Here at Green Owl, we love answering your questions about our products. Once in a while, we’d like to use this space for some of the questions we hear most often. And one thing a lot of you have asked is,
“What’s the difference between butter and cultured butter?”
Made with Live Cultures
Cultured butter is made in the same way as the sweet cream butter you’re used to, with just one added step. After the cream is pasteurized live cultures, like those used in yogurt, are added. Then the cream is churned, the liquid buttermilk is drained off, and the result is delicious, creamy butter.
Most Americans are used to sweet cream butter, made without the added cultures. Because of the action of the live cultures, cultured butter has a slightly higher fat content. But the most noticeable difference is in the taste. Cultured butter has a richer, more varied taste with a hint of acidity.
Butter Around the World
Once upon a time, pretty much all butter was cultured. After cows were milked and the cream separated, it was usually left sitting out overnight before being churned in the morning. While it sat the naturally occurring bacteria got to work, so by the time the cream was churned into butter it had slightly fermented.
The invention of pasteurization eliminated the live cultures that caused this slight fermentation. To get the same flavor would require an additional step, the reintroduction of live cultures, so sweet cream butter became the norm.
But around the world, cultured butter lived on. In fact, many people refer to it as European-style butter because of its prevalence there. If you’ve ever traveled to France and been wowed by the flavor of the butter, it’s because of the active cultures in it.
Butter and Health
Because cultured butter contains some of the same beneficial bacteria as are naturally found in our bodies, cultured butter can aid in digestion. This is especially true for the estimated 68% of people who are lactose intolerant. While any butter is relatively low in lactose sugars, cultured butter has even less. This is because the cultures in it eat those sugars, converting them into the lactic acid that gives cultured butter its distinctive tangy flavor.
A2A2 Genes & A2A2 Milk
An amazing and little known fact: Our cultured butter also comes from cows that have a special set of genes and are called A2A2. The milk from A2A2 cows does NOT contain a very concerning peptide that has thought to be associated with several health issues including the intolerance of milk products. The BCM7 peptide found in milk A1 milk protein beta-casein is proinflamatory and has an opiate-like effect on the brain. This is the result of a natural mutation that occurred thousands of years ago in the type of cows we commonly use for dairy production. Many heritage breeds, goats and types of buffalo are also A2A2. Grass-fed A2A2 dairy products are by far the healthiest choice!
Using Cultured Butter
Cultured butter can also take your cooking and baking to the next level. It’s slightly higher fat content is a result of less overall moisture. This along with its extra acidity can make for more tender crusts and crumbs. Less moisture also means it can be cooked at higher temperatures before smoking and burning so it’s great for searing and sautéing. And of course the more complex flavor of cultured butter adds richness to any dish its used in. There is a reason some of the world’s top chefs pay a premium for high-quality cultured butter.
The good news is, you don’t have to run a five-star kitchen to get premium butter. Green Owl cultured butter comes from grass-fed, chemical-free cows so you can enjoy the quality in the best French restaurants right at home.