The one thing about having foodie friends is that you know that when you ask them to sample butters, they won’t ask “Why?”. It’s taken as a given that you might want to compare the subtle tastes of butters and see whether country of origin or price plays a part in the enjoyment of the butter. Imported butters in Australia are astronomically priced, either due to the cost of importing them or sheer profit, indeed you can pay from $7-$10 for an imported butter that will retail overseas in London for £1-£1.70. So it was pre-planned with my sister that when I came to London we would do a butter taste test in order for the bank balance to not run dry.
We purchased butter from Waitrose (for the wider range) as well as Tesco (who also had some decent imports) from a variety of countries: English, French, Dutch, Irish,Welsh and Italian (unfortunately no Australian or NZ butter was available). The most expensive per weight was the Echire French butter in a basket at £13.80 a kilo or £3.45 per 250g basket. This was followed by the Italian butter, the Beppino Occelli at £1.52 per 125g which was also one of the fanciest in terms of packaging with a rivet seal and an imprint on the butter and instructions on how best to enjoy butters like a connoisseur and details of the 2 awards they won. We also had at the cheapest end, Tesco’s English butter. We wanted to try only salted butters (to eliminate the variability when salting a butter yourself) but there were more unsalted butters available so it was a mix. When tasting, we spread them on a freshly baked still-warm crunchy French baguette cut in 1cm thick slices, spread thickly with butter and then sliced up so that each taster got a bit of crust as well as the inside of the bread.
Beppino Occeli’s fancy pants butter
1. President lightly salted butter: France £4.76/kg
2. Beppino Occelli butter: Italy £12.16/kg
3. Tesco English lightly salted butter: U.K. £3.76/kg
4. Maydew Kosher unsalted butter: Netherlands
5. Rachel’s Organic lightly salted butter: Wales £5.56/kg
6. Tesco Brittany butter with sea salt crystals: France £4.08/kg
7. Bridel Brittany butter: France £6.60/kg
8. Ste Mere D’Isgny Demi-sel extra fin butter: France £6.48/kg
9. Goat’s Butter: U.K. £5.16/kg
10. Yeo valley organic salted butter: U.K. £5.04/kg
11. West country salted butter: U.K. £5.16/kg
12. Kerry Gold salted butter: Ireland £4.48/kg
13. Echire butter: France £13.80
5. Mr NQN
I wasn’t tasting this as I was administering the test.
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