Why is Butter Yellow?The naturally occurring pigment, beta-carotene is responsible for its yellow hue. The shade of yellow will differ from one brand to another, depending on the cow's diet. The greener the grass the cow consumes, the yellower will be the butter.
Not many of us stop to think about the butter brand we're flinging into our supermarket trolley. While some of us allow the sales offers to guide us to a particular brand, the rest of us simply stick to what our instincts tell us. Then there's another portion of the population, who're born with specialized taste buds to differentiate between the flavors of butter brands available in the market.
You needn't be a food specialist to differentiate between the flavors of different butter brands. While spotting slight differences in a blind test may not be your thing, you'll definitely be able to tell the difference when you taste superior quality butter. However, for this, you will have to be willing to try different brands. Luckily for you, we've shortlisted a few brands to make your 'butter' experience even more flavorful!
Some of the Best Butter Brands in the US
This Irish butter brand is known for its glorious golden hue and creamy and sweet flavor. Made from the milk obtained from the 'finest' Irish, grass-fed cows, kerrygold butter contains a higher fat content than standard American butter. The cows are allowed to graze on lush-green pastures all through the year, and it is this fresh grass diet that contributes to the beautiful golden-yellow hue of the butter. Moreover, the flavor of the butter is also far better and more appealing as compared to the conventional kinds.
Free from artificial additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, this premium butter brand is definitely worth buying. Their unsalted version can be used for baking and cooking purposes, and is also touted to be among the best butter brands for baking. Because it is imported from Ireland, and owing to its superior quality, it is a little expensive.
Variations: Besides the salted and unsalted versions, kerrygold also offers a lovely garlic and herb butter, which contains a mixture of fresh herbs and spices along with their luxurious butter. They've also introduced their reduced fat version, which contains 25% lesser fat and 50% lesser sodium content.
Advertised with the tag line―'European Style Butter', this American-made butter is valued for its lower moisture content and creamier texture. With a 2% higher fat content than the standard American butters, this butter brand emanates a lovely fresh, sweet fragrance and is extremely smooth to cut into. The secret to this richer, creamier butter lies in its churning process, which is rather slow, thereby, resulting in a butter that is low in moisture, and is thick and luscious.
PLUGRÁ comes only in the salted and unsalted versions. Their unsalted version is touted to be the ideal butter brand for baking and cooking. Its rich, creamy texture and fresh flavor impart a lovely flavor to the dessert it is added to, while its lower moisture content results in higher-rising cakes, fluffier pastries, etc. In fact, this brand was titled as the best butter brand in a test carried out by Cook's Illustrated, and is also the most favored butter brand by professional chefs across the United States.
Variations: Their salted and unsalted versions come in 8 oz. and 16 oz. packaging.
A well-known dairy brand from New Zealand, Anchor butter is made in New Zealand and then imported to the US. The butter is produced from 100% fresh cream collected from grass-fed cows, and is free from synthetic hormones. Fresh cream is churned slowly and then shaped into blocks, after which it is quickly frozen. This process yields flavorful, soft, creamy butter with lower moisture content.
Since the cows are allowed to graze freely all through the year, the milk they produce is of higher quality, with higher amounts of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, since the cows have not been exposed to synthetic growth hormones, the deep-yellow butter produced is healthy for consumption. Its flavor is also deeper than standard American butters.
Variations: Besides the salted and unsalted versions, this brand also offers the salted spreadable variety. Their butter is available in different sizes and packaging, ideal for different purposes.
ORGANIC VALLEY is well-known for its organic products, and their 'pasture butter' is yet another healthy, top-notch product. As with their other products, their butter is free from artificial additives, pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics, thereby, deeming it healthy for consumption. The milk required to prepare this butter is obtained from grass-fed cows; however, the highlight of this butter is that it's prepared only during the summer, from May to September.
Summer is the ideal time for grazing, wherein cows have an abundant supply of grass to savor on. Because these cows feed on plenty of nutritious greens, the milk they produce is also of a higher quality. ORGANIC VALLEY uses this time to make some of the best-tasting butter ever. Another secret to their flavorful butter is the slow churning process, which results in lower moisture content and a creamier texture.
Variations: Besides the pasture butter type, ORGANIC VALLEY offers variations like cultured butter, whipped butter, European-style butter, and salted butter.
KALONA SUPER NATURAL
Operating from Kalona, Iowa, this brand is devoted to doling out organic products. Their butter is made in the old-fashioned way, and its flavor is simply irresistible! Their organic butter is prepared from milk obtained from grass-fed cows. Moreover, unlike others, this brand gets its milk from small farms (all organic certified), and not large corporations, and above all, the cows are humanely raised. This ensures better quality milk to make better quality butter.
To prepare their creamy, luscious butter, cream is collected from these small farms and then churned by hand until it is done. This takes personal supervision, and it also means that smaller batches are churned at a time, unlike the large batches churned away in mammoth industrial churners. A lot of elbow grease is invested to dole out some of the best-tasting organic butter.
Variations: This brand offers the unsalted and the lightly salted butter varieties.
This imported Icelandic butter is touted as pure with no additives. This deep-yellow, rich, creamy butter is prepared from milk obtained from grass-fed cows. However, the highlight is that the low pollution levels in Iceland result in growth of healthier grass, which ultimately yields superior quality butter.
Although not certified as organic, the official website claims that no growth hormones or steroids have been given to the cows, owing to the overall ban in Iceland. The same goes for the use of antibiotics. Moreover, they also go on to say that while every milk sample is tested for medicines or drugs, if tested positive, the whole batch is destroyed. They also use 100% carbon-free electricity. All these claims are sure to put a consumer at ease.
Variations: SMJÖR offers two basic versions: slightly salted and unsalted butter.
While the above-mentioned butter brands are touted to be the best, you may beg to differ. It all boils down to personal choice, so your list of best butter brands in America may be slightly different. Then again, some brands may be good, but too expensive to use on a regular basis, so price also plays a crucial role. Nevertheless, hope you enjoy your toasts with whichever brand you choose.