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Regional food differences: the shape of butter

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Regional food differences: the shape of butter

Caitlin | Jan 12, 2001 06:14 PM

So we have same product-different name in the western and eastern halves of the country, e.g., Best Foods/Hellman's and Dreyer's/Edy's, but does anyone know why sticks of butter (and margarine, for that matter) are longer and skinnier in the east and shorter and fatter in the west?

This has always intrigued me. The nat'l brands of margarine all seem to come in both types, placed where appropriate (no, I don't use margarine, but I've noticed the boxes in the store on both coasts). I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid how, when she and my dad moved out to California, they had to buy a new butter dish because theirs couldn't accomodate the shorter, fatter sticks. Land O'Lakes, however, lands in the west with its eastern shape intact (which really pleases my mom; I guess we all prefer the things we grew up with on some level).

So, anyone know the story?

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