All about Butter
Although butter is made by churning cream, this simple and traditional process produces a wide range of interesting flavours. We have a great selection of Butter; click here to view.
English and continental butters
It's easy to spot the differences between English and continental butters. English butter has a deep colour and rich creamy flavour, while continental butters are paler and more subtle.
A good way to tell different types of butter apart is by their wrapper - English butter (also known as sweetcream) is often sold in gold-coloured wrappers, while lactic butter, tends to be wrapped in silver-coloured foil.
In the kitchen
Salted butter is usually used for everyday use, while unsalted butter tends to be a key ingredient in baking - the preferred choice of chefs.
Sel de Gurande Butter, is a lovely mild butter with Sea salt flakes. Delicious!
Unlike margarine and other substitutes (made from a single oil or blend of oils), butter browns well in a pan, taking on an appealing nutty taste which complements pan-fried fish, especially skate and sole.
Versatile butter is good at taking-on other flavours and is often mixed with crushed garlic fresh herbs or mustard. Garlic and herb butter is especially popular as a filling for baked French bread.
Flavoured butters also enliven grills and pan-fried steaks and can be shaped into cylinders and frozen for use at a later date.
Brandy or rum butter, a 'hard sauce' accompaniment to Christmas pudding, is sweetened butter, flavoured with fruit juice and alcohol - a must-have trimming to the festive pud...
Hollandaise, an indulgent buttery sauce, is made with generous amounts of melted butter, drizzled into beaten egg yolks and sharpened with lemon juice. Other butter-rich sauces include beurre blanc, a creamy, slightly sharpish sauce, often served with fish.
Heating it up
Clarified butter is good for frying because the milk solids have been removed, so it can be heated to a high temperature without burning.
Ghee (clarified butter) is used in many special occasion Indian recipes, lending a rich note to spiced dishes and sweets. Because ghee has no moisture, it can be kept for several months in the refrigerator.
Goat's milk butter, available from specialist shops and many supermarkets is an ideal substitute to cow's milk butter and is especially suitable for those people who are intolerant of dairy products.
Keeping it cool...
Keep butter well wrapped in the refrigerator away from other strong smelling foods, or if the weather is not very hot, covered in a crock at cool room temperature and out of direct light. Dairy butter is best used within a fortnight, although it can be frozen for up to a year. See our range of Butters here