by stress.
- Cultured dairy products carry lactic acid-producing bacteria, that separate both lactose (milk sugars) and casein (milk proteins), which helps indigestion. But both of these are hard for our stomachs to digest and can cause intestinal damage.
- The helpful bacteria in cultured butter assist in nourishing our immune system to keep morbific bacteria from producing and help to digest the food.
- Cultured butter does not destroy many of the enzymes that are wasted during pasteurization. These enzymes do not only help in digestion but to absorb calcium and other minerals. Cultured dairy products are a good source of vitamins B and C.
Hence, you can be guilt-free now whenever you plan to eat bread with a handsome piece of cultured butter since it is right for your health.
Storing the cultured butter in a wax paper increases its life. But if you want to use it relatively quickly, wrap it well and keep it in the refrigerator, where it can be stored for several weeks. Alternatively, you can also store it in the freezer.
Substitute for Cultures
In the whole process of making cultured butter, yogurt can also be used as a substitute for cultures (crème Fraiche, sour cream). It is also readily available everywhere. Full fat, low fat, or non-fat yogurt works the same if it has live cultures.
Examples of Cultured Butter
Next time you visit the dairy aisle in the grocery store, make sure to choose more closely and wisely. There is way better cultured butter nowadays, which is quite healthy in several properties. Think Crème Fraîche in the form of butter. Here are some different kinds of butter you can use to spread on your food to make it extra delicious:
- Rodolphe Le Meunier
- Ploughgate Creamery
- Vermont Creamery
- McClelland’s Dairy
- Kriemhild Dairy Farms
Different Flavors Of Cultured Butters
You can get cultured butter in three different flavors
- Garlic and Herb Butter
Goes well with baguette (thin loaf of French bread)
- Cafe deParis Butter
Compliments beef very well
- Vanilla Bean Butter
Perfect with lobsters and grilled prawn
Butter is one of the essential food components consumed by our ancestors for ages, and we all know they lived healthier. Butter is a rich source of vitamins which our body essentially requires. However, a food lover’s taste buds keep searching for even tastier delicious food. Cultured butter is one of the kinds of butter which, due to its different properties, is used widely in different varieties of food. It enhances the taste of any dish ten folds.
Therefore, next time you plan to buy butter, delve your taste buds into something creamier and better, i.e., Cultured Butter. Bon Appetite!