Cheese & Butter Guide by Marky’s
Imagine the land full of peace and harmony, which reign all over emerald rolling hills and valleys, wide grassy plains and blooming apple orchards. This is Normandy, the French region situated in the northwest of the country.
What makes French Normandy butter so special is a clever and successful combination of those advantages the natural environment of the region has, and the time-tested manufacturing techniques, which the local dairies still use to make the best product ever. The milk for the butter is taken from Norman cows of a particular breed grazing in sea-sprayed lush pastures. Due to the natural composition of lavish Normandy terroirs, the cow’s milk contains many good chemicals including iodine, carotene and Vitamin A. To preserve all health properties of this butter, its producers follow the traditional churning process. The original French butter should contain not less than 82% of butterfat, hence it has less moisture comparing to many other types of butter. That is why its texture is so smooth and silky, while its delicate flavor can please the palate of the most exacting gourmets. Whenever you take it to season your pasta, or put it into your sauce, or add it to your pastry, or just smear it on a piece of warm crunchy baguette, you will find it an absolutely versatile and simply splendid thing.
Here at Marky’s Gourmet shop we have the honor to offer you the best brands of the genuine Normandy butter, such as Isigny and Beurre de Baratte, both are AOC protected. Also you can check the price of butter of other categories and choose from the fine selection of high quality products.
Isigny butter is prized for its dense velvet texture, fresh odor and mellow flavor with hazelnut smack. It is easily recognized by its healthy yellow color and highly appreciated by the world’s best professional chefs, who use it to honor the old culinary tradition. By the way, the history of this butter traces back to the 16th century.
Beurre de Baratte, which literally means “churned butter”, is produced following the special Baratte process, when the heaviest part of the separated milk is spun into a thick velvet mass. This helps to add extra cream to the butter creating a sumptuous texture and extremely dense lingering taste.
What Makes the French Butter Different from Its American Cousin?
Before you put a slice of Normandy butter on your tongue and the butter starts to melt in your mouth, the only obvious difference between the two products seems to be the color. The French butter is more yellow, even lemon yellow. So, what are you buying?
This distinctive color of French butter (or beurre) is exactly what explains all its differences from American butter. And you’ll literally taste and feel them.
- The flavor of Normandy butter combines creaminess, sourness, and nuttiness. You may even find something yours in it. But whatever you taste, it’s 100% natural.
- You’ll be surprised by how easy and pleasant it is to spread the Normandy butter on a slice of fresh bread. It may seem that the butter is spreading by itself, unlike its reluctant western cousins.
- And be ready that French butters melt slowly, with dignity, gradually revealing their rich flavor and unobtrusively pervading your dish with it.
The high percent of butterfat (82-84%) mentioned above does add to these qualities of original Normandy butter. But these numbers may be the same for domestic butters that are available for sale at American grocery stores.
What makes the difference is the origin of butterfat. Let’s see what causes such a high natural content of fat in the French product.
Nature and cows
The Normandy butter is made of the milk collected only from Normandy farms. The large territory of this northwestern region of France comprises everything that high-quality dairy requires: grassy meadows, healthy soils, clean rivers, and artisans who love what they do.
The local breed of cows – the Normande – is worldwide known for giving milk that is especially high in proteins, good fat, and minerals. By the way, it’s the abundance of carotenoids – natural pigments and antioxidants – that gives Normandy butter the remarkable yellow color.
Most farmers milk their cows twice a day, each day of the year.
Despite the fact that Normandy cows are exported and bred all over the globe, the unique climate, soil, and topography of the French Northwest can hardly be exported. So, the raw material used to make Normandy butter is actually one of its kind on our planet.
The milk is skimmed within two hours after it arrives at the factory. Skimming means separating cream from milk.
Then, the cream is pasteurized at a low temperature and set aside to ripen. This is the stage of culturing, when the cream is mixed with cultures like yoghurt that are cultivated from the skimmed milk. This causes fermentation – a chain of chemical changes in the cream that prepare it for churning.
In 16-18 hours, the fermented cream turns into a mass like crème fraîche and is churned into butter in special machines. The ready butter is washed in clean, fresh water and packed for selling.
For French butters, there is no post-production flavoring. The fat content and aroma are formed naturally during the process.
High content of healthy nutrients
When you buy a bar or basket of Normandy butter, you get a lavish source of five vitamins that give a great boost to all your body systems: A, D, E, K2, and B12.
The fats in this natural butter are healthful and will only add to your wellbeing.
You can order pure Normandy butter from France in bars and baskets online at Marky’s. Make your cooking even more flavorful with this versatile ingredient and spoil your dearest with something absolutely fabulous.