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Old 03-25-2008, 12:28 AM   #21
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Different cow varieties produce different tasting milk. Also, the food they eat affects the flavor. Cattle that have eaten a significant portion of alfalfa in their diet produce milk that has an "off" flavor reminiscent of vitamin pills. Cattle that eat primarily sweet hay have a sweeter flavored milk.

Depending on the time of year, and the food available, milk varies from one batch to another, depending on what the animals are eating.

Land O' Lakes is the company that first made sweet butter, that is, butter that was made from sweet rather than cultured cream. The sought after flavor of European style butters comes from cultured cream rather than sweet cream, and has a slight sour componant in the flavor profile. LOL is famous because they were the first to make and package sweet butter that didn't sour or go rancid quickly. The addition of salt to butter is to inhibit the growth of organisms that would otherwise sour the butter (the cream solids and lactose in the butter feed the critters). The airtight packaging and processing in a virtually sterile environment is what allows American butters to be sold as sweet butters.

LOL has a consistant product, batch after batch. That, and their name is what commands the higher price.

It's like purchasing generic cheddar versus Kraft Cheddar. Now the Kraft cheddar is not nearly as good as that produced by an artisan cheese maker, but is consistantly better than is generic cheddar. And it has been consistant for my lifetime of 52 years. Of course it's advertising budgett has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the price we pay for Kraft quality. The same is true of LOL butter. It's not the best on the market, but is consistantly good, batch after batch.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
Not readily here in Chicago yet, don't know why. We have, on occasion, found Blue Bunny ice cream, but they don't seem to carry it on a regular basis. But not the milk anywhere that we have found.
Thats funny, maybe the blue bunny has disappeared...
When I was little my grandma lived in southern IL and blue bunny was all we could find when we visited!
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:46 AM   #23
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I've only bought LoL butter, as did my parents (maybe that is why it transferred to me). I try to buy it on sale now and freeze it.
I have boughten their margarine in the past, but the store near me doesn't sell it, so I tried a couple other name brands. They had a lower burning point when cooking with it.
Since then I have stopped buying margarine and buy LoL's spreadable butter for my toast or bread. It has a taste I prefer over a couple of the other name brands that I tried.
I think it's a better product in the two categories I can tell and will keep buying their butter.

And I thought the cheese comparison was a good one AMS, like Goodweed pointed out. You take a simple/plain cheese for comparison, like the cheddar or I was thinking yellow American, and there is a world of difference in taste and texture between the no name brands the store regularly has on sale and a name brand cheese, which is consistantly good.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:08 AM   #24
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I worked for the Iowa Coop and they still produce Prize of Iowa Grade AA butter
It is far better than LOL Hard to find but woth the effort
Hmmm..if this is packaged in a yellow box with blue type, then I have had it often. Hy-Vee carries it. I'll have to check it out!
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:51 AM   #25
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I have noticed diffrences in butter, especially the store brand . I want to try Sam's club butter, it is suppose to be good.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:34 AM   #26
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try kerrygold..... that's good butter.

I also like to buy farmers market butter (amish here) when I have the chance.

I dont have any problem with the store brands though... as long as it is actual butter...
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:38 AM   #27
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It's kind of hard to mess up two ingredients... the salted may have a bit of difference, but nothing really noticable rnough for me to pay the extra cash. I use way way WAAAAY too much buter every week to justify spending the extra cash.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:26 AM   #28
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I can tell a difference between generic butter and LOL or Cabot. I like Cabot best.

Someday, I am going to find some of that fancy European or Irish butter, but I don't think it has made it to my part of Missouri yet.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:36 AM   #29
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I always buy unsalted. I bought Land O' Lakes for years and years. I finally decided to try the store brand - it was MUCH better - had more flavor. LoL is basically flavorless and I didn't even know it! Now, the European butters are waaaaaaaaay better but they are higher in butter fat with GREAT flavor. But for everyday butter - it is now the store brand.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:45 AM   #30
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I buy the lol and the sale brand. Around here (Jersey) Cabot is much different in color. Don't know why.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:48 AM   #31
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I use lol, kroger brand and walmart brand. I stock up on any of these when they are on sale and really do not find enough of a difference to make a difference.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:46 AM   #32
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Interesting stuff. Seems like a lot of it just boils down to taste preference and for some of us what we grew up with and became accustomed to.
I too would like to try some of the European butters as well as Amish butter. Blue Bunny is readily available in most rural parts of IL, just not Chicago making me think they somehow can't break into the market here steadily.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:37 PM   #33
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I'll tell you what...I had the best butter ever at the Bellagio in Vegas on our honeymoon. Funny...it's our honeymoon and one of the key points I remember is the butter!
Did you ever see Last Tango in Paris?
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:40 PM   #34
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The only difference I see among the different brands of butter is the saltiness of salted butter.
Considering a pound of salted butter contains approxiametely 1/8 teaspoon of salt, if you can taste the difference between salted and unsalted butter, you should consider a career in wine tasting.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:01 PM   #35
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Considering a pound of salted butter contains approximately 1/8 teaspoon of salt, if you can taste the difference between salted and unsalted butter, you should consider a career in wine tasting.
Yep, Caine, I can most definitely tell the difference between salted and unsalted butter. And, as it turns out, I recently discovered I can tell the difference in saltiness between different brands of salted butter.

As for the wine tasting career, where I live I would probably starve. I live in a "dry" area. No alcohol.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #36
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According to the Land O Lakes website, there are 95 mg of sodium in a tablespoon of salted butter. That works out to 3,040 mg of sodium in a pound of butter. (95 mg x 32 Tb in a Lb.)

There are 2,300 mg of sodium in a teaspoon salt so, doing the math, there are 1.32 teaspoons of salt in a pound of butter, not 0.125 tsp.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:04 PM   #37
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I am not a huge fan of salt in most cases, but DW insists on buying salted butter. I told her why it is salted, and she said that was interesting to know, so apparently her insisting on buying salted butter was based solely on taste.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:22 PM   #38
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...her insisting on buying salted butter was based solely on taste.

That's why butter is salted.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:32 PM   #39
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That's why butter is salted.
That's not the only reason:
The addition of salt to butter is to inhibit the growth of organisms that would otherwise sour the butter.. to quote Goodweed.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:38 PM   #40
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Actually, the reason butter is salted (and the reason many times unsalted butter carries a higher price) is that the salt is a preservative and extends shelf life. My friend used to work for the WI dairy council and I asked this question years ago.

I didn't mean to imply that we never buy the store brand ... but where affordable or special occasions, I do think premium butter is worth the splurge.

Someone mentioned Sam's Club butter ... our Sam's carries Mid America Farms, which I don't think is a Sam Walton proprietary brand. They do have another product in full pound blocks, but that would be a mess with my family. It is usually no less expensive than a local dairy butter around here, so I go for what is affordable at the time.

As for Blue Bunny, I have not seen their milk or butter, but their sour cream and chip dip are worth the extra 50 cents. Believe it or not, only Walmart carries it here!
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