Butter, the new cheese
Posted: July 26th, 2007 - 1:09pm by Amy HubbellI love butter and I loved it long before living in Brittany where they claim to make the best butter in the world, naturally flavored with sea salt. It was in France that I learned to eat butter with my Roquefort cheese. I’m salivating at the very decadent thought… But after turning 30 I sadly had to slow down on my intake as my metabolism started to churn instead of speed through fat.
Now it seems that North American foodies have caught on and butter is the new cheese. According to the July 25 Globe and Mail, “Long overlooked by gourmets, butter is being transformed from a supper table staple into Quebec's latest delicacy.” Gilles Jourdenais, who owns the Fromagerie Atwater – the largest cheese wholesaler in Canada, says that “Quebec's nascent artisanal butter scene is where cheese was 15 years ago, when no one believed local products could rival European imports.”
In Quebec, farmers are pasteurizing their fresh milk in small batches and at lower temperatures to “preserve herbaceous hints in the milk and fullness in the cream.” Unlike France that allows consumers to purchase raw milk butters with very high fat contents, “Canadian law restricts producers from serving raw milk butters, so they are required to pasteurize the milk.”
Maybe on our way through the Quebec countryside to the Laurentians in the next few weeks we’ll make a stop at a local creamery. I’m all in favor of the small-batch low-heat pasteurized butter, as long as the care put into it includes microbiologically safe practices. It’s like buttah. My 30-something metabolism will handle it.