Butter’s origins go back about 10,000 years to the time when our ancestors first began domesticating animals. Today, butter in its many flavorful forms is the world’s most popular fat. As a versatile spread, a delicious enhancer for so many foods, and the essential ingredient for baking, butter’s simple goodness has no equal. Butter is one of the world’s greatest foods. Throughout most of human civilization, butter has been seen as a symbol of good living. It is a beloved food and a staple in many cultures across the globe. The earliest evidence of milk use dates back to around 6,500 BCE. It is believed that raw milk wasn’t actually consumed by people at this time due to uniform lactose intolerance in adults. It is suggested that people ate butter, cheese and yoghurt, rather than consuming raw milk.
Many believe that ancient nomadic people first discovered the miracle of butter. It is thought that while travelling long distances, nomads would attach sacks containing milk to their pack animals and the cream was eventually churned into butter. A Sumerian tablet from ancient Mesopotamia that dates back to 2,500 BCE illustrates rudimentary dairy production. The tablet depicts the milking of cows, and consequently, the making of butter. The discovery of butter-making had a major impact on the development of human culture. Dairy production provided a year-round source of nourishment for people. Without it, our world would be a very different place.
Butter rose to prominence in the Middle Ages, when it became a commonly-used product throughout northern Europe. Though the upper classes considered it peasant food, they also ate it periodically. Back then, the consumption of butter was prohibited during Lent. Many people in northern Europe chose to pay the fee imposed by the Catholic church that allowed them to eat butter. This is why the tower on the Rouen Cathedral in France is nicknamed the Butter Tower.
For centuries, butter has played an important role in our world. The first reference to butter in our written history was found on a 4,500-year-old limestone tablet illustrating how butter was made. It is generally believed the word butter originates from the boutyron, Greek for “cow cheese”, however, it may have come from the language of cattle-herding Scythians.
Butter is a dairy product containing up to 80% butterfat which is solid when chilled and at room temperature. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water.
This is your best bet for cooking and baking. For many recipes, it is recommended that you bring the butter to room temperature first so that it better incorporates with other ingredients. The exception is pie crust, for which cold butter is a must. If you wish, you can season unsalted butter yourself to meet your personal taste preferences when using it as a topping or spread.
When butter is melted and made clear by separating and discarding the milk solids and water, it makes the perfect dipping sauce for shellfish and other seafood. But because it will not burn at high temperatures, it is also a good choice for frying and sautéing.
Made from cultured cream, cultured butter has a rich, complex flavour. It is ideal for baking because the lower moisture content produces flakier pastries and fluffier cakes.
This old-fashioned variation is made from cream that is churned more slowly and for a longer time. It has a butterfat content of at least 82% —higher than standard butter. The increased amount of butterfat is beneficial for cooking and baking.
After it is churned, nitrogen gas is whipped into butter to create this soft, spreadable butter. You can use a Pacojet to created this soft butter without the addition of nitrogen.