In honor of Battle Butter on Iron Chef America tonight, can I just say something - am I the only one who didn't realize that there was actually enough types of butter to have a whole Battle based on them?!
Apparently, there are. In addition to the fact that pretty much any type of milk can be made into butter (including the prominent placement of Goat Butter on the show - the buyers must be especially proud of that one!), there are types! Check the action:
Cultured, which is butter made from fermented cream. With the invention of pasturization, a bacteria has to now be introduced into the cream. The result is richer, and more buttery, and prefered in Europe, apparently.
Sweet Cream, which is butter made from pasturized cream. Butter made from fresh, unpasturized cream is called Raw Cream.
Cultured is the prefered butter in Europe, so much so that in the United States, it's often sold as European butter.
Several spreadable and whipped butters also are on the market. Whipped butters in particular, are not recommended for cooking.
In the United States, anything sold as butter must contain at least 80% butterfat. Most on the market butters in the States only do slightly better then required, averaging around 81%. In the United Kingdom, butters are traditionally richer, averaging around 85%.
Butter is also an excellent medium for herbs and spices, which are referred to as "compound" butters.
Huh. Butter. Who knew?
And I will soon be posting a full on recap of the battle, including profiling the fact that the Challenger Chef is from Avec, and I don't know why that sounds so familiar, but I'm going to find out!