Favorite Things: Vermont Cultured Butter

I love being wowed by simple things. For instance, a butter so rich and tasty it makes you wonder why you wasted your time on all the other “ordinary” butters, watching out for special sales to get them even cheaper, dousing or smearing your food item with so much of it because you can’t seem to produce the taste you’re looking for. It’s not you. It’s it.

Vermont Creamery Butter at the Food Coop – $3 cheaper than retail is not bad at all!

Enter the world of cultured butters. Often called “European style butters,” cultured butters undergo the step of fermentation, where the cream that has accumulated on the top during milking is allowed to ferment (naturally or artificially through bacterial strains) into the popular creme fraiche before churning it into a butter.

As a result, cultured butters have a little bit of tartness to them, owing to a process that has been omitted in the production of mainstream “sweet cream” North American butters, rendering them still rich in fat but
lacking in the distinct taste produced by fermentation, one that allows that knock-your-socks out buttery taste all within the first minor swipe.

Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter is one of those butters that produce that flavor explosion. Typically selling for $6-7 retail for a half pound, the Food Coop brings it to members for a ridiculous steal at

It comes soft so it is easy to transfer into tiny butter ramekins for use at the table, or to grease a baking dish. In cooking it would be a first great touch when searing meats for stew or steak, or to saute garlic and onions for sauces and soups. It apparently has a higher burning point than regular butter sticks, so have a ball with the searing and sautéing!

The package says it is best used on plain bread. With its distinct and powerful taste, the word sparingly might actually (and finally) make sense.

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