While browsing the butter section at my favourite Supermarket (Fiesta Farms) recently, I spied a new butter a rare occasion indeed. Lactantia now has an Antique Butter (same price as their regular). So, it was time to repeat the butter tasting using the traditional Gryfe bagel as the carrier.
There have been several reports on our butter seeking and tasting adventures, but this time only a small group gathered. And one had an interesting tale hed been using the Presidents Choice Salted Normandy style (winner of a previous taste-off), but noted that recently it seemed to be a bit funkier tending to rancid, and hed switched to the Unsalted, which had a cleaner taste. So, in came the Presidents Choice too (but we couldnt find the Our Compliments European Style Salted, which also scores well only the Unsalted was around).
Well things have changed. All 3 of the Lactantia Cultured Salted, the Lactantia Cultured Antique Salted and Presidents Choice Cultured Normandy-Style showed this funkiness. Almost as if some of the whey (or extra whey) had been included. The rancid description is not really accurate, but there is a hint of animal there, which is a love-it-or-hate it taste. Definitely a change from the previous tastings. And the Antique showed this the most. Is this seasonal e.g. maybe the cow diet is different in winter from summer? Maybe this always happens in winter. Or perhaps these butters dont move as fast on the shelves (although the person who identified this first had tried 3 different stores before giving up).
So we added the Unsalted Presidents Choice and this was much cleaner no trace of the funk at all.
And finally we added some Maldon salt to the unsalted butter (after it was spread) as a final test and that was the favourite.
So, our winner: Unsalted Presidents Choice Normandy Style sprinkled with Maldon salt!
And does the salt brand matter? Actually, yes! Never wrote up the salt tasting I attended, but everyone in attendance voted the Maldon #1.
OK Chowhounds whos more obsessive than we are? Food geeks unite!