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Butter And Beer: One Good, And One Not So Good

We had one of those "oh damn, what the hell are we going to eat tonight?" evenings. Actually, it worked out surprisingly well, but it wasn't without a few bumps in the culinary road. The highlight was the incredible French butter. We Americans, until recently, have been used to butter being either palatable, or rancid. The French, until recently, have had slightly higher expectations. We are catching up, but some of that progress can be credited to imported butter, mainly from France (if you knew me , you would appreciate the pain that praising anything French causes me). Isigny Ste Mére Beurre D'Isigny Extra-Fin butter is  just...spectacular. It tastes of  nothing but butter! Amazing stuff. The texture, the  flavor,  it's all perfect.  When I look at an eight-ounce log of butter and think, "I hope my wife doesn't like it, because I want to finish it tonight," I know I'm in trouble. Luckily the bread (Whole Foods baguette) wasn't great, or my cardiologist would have gotten a call this evening. The cheese was good too, and the sautéed chicken breast in my famous barbecue rub was good, but the rub had too much cumin, so it wasn't great. Blah, blah blah. The butter was the star of the show. The beer? A Belgian blond that was a bit too sweet, but still drinkable. But the butter! Wow. And making butter seems moronically simple. Churn cream. Package. Sell. I guess they massage the cows, or let them stay up late and talk with their friends. Who knows, but whatever the frogs are doing, it works.

7 Responses to “Butter And Beer: One Good, And One Not So Good”

  1. what wine would you suggest pairing with a log of french butter?

  2. stupid jokes aside, where did you get this butter? i see i can get it through amazon, but i’m hoping to just drive somewhere local. why do I eat crap butter all of the time?

  3. I got this stuff at The Wine Library, but we have tried some of the other French butters available and some of them are excellent. I would try Whole Foods first (great advice, huh?), and then? Poke around at the usual suspects. Butter isn’t high on my list of things to look at when I go to new places, so I can’t be much help. I use the Whole Foods store brand for baking and cooking, and I find it to be excellent.

  4. What is it with you and cumin?

  5. This is going to sound quite bizarre but I had my francophile father to dinner in the not so distant past, and he could not stop raving like a lunatic about the excellent butter. It was fresh Breakstone butter from Fairway Market. The secret is the freshness, not the brand. Did I tell you I am utterly insane?

  6. I don’t doubt that it was excellent butter…for Brooklyn. But the rantings of some octogenarian frog-lover is no substitute for a serious butter tasting, which is in the works. European butters (and a few American) can be quite different because of the partial fermentation of the cream that is used to make it.As for your insanity? I have looked at several of your comments, and insane isn’t a word that I would use. Pretentious? Snobbish? Affected? Perhaps.

  7. I find cumin to be overused in many barbecue sauces and rubs. It has an interesting flavor, but can be overwhelming when used to excess. But its pungency is useful, especially when the barbecue sauce or rub isn’t particularly good, and the panicked chef needs something to liven up the flavor. I have a more refined palate and have moved far beyond cumin based barbecue.

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