No kitchen is complete without butter. Available in many forms—salted or unsalted, sweet cream, whipped, cultured, clarified and light—it’s a versatile ingredient with unparalleled taste and performance. Ask your distributor for butter with the Real California Milk seal—the mark of a product made exclusively with milk from California dairy farms.
Think of California butter as a finishing seasoning. Steam or sauté vegetables, then fold in a bit of whole butter just before serving to add rich flavor. To make a luxurious, nutty “instant sauce,” brown butter slowly in a heavy saucepan until golden and fragrant, then toss with vegetables.
- Butter is made by churning or shaking pasteurized cream until the milkfat separates from the remaining fluid, which is also known as buttermilk. After churning, the butter is rinsed and salted, if desired, and excess buttermilk is removed.
- Real butter contains at least 80% milkfat, 18% water and 2% solids (mainly protein and salt).
- Clarified butter (also called drawn butter) is prepared by slowly melting regular butter to evaporate most of the water and separate the milk solids from the fat. After any foam is skimmed off the top, clarified butter can be heated to higher temperatures during cooking. Clarified butter can be stored slightly longer than regular butter. One pound of butter makes 12 ounces of clarified butter.
- Ghee, a form of clarified butter made by simmering unsalted butter until all water has evaporated and the milk solids, or protein, have settled to the bottom, has been used for thousands of years in many parts of India, Africa and the Middle East and is growing in popularity in European countries and the U.S.
- Store butter in the refrigerator tightly wrapped or in a covered dish.
- Keep it away from highly aromatic foods so it doesn't pick up foreign flavors.
- Keep butter at room temperature for short periods, but refrigerate to maintain peak flavor.
- Freeze butter for up to four months.
- The “best used by” date stamped on butter packaging tells you how long the product will be at top eating quality.
- You can’t top butter for baking or cooking. Use it in sauces, compounds and candy and as a simple spread.
- Salted butter is often used at the table and for general cooking; unsalted butter is best for baking and in seafood dishes.
- Salted and unsalted butter can be substituted for each other, generally.
- Follow the printed measurements on butter wrappers for correctly measuring butter.
- ¼ pound = 1 stick = ½ cup
- 1 pound = 4 sticks = 2 cups