Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

butter, butter, butter – is butter better?

Western-pack shape butter
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Butter, butter, butter, butter

Today my friend Judy and I were walking back from a late happy hour at a nearby restaurant and we started talking about food.

She was bemoaning the fact that WAGS, a local Tucson café, closed. Having never been in WAGS, I asked her what she missed. Judy said the light as a feather pancakes with real butter.

She abhorred fake butter. Judy said, “I grew up in Chicago which is near Wisconsin and I’m used to real butter. Butter is important to me.”

As for me, we never ate butter. My mother and grandmother kept kosher which meant separating the meat from the dairy so butter never made an appearance. We had margarine or what it was called back then – oleo.  It never made it to the table as a spread for bread, only on rare occasions. So my desire for butter was minimal to none.

Since I rarely order pancakes and if I’m having toast, ask for it “dry”, butter is not a priority. I rather have real maple syrup.

I told Judy that a package of butter from Trader Joe’s which as four sticks has been in my refrigerator for at least a year.

Who has tried Smart Balance butter? It’s supposed to be a heart healthy alternative for butter.

One day last year I mistakenly left the beautiful butter dish on the counter and while I was gone, my greyhound knocked the butter dish to the floor (fortunately it did not break). There was about half a stick of butter and she ate it. Greyhounds are notorious counter surfers.

According to the Barron’s Food Lover’s Companion, in order for butter to be called butter in the United States, it must be at least 80 percent milk fat and the remaining 20 percent, water and milk solids.

Julia Child made us realize that both butter and making mistakes were OK in moderation.

Here are more food related words starting with butter: butterball steak, butter beans, butter clams, buttercup squash, butterfish, butternut squash, butterscotch, buttercream, buttermilk, and butter fat.

Pass the butter, please…

  1. I would always rather have real butter than substitutes. After all, it’s natural! Whip heavy cream too long and what do you get? Butter. Compare that to the lab-produced substitutes and the answer, for me, is clear.

    That being said, moderation is key. Our ancestors may have eaten butter and all sorts of high-fat stuff day after day but they did more physical labor than I do, so I use olive oil (another natural fat) for a lot of old butter tasks.

    Sometimes, though, the richness of butter is welcome in a dish and a 50/50 butter/olive oil mix does the trick.

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