A Better Butter Taste Test

 
 Thank you  Walter Green   for allowing me to post the above photo

Thank you Walter Green for allowing me to post the above photo

I just read Walter Green's entertaining article "Classic Butter Taste" in the current Lucky Peach Magazine. (Thanks Wanderlust Designer for the heads up!) I have read my share of butter taste tests, but Green's is by far my favorite. 

 Photo Credit:   Aleksandra Kingo

Photo Credit: Aleksandra Kingo

This is not your typical butter-tasting article; not only does Green offer his opinions on the taste and texture of 23 different brands of butter ("It tastes a lot like butter. It's more mild than the last one. But still buttery.") he also comments on package design, shape retention, shares a few anagrams, and so much more.

Have you ever read an article (listened to a song, watched a movie) and thought, "I want whoever is responsible for this to be my friend!" That is how I feel about Green. Anyone who can write a six page article about tasting butter and have me laughing out loud is someone I want around. 

Go pick up a copy of Lucky Peach, you are going to want to read this.




 

Butter from NYC

 
nyc-butter-finlandia-vital-kates-lescure

I took a trip to NYC and as always I picked up a few butters that I haven't seen on the west coast. (Luckily I remembered to take them out of the hotel fridge this time!)

When I am traveling, many of the brands are new to me it and it is difficult to know what is a good quality butter and what is a factory-store butter. I often take out my phone and do online research. I also look for key words like, pasture raised, family-owned farms, grass fed, and organic. I searched for gourmet markets in Manhattan, hoping to find some tasty butter. Below are a few of the stores where I purchased butter.

I am going to pick up some Manresa bread and try my new butters. I will post on these butters soon.


le-district-nyc

Le District is a French-inspired shopping district. This market is filled with culinary-specific stations, a brasserie-style restaurant, a bar serving artisanal drinks and delicious small plates, and a fresh grocery curated by talented chefs and taste-makers.

They had a good variety of French imported butters.

Le District is located in Brookfield Place, adjacent to the North Cove Harbor, and steps away from the World Trade, the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

le-district-nyc-butter.jpg

Le District
Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281

Le District Website


zabars-nyc

Zabar's is an Upper West Side gourmet epicurean emporium, specializing in the finest fish, bread, coffee, cheese, kitchen equipment and housewares. They have a good mix of imported and domestic butter brands. 

Zabar's
2245 Broadway (at 80th Street) New York, NY 10024

Zabar's website


morton-williams-nyc

Morton Williams is a family-owned and operated food market that was next door to our hotel. They had a nice selection of butter and I was excited to find Finlandia butter on the shelf.

Morton Williams
15 Stores in the New York metropolitan area

Morton Williams website



 

Heartbreak

 
iceland_butter

The night before we left for home I started feeling pretty ill. I had caught a cold somewhere along the way. I woke up the next morning feeling awful, worried about the long day of travel ahead of me. 

We left the hotel in the early morning and as we pulled up to the airport I realized that I had left all of the butter I had purchased in Sweden, Norway and Iceland, in the hotel room freezer. I felt like crying. It was one of those moments when you wish you could go back in time for a re-do.

Luckily, the airline served us Icelandic butter with our meal. My family saved all of their butter for me. ❤️

Someone at the Reykjavik hotel is in for a nordic butter feast. I hope they enjoy it as much as I would have!



 

The Laundromat Cafe - Reykjavik, Iceland

 

We were walking around downtown Reykjavik and found this nice cafe.  I ordered a bread basket, my first taste of Icelandic butter. The bread and butter were delicious, as was my carrot and ginger soup!

I wish we had a Laundromat Cafe in my home town!

After eating we walked to the market and I purchased some Icelandic butter to bring home. I'm excited to have a taste test with friends.


The Laundromat Cafe
Austurstræti 9 9, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+45 35 35 26 72

The Laundromat Cafe website



 

Norway

bergen_norway_harbor

Visiting Bergen, Norway. So scenic and beautiful. We don't have much time here so I went to the store and purchased some Norwegian butter to bring home. 

bergen_norway

The view at the top of Mount Fløyen. We road the Fløibanen Funicular up to the top, and walked down. It was spectacular.

Undredal-Brygge-Aurlandsfjord-Norway

The next day we took a train, a bus and a boat; the Norway in a Nutshell tour. We toured Sognefjord: the largest and best known fjord in Norway and the second longest in the world.



Under Kastanjen - Stockholm, Sweden

 

Under Kastanjen, translated to Under the Chestnut tree.

While exploring Stockholm's old-town, Gamla Stan, we happend to walk past this lovely courtyard with a huge chestnut tree.  There we found the bistro Under Kastanjen, with its bakery and a wine bar. We stopped for dinner and returned another day for breakfast.

Under Kastanjen serves a salted butter from Finland called Valio. The butter was piped onto a little rock that the owner had gathered while at a Swedish beach, beautiful and delicious.


Under Kastanjen
Kindstugatan 1, 111 31 Stockholm, Sweden
+46 8 21 50 04

Under Kastanjen website



 

Swedish Butter

 
alands_smor
coop_smor
arla_smor_klarifierat
ekologiskt_smor
wapno_smor
ica_smor

I tasted some delicious butters in Sweden!

I visited a few markets, Coop, ICA and Urban Deli.  I wasn't sure where to go to find good butter. I need to improve my search for artisanal products. I don't want to only taste restaurant or grocery store brand butters.

As always when on vacation, I purchase new brands of butter to bring home. I store them in the hotel room freezer. (More about this later)