When it comes to the flavour and performance of key ingredients, there are no effective substitutes for real butter. As one of the most prized ingredients, it gives cakes, biscuits and pastries an unrivalled flavour, a melting richness to sauces and sweets as well as a tender or crumbly texture to some of our most cherished baked foods.
For thousands of years, butter has been a key component of many classic culinary delights, with 2 million tonnes consumed in Europe each year. Despite this, when it comes to sourcing butter many buyers don’t give it the attention that we believe it deserves.
When buying butter, the initial question has to be ‘what type of butter is preferred for the manufacturing process’? There are two principal types of butter; lactic and sweet cream butter. Sweet cream butter is the more ‘traditional’ butter made from the cream of fresh cow’s milk and can be either salted or unsalted; while lactic butter is made from fresh cream that has been either flavoured or fermented with lactic acid. Lactic butter brings a smooth flavour and a mouth feel which proves itself extremely suitable for baking.
There’s then the option to go for salted or unsalted. Salted butter contains 2% salt, which adds additional flavour to the manufacturing process. However, having 2% salt in the butter means that there is 2% less fat (for example, salted butter is 80% fat to cater for the fact that it is 2% salt; unsalted butter is 82% fat).
There are also a number of smaller, yet important, variables that should be considered. What about the provenance of the butter? Is it important to be buying British butter made from British milk? We hope so, particularly if the end product is promoted on its ‘Britishness’.
Let’s also not forget the ‘usability’ of the butter, is it more cost effective to be buying in 25kg blocks rather than unwrapping countless 250g packets? How will the butter be used? Would you prefer to take delivery of frozen butter to improve its shelf life or is it better delivered chilled and ready to use?
Whatever the key buying decisions, at Meadow Foods we like to fly the British flag and manufacture a quality and consistent ingredient for our customers. If you’re still unsure as to buying butter we also have experts on hand to offer advice on storage, tempering and usage to help customers get the most out of this wonderful product by better butter buying.