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Butter in restaurants

svL | Dec 17, 200212:40 PM

We've all been there. You go to a restaurant. You sit down and order. While you wait you start nibbling on what looks like a good bread. Tastes good. You put some butter on it. Tastes even better. Pretty soon the basket is gone and you ask for more bread. When the food comes you are already stuffed.

My question is really about butter in restaurants because there are big differences in taste. Do some restaurants make butter from scratch or do most get it from established butter producers (sort of an OEM version of the retail version)? Also, besides the usual (hopefully unsalted) butter, sometimes restaurants offer herb butter as well. Is that usually made in the restaurant?

As an side, why does bread taste better with butter (most of the time)? Is the butter acting as a lubricant to help you swallow the bread? Or is there some sort of a synergistic outcome between the rough(er) texture of bread and the smooth texture of butter? Perhaps it's our natural craving for fat and the bread acts as a conduit?

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