December 10, 2015

Pitch: Check Your Butter Label.





My daughter made butter in Kindergarten. You put heavy cream into a lidded jar and shake, and shake and shake and shake until it forms a lump of butter. Simple. Just heavy cream and a little salt, if you like that.

But guess what I recently noticed? Many butters in the grocery store contain more than that. They contain "flavorings". Seriously? How can heavy cream be improved? Can it be made more buttery? 


When I looked closer I noticed it was mostly unsalted butter that contained said flavorings so I assume it has something to do with extending the shelf life of the product. I contacted a few producers to ask and haven't heard back yet*. Until then, it's strictly salted butter for me (which tastes better anyway) or unsalted (and unadulterated) from local Hope Creamery. Just in time for cookie baking.

Postscript—It's nothing to worry about... I heard back (and verified with a local nutrition/food professor because I'm skeptical by nature) and, good news, "flavorings" are just lactic acid which is produced when dairy is fermented. Why don't they just say that? It prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and gives the butter richer flavor. So maybe that's the unsalted butter that's safer to leave out so it stays soft for toast, etc. But why would you want unsalted butter for toast? Or anything besides baking? I digress. Mystery solved. I'm relieved that butter is still just butter. 
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