What actually is cultured butter?Butter, cultured butter, salted butter, unsalted butter - what does it all mean? We are often asked this question, so we have put together a little explainer.
For more than 5000 years, people have been skimming the cream off milk to make butter. In pre-refrigeration times, this cream would sit around until enough had been gathered to start churning. In doing so, the environmental bacteria would naturally ferment some of the lactose into lactic acid. You’re probably familiar with fermentation when making sourdough bread, krauts and kimchi.
Cultured butter is butter amplified. It has a richer, more buttery flavour, its lactic tang working as a counterpoint to many foods. Think of cultured butter like a condiment - a simple way to take your toast or hot cross buns to the next level.
Some of our favourite cultured butters are:
Le Conquérant available in lightly salted (demi-sel) or unsalted (doux)
Selected by Will Studd, Le Conquérant Buerre de Baratte represents the pinnacle of Normandy butter-making traditions. Its AOP designation guarantees the butter is made using cream fresh from local Normandy farms, is allowed up to 24 hours maturation before being churned and hand-moulded. As with cheese, butter is a seasonal food, with both its flavour and texture a direct expression of season and terroir. Normandy’s summer meadows, for example, lead to a butter that is soft, golden in colour, with noticeable floral notes.
Watch how Le Conquérant French Butter is made here.
Long Paddock available in salted or unsalted
Long Paddock source their organic milk from a small, family farm near Kyabram. The herd of 250 cows features a mix of Friesian, Jersey and Australian Dairy Shorthorn cattle. The cultured butter is hand crafted in small batches from fresh organic cream not utilised in cheese-making processes. It is slow fermented with premium cultures (optionally salted withOlsson's sea salt) before being weighed and hand-formed.
St David Dairy available in salted or unsalted
Everything about St David Dairy aligns with the idea that provenance and food miles count. Milk is sourced from select Gippsland farms and delivered daily to their award-winning Fitzroy dairy to be hand-crafted into small batches of butter. Live cultures transform pure cream into a thing of beauty. Enjoy the lush mouthfeel of their butter unsalted or salted with Mt Zero Pink Lake salt to add a subtle but perfect top note.
- Whatever butter you choose, it is best kept in the fridge, well-wrapped and away from foods with strong odours
- Add a small pat to a butter dish each night so it is out of the fridge for no more than a day
- Bring to room temperature before serving in order to experience cultured butter’s unique flavour profile
- Butter should soft but not so soft that it loses shape. (A bit like baby bear – not too hot and not too cold)