Bread and butter might sound like the most humblest of breakfast but even in its facade of simplicity, this all time classic makes for a really indulgent breakfast. Whether you prefer your pick as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or would rather give your rotis a generous spread of it, it’s inevitable that dollops of this sinfully delicious delight what we call as butter would come to rule your morning fare. Pair it even with some rice if you so fancy because that’s just the amazing range of versatility this slippery touch of creamy richness tends to encompass in all its fluidity. In complementing therefore each of your fetishes in the food spectrum, it comes as no surprise that butters are so widely popular all over the world.
While butter is most understood as a dairy product made by churning milk or cream, the adverse impacts that the excess spread of butter can have on human health has meant that this essentially animal byproduct has come also to be obtained as totally vegan items of food. Plant butters are becoming increasingly common but that does not mean that you can classify this slippery dose of deliciousness as just vegan and dairy stemmings. Butter is in fact available in a wide many different types depending upon the method of its extraction and of course also the source from where it is made. Additionally, there also exist region specific butters that derive exclusively from the characteristics of the source milk from which the butter is made.
The most common and ‘basic’ pick from among the many butter types is what is essentially called salted butter. During the churning process of milk or cream that which extracts butter as butterfat by separating it from the buttermilk, some amount of salt is added to the butter after it has separated and is then churned further together for an even flavour. The addition of the salt does more than just endowing butter with its characteristic salty taste that makes it so good a spread against the sweet milkiness of breads. Salt also is a natural preservative which means therefore that salted butter is more convenient to store for a longer time, explaining its wide popularity in the commercial butter space.
Regular butter minus the salt is what unsalted butter is, as evident from its very name. While the absence of the salt means that unsalted butter does not quite have the flavour to make for the most preferred of spreads on its own, this very reason also makes it the first choice as cooking butter. The neutral flavor of this butter type ensures that it does not interfere with the other flavorings of the dish, rendering it perfect for use specially in bakery products. The lack of the added salt however also means that unsalted butter spoils faster than its salted counterpart.
Made from such cream that has been allowed to sour through the introduction of live bacterial cultures to pasteurized cream, cultured butter therefore exhibits a distinct tangy flavour. Churned only after the cream has been rendered somewhat thicker after a resting period, cultured butter is therefore high on the fat content making for a smoother texture and yielding also a richer taste. Like other fermented foods as well, cultured butter also does a greater world of wonders to your health, particularly your digestive health. As good a cooking butter as it is when spread on a toast, there is no resisting the more intense flavor and enhanced aromatic lures of this butter type that makes it one offering an experience of fuller buttery deliciousness.
A cultured butter produced in a style so distinctive to Europe that has lent it its namesake identity, European butter is noted for its minimum 82 percent butterfat content attributable to a longer period of churning. Rich in taste like all cultured butters are, European style butter is what lends those famous French croissants and German chocolate cakes their delectable flavour and indulgent feel. The high butterfat content and parallelly therefore, the less moisture therein indeed makes European butter the ideal ingredient in baking as it imparts a flavour and flakiness to goodies such as pastries and cookies and stuff that no other type of butter can come close to matching in its exclusive exoticness.
Quite simply, regular butter that has been whipped is what whipped butter is. Naturally then, in essence whipped butter is butter that has air beaten into it resulting in an expanded volume of therefore less dense butter. In its lighter texture hence, whipped butter is more spreadable even when it appears more firm and solid but is not as suitable a choice to deliver the perfect recipes. Perhaps the factor where whipped butter scores points is its substantially healthy attribute. With fewer calories and a lower fat content because the incorporation of the air offsets the other constituents of it, this fluffier, creamier variant of butter is quite the winner if you still want to have your toast generously buttered but while lessening the fatty harm caused to yourself.
A type of butter unlike any other, clarified butter comes across as a really rich and exclusively dairy based product. Composed of almost 100% butterfat since the water and milk solids are removed from the butter during its clarifying, clarified butter is quite interesting a derivation from butter. Lactose free even when based on animal milk and retaining more nutrients and vitamins because of its low heat extraction process, clarified butter also comes across as particularly healthy.
Particularly when clarified butter is understood almost exclusively to refer to ghee- an Ayurvedic stemming from the Indian subcontinent, the health benefits are even more raved about. However, there exists other forms of clarified butter as well like what they call Smen in Yemen or a seasoned ingredient of Ethiopian or Eritrean cooking, known as Niter kibbeh. The Brazilian clarified butter Manteiga-da-terra is however most similar to ghee, both being almost pure animal fat products.
Grass Fed Butter
A classification of butter based on the source of its extraction, grass fed butter is derived from the milk of such cows that have been entirely grass fed. While the standard or regular butter is obtained from such cattle that are fed on a diet of grains making it high on saturated fats, grass fed butter is a relatively healthier alternative to it. More packed with vitamins and nutrients that which derive from the plant based diet of the cows, grass fed butter is therefore beneficial to the human body in a number of ways. Also richer in the taste of it and with a very distinctive flavor, grass fed butter makes for a wonderful way to enjoy the butter on your toast for a wholesome breakfast.
It’s pretty easy to get confused between grass fed butter and organic butter because of the ingrained notion that has us viewing all things green as natural and organic. Organic butter is made from the milk of cattle raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and given 100 percent organic feed grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. In its very premises therefore, organic butter is safe for your health as far as the impact of chemical free food is concerned. That however does not make organic butter come with the guarantee of being healthy in its nutritional profile as well since it can be, but is not always derived from the milk of grass fed cows. Who knew even butter could come with such technicalities?!
We know, we have already raved about the superior characteristics of European butter. But making a separate case for Irish butter still emerges as a necessity particularly due to how delightfully different it happens to be. Often uncultured even when it is very much categorised as European butter, the butter from the islandic country of Ireland is a bright yellow that which is a hallmark of its purity. With earthy notes in its flavour that which testifies to the richness of it, Irish butter derives its exquisite taste from the milk of its cattle that feed off on its rolling green pastures. In being also therefore a grass fed butter, Irish butter encompasses the deliciousness and health quotient of a wide many types of this pantry staple to be so luxurious an exploration for the senses.
Sometimes, butter can even be a byproduct of other production processes. Take for instance whey butter that which is produced as a remnant of the cheese making process. Produced by separating cream from whey, that which is a leftover after the extraction of cheese, whey butter is even oilier than regular butter and comes with a flavor reminiscent of the taste of, you got it right, cheese. With a lower fat content, whey butter also is firmer in texture, sharper in its flavor and deeper in the color. Making for similar use as regular butter in the culinary world, whey butter however can differ slightly in color depending on the type of cheese being produced.
While butter is mostly meant to refer to a dairy product obtained from cow milk, it also can be made from the milk of other animals. And while goat and sheep milk butter today are no more a rarity, a rather distinctive types of butter that stands out happens to derive from the milk of yaks. Incredibly rich since yak’s milk has about twice the fat content of whole cow’s milk, the texture of yak butter is more cheese like. Yielded by a production process that is also as remarkable, yak butter finds the most popular of its usage as an ingredient of the Tibetan butter tea.
Plant Butter/ Vegan Butter
Butter that is made from plant oils or a range of nuts and seeds is what plant butter is. Also called vegan butter because they do not contain any animal drawings whatsoever, plant butters are also touted as healthy because they cut down on the higher fat content of butter as a dairy product. And they taste delicious as well, though the flavour is markedly different from that of regular butter. Often nutty in taste but equally versatile as standard butter as regards its use as an ingredient or a spread, plant butter however should not be confused with margarine which is technically not butter at all.