Elaine is a frequent contributor to (at least) one cool thing. Previously she has written about the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton and Banana Joe’s Pineapple Frosty. Tonight she continues the foodie theme by introducing us to a better butter. Elaine writes:
I’d had my eye on Plugrá Butter at Trader Joe’s for a while, but always refrained from getting it mostly because I’m lazy and I like the convenience of the stick format (vs. the European block-style) for easy measuring during cooking, and I was reasonably satisfied with the flavor of my typical Lucerne or Land O’ Lakes selections.
Over the July 4th weekend, during a visit to Vicky & Gary’s in Portland, I realized my folly. They stock Plugrá Butter, and I immediately noticed its rich flavor and texture. Plugrá is delicious for the same reason Mitchell’s is superior to other ice creams: it packs more fat (in fact, the name is a play on the French words meaning just that: more fat). In contrast to regular butter, which contains 80% butter fat and 20% water and milk solids, Plugrá contains 82.5% butter fat, which displaces some of the other components to improve taste and texture. The lower moisture content results in slower melting, flakier pastries, higher cakes, crisper cookies and better tasting sautés. One will note that the Recchiuti Fleur de Sel recipe provided by Joy specifies the use of butter with this high fat content. Plugrá Butter is made domestically by Keller’s Creamery,
My next project: to track down butter from Vermont Butter & Cheese Co., producers of a cultured butter. Cultured butter is the norm in Europe. It involves the addition of dairy bacteria to the sweet cream during churning, which results in the digestion of virtually all of the lactose in the cream and the production of methyl ketones that enhance the flavor of the butter. People describe the end result as intensely rich and milky, with a faint mellowness to it like a St. Andre cheese.
p.s. Portland is cool for other reasons too. We took several hikes through the Columbia River Gorge and lower Cascade Mountains and saw over 16 waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the country at 620 feet. Oh yeah, the lack of sales tax is also cool.