You would think that since cream is the only ingredient used to manufacture butter, all butter must have a similar flavor. However, the texture and taste of the milk can differ because of the following:
- Unsalted, salted, or salt reduced.
- How thoroughly it is blended.
- If it is cultured or not.
- The source of the milk.
- What the cows consume.
The butter may oxidize and change its flavor when exposed to light or air. The exposed part of the butter may exhibit a darker yellow color. Avoid buying items that aren’t properly packaged. Butter, for example, packaged in semi-transparent white wrapping, is more prone to surface oxidation than butter packaged in the opaque foil due to the possibility of light exposure during storage or transportation. A good example of a well-packaged butter is new zealand butter. The manufacturer of this butter is aware that it might oxidize if exposed to light or air, so they used opaque packaging that no air or light could penetrate.
Whether It Is Cultured or Not
Cultured butter is made by putting live bacterial cultures into the cream. Cultured butter has a slightly tangier taste and a stronger smell. This is the outcome of the fermentation process carried out by the bacterial culture, which converts lactose, a milk sugar, into lactic acid. Butter used to be cultured to extend its shelf life, but nowadays, it’s more often done to create a unique flavor character.
Tips on Using Butter
- Only remove the amount of butter you are certain you will use while serving it at room temperature. Put the rest in the fridge.
- Shred cold butter if you need to get it to room temperature quickly.
- Confused about using salted or unsalted butter? You can always adjust the salt while you cook, so it doesn’t really matter whether you use salted or unsalted for your savory recipes. Unsalted butter works well for both sweet and delicious pastries since there is less possibility that the salt will overpower the other flavors. When using it in any different sorts of cooking, add your salt as necessary.
- Butter must be kept in a cold, dark place.
- Be sure to firmly cover or seal your butter before storing it. This will prevent the butter from absorbing refrigerator odors and protect it from oxygen.
- Homemade butter can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks, depending on how the buttermilk was extracted and whether salt was added.
Tips on Storing Butter
Make sure your butter is tightly wrapped or kept in an airtight container since it needs to be refrigerated and in complete darkness. This will shield the butter from oxygen and keep the butter from absorbing refrigerator odors.
Depending on how the buttermilk was extracted and whether salt was added, homemade butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Unsalted butter can be frozen for six months, and salted butter can be frozen for up to 12 months.
Regardless of what brand you buy, you must remember the above tips on buying, using, and storing butter. Not all butter in the market is the same. It is best to read the label and find out its content and proper storage.