And how do you feel about oysters?
I don’t use Kerrygold but a similarly fancy “artisan” butter from my region, and I use it for all butter purposes, rather than maintaining a butter hierarchy for different culinary applications. (Likewise for olive oil, flour, etc.)
To my way of thinking, I’m spending more money on the responsibly produced “good” butter not just because it’s better quality but also because it’s better for farmers, cows, the planet, etc. Using cheaper butter for some purposes would just make that tiny little sliver of consumer activism even less effective.
I don’t often use kerrygold because i’m cheap, but we recently made chocolate chip cookies with kerrygold instead of costco butter and they were spectacular, like the butteriest natural butter flavor you can imagine. So I guess ultimately anything where butter provides a decent amount of the flavor will really benefit from the higher quality ingredient.
I bought Kerrygold recently. Honestly I can’t tell the difference. But then I use locally produced butter, either Darigold or Tillamook. I stopped using margarine years ago. I like that butter usually has the ingredients “cream, salt.” I don’t use a lot of it, but when I do use it I want the real deal.
OK, so today I managed to get Finlandia, Minerva Dairy (85% butterfat), President (France) and the Aldi Irish butter. So these are all butters that are fancier but you can find at a normal supermarket (I went to Meijer for the first three.)
I was most excited for the Minerva Dairy one, which is an Amish butter, because of the high butterfat. It was not a cultured butter, but it did contain lactic acid (which is one of the flavors cultures produce). The President is France’s most popular or best-selling butter – I forget the exact wording. It’s cultured, as is the Finlandia. The Aldi butter was not. All were unsalted. I tried all the butters on their own, as well as on a piece of baguette. This was not blinded.
To me, the Minerva was disappointing and the least favorite of the lot. It was also the palest of this batch of butters. It didn’t really taste that much different from regular butter, except that it ended with what I would describe as a very slightly rancid flavor from the lactic acid, I guess. My favorites were between the Finlandia and the President. Both had a rich umami finish to them that I could swear I could also describe as “salty” despite it being an unsalted butter. My winner of this round goes to Finlandia, by a hair. The President also has a bit of a peppery edge to it at the end. The Aldi Irish butter was solid, as well, but – perhaps because it was uncultured – it didn’t impress me like the others. But I would recommend it. The Minerva was the only butter I would not spend extra money on. All were $2.99/7-8 oz. on sale.
One of the interesting things I discovered about this test is just how much of a delay there is in the full butter flavor hitting you, well, at least for me. At first there’s the cream flavor and the rich mouthfeel, and it’s not really until you swallow almost that you get the rest of the flavor, so like 3-5 seconds after it’s already been in your mouth. With me, a lot of the butters end with umami and salt, even though they’re unsalted. Even the uncultured (at least it’s not listed on the label) Aldi one finishes like this.
Another Kerrygold user here. It’s priced right at Costco and I use it for everything. I tried Amish butter once and was totally unimpressed, especially at that price point. I’ve also basically quit using unsalted butter. A lot of recipes call for it, but then they want you to add a tsp of salt, so what’s the point? I just use salted butter and cut back on the added salt.
I also make my own ghee. It’s a bit tedious, but not difficult.
Well, one reason to use the unsalted in the case of Kerrygold is that they are actually different butters. Only the unsalted is cultured/contains cultures; the salted one is/does not. Like I said above, the weird thing is these butters all taste salty to me, and I’m not on a low salt diet or anything like that.
Okay, but what difference does that make to, say, a cookie?
Hmm. Now i want to do a butter-off. I would want to make chocolate chip cookies and pie crust. And buttered toast.
When it’s on sale I buy better butters all day long. I’ll cook , spread with all of them.
Local company makes butter balls, I use those too
I don’t know. A test is in order!
(I personally don’t make a lot of cookies – most my buttering is of the bread variety. I would expect perhaps a slight extra nuttiness/richness/umami, though looking online, it says that the flavor is lost in baking and needs to be used for buttering bread or finishing sauces. ETA: Though now that I look, other sites say otherwise. Like I said, test is in order!)
I don’t eat a lot of butter that hasn’t been baked into something. So if i do this, it will be a bakeoff.
So you can control the salt. It’s for those recipes that don’t call for more salt. For example, if making box mac & cheese, I don’t want a salted butter since the other components are already intensely salty. For eggs, I may not want to use salt until the end for finishing but, if I use a salted butter, the raw egg is salted earlier and may change the texture.
I just got back from the grocery store. Out here in the Pacific NW, both the salted and the unsalted Kerrygold were uncultured.
I buy salted. Side-by-side comparison of Kerrygold with Land O’ Lakes today is almost identical, with the LO’L being a bit saltier, but the flavors comparable.
I got overloaded on cultured butter when I was a pastry chef. For about 6 months, the butter we got was over-cultured - enough that I had to keep sending it back. It was offensively cheesy. Now I just want the clean taste of uncultured butter.
Contrary to what some say, adding salt to eggs prior to cooking can result in more tender eggs, although it needs to be added well in advance. It has to do with dissolving proteins and other chemistry. I add salt before, and I use salted butter, and the eggs usually still need to be salted afterwards. But I don’t dump the melted butter in the pan onto the plate with the eggs. I can’t speak to boxed mac & cheese, as I don’t eat the stuff.
Interesting. I did check earlier in the week, since I incorrectly said Kerrygold is uncultured, and here in Chicago, the gold foil one (salted) had no cultures listed on its ingredients, but the silver foil (unsalted) did. So who knows.
Yeah, the cultured butters I’m mostly using are not particularly funky. They have just the right amount of tang for me and, remember, I’m using it mostly on its own on bread as opposed to in a baked product. I am just a sucker for that tang. I mean, I could (and have) eaten this stuff straight from the brick. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any of the fancy cultured butters, so I’m going to have to seek them out to see how interesting they could get.
I’m surprised by your finding of Kerrygold v LoL. The difference between LoL and at least the Aldi Irish butter was fairly pronounced to me. I imagine the Kerrygold is even a bit more pronounced. (Both tested unsalted.)