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Old 07-26-2007, 05:17 PM   #1
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A "pat" of butter

Anyone ever heard of a “pat” of butter - where pat is some type of measurement that is close to a US pound? My DW came home from a small local grocery store (Piggly Wiggly if you've ever heard of it) the other day and said she had bought 3 pats of butter for a dollar. It was apparently a new offering at the store, and I think it was made locally.

I was horrified, but she seemed so pleased with herself. Naturally, I was thinking a “pat” was about 1 teaspoon of butter. I don’t know about you, but three teaspoons of butter for a dollar is obscene!

Turns out, this “pat” is a round lump of butter, wrapped in wax paper, and weighing in at about a pound. Anyone ever heard of this kind of “pat” and know what type of measurement it is? I’m guessing British?

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Old 07-26-2007, 05:49 PM   #2
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I think of a pat of butter as you do about a teaspoon or more.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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Never seen butter sold that way, keltin. But, here, generic butter (stick) is $2.00 per pound. So if your wife purchased "real" butter at 3 pounds for a dollar, she made out just fine.

If it is truly "real" butter, I'd go back to the store and buy more to put in the freezer for holiday baking. It would keep nicely if it was sealed using a FoodSaver.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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Typically 48 pats per lb. About 1/3 ounce. Or roughly 2 teaspoons around my house. This can vary, is my understanding, as to who is measuring, and in what country!


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Old 07-26-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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Keltin, is the butter any good? Memphis folk claim the modern grocery store was invented here with the first Piggly Wiggly store. I don't shop there but if they are featuring good locally produced specialty dairy products I'll sure add it to the list.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
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Well, holy CRAP!

I got home and checked the “butter” again, and it’s actually a “spread” made by Ventura Foods. It’s 52% Vegetable Oil! No wonder it felt so greasy the other night. Also, it’s only 8 oz (1/2 pound) per wrapped package and not a full pound. And that is the weight (not volume) of it because I weighed it on my scale. Still, it's kind of cool the way they wrap it....it's round.

So, she got 1.5 pounds of this spread for a dollar. It’s not bad tasting (tastes pretty good actually), but obviously not the best thing in the world. Well, bless her heart, she tried (even though we had a huge crock of Country Crock in the fridge, she couldn't pass up this "deal")! She’s "out with the girls" right now, so I’m not gonna’ say anything about this.

I just wonder who at the store decided to label this as a “pat of butter” (she said there was a huge sign and display calling it this)? A rather ingenious marketing trick that worked on her. Still a “pat” is obviously a measure of some kind because I saw it on another site.

Hehe…..sorry to make everybody think we’d found something cool (other than the word “pat”). I’ll read the label more closely the next time she brings some mysterious items home!
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Oh well,Keltin we all have at one time or another have fallen to marketing strategies no big deal it happens.I hate when I fall for something I thought would be great only to find out I was fooled.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:53 AM   #8
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But if they were marketing it as butter, I'd certainly complain!

Also, I'd be worried about eating something that came packaged that way. Who made it?
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:38 AM   #9
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I'd also complain about the "pat" bit. I prefer a more standardized system of weights, either oz/lbs, or metric grams/kg. Was there a scale nearby to weigh the "spread" before you purchase it? Was it actually advertised as "butter", or a "spread"? I'm just picky enough, and contrary enough, to make a few waves about that with the store manager.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:43 AM   #10
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I've always thought of a 'pat' as any whole piece you can slice less than a tablespoon.

Looks like a 'pat' to me:

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Old 07-27-2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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A pat of butter is one of those squares you (used to?) get in a restaurant, mounted on a square of cardboard and covered with a square of waxed paper marked BUTTER - BUTTER - BUTTER on the diagonal. It is approximately 1 tablespoon.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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Never have seen that before, but I did get a good buy last week for real butter - $ 2 a lb. ! Wish I would have bought more than my four lbs.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:04 PM   #13
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I’ve not actually seen the display in the store since it was my DW that went that night. I’ll stop by there today and see what the display says, and see if it mentions that this stuff is not “real” butter but is a spread. Maybe I can “have a word” with the manager and get some free goodies to boot!

I’ve looked high and low about what a “pat” of butter is. I can’t find anything anywhere that tells you exactly what it is. According to one site, a pat is less than a half pound. This one has got me stymied!

Well, I did find this site that says:

"pat - an individual serving of butter. In the U.S. food industry, restaurant servings of butter were traditionally packaged at 48 pats per pound, making each pat 1/3 ounce (about 9.45 grams). "

But that is not what I have in this case, so there is another definition for pat.....somewhere.

However, I have found many reference to making a “pat”, and all of them are round patty like hunks of butter. Interesting stuff.

Here, they talk about making butter back in the old days:
“Finally, it was wrapped in butter paper and put in the cellar to keep it cool until it could be taken into town and traded at the general store. What was left was made into nice round pats, crossed on top with the butter pat, and this was used for our table.”

Here's another site that talks about making butter in the old days:
“Other pioneers made a smooth round pat of butter on a plate with the butter paddle.”

You can still buy a butter press to make a "pat" of butter:
“This butter press is made from sustainable European pinewood (Maritime Pine - a widely grown Mediterranean timber) and makes a perfectly round pat of butter . The press is 8 cm wide and about the same high (approx 3 inches).”

Pats were often marked with a design on top. This was done by the engraved bottom of the butter mold/press. You could also buy you’re own stamp to put your own designs into pat of butter.

Here's a talk about antique tools and butter molds.
“The first is a one pound, the second a half pound and the last one was a pat size.”

Here's a way to make your own butter today:
"1/4 of this quantity of butter makes a convenient pat size, so I mix the salt in & form the pats at the same time; once the salt is well distributed fold the butter into a pat 1-2 inches thick and flip it onto a plate, or whatever you wish to store your butter in. If you have one, you can use a butter stamp to mold attractive patterns in the surface of the pat, but I like the ridged effect left by the paddles."

Dishes used to hold the butter were called "Butter Pats".
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