Butter and Salt, Together at Last!

3 11 2008

I still get a kick out of the section of my stats page that shows the search engine terms that have brought visitors to my blog.  My favorite one today was a search for “chickenstock.”  Sounds like some kind of Poultry Farmers Festival.  The music probably sucks, but I bet you’d learn some interesting new chicken recipes.  Last week sometime, I got a hit from someone searching for “buttery flavor,” which pleased me perhaps a little too much.  (Last night we had a dinner party and I said something to Nick about how I don’t like people to watch me use butter, because if they knew how much I was putting into, say, the polenta, they might not want to eat it.  But that’s why it tastes so good!)

So you could say that a lot of my cooking depends on that “buttery flavor.”  And I realized that while I have been basking in its glory for the better part of a year now, I have yet to write a post about the gastronomic delight that is French butter.  Today, I rectify the situation.

Aside from the fact that all the butter here is the “European Style” we shell out big bucks for in the States, the sheer variety of available butters makes France a shangri-la for those of us with the Fat Tooth.  They take their butter seriously.  One of my very favorite French butter products is the one with crystals of sea salt embedded within its creamy goodness.

So many salted butters, so little time.

This is not cooking butter, no, this is for slathering indiscriminately on torn-off chunks of warm pain tradition.  I even prefer it slightly cold, the better to let it slowly melt on my tongue as I wait for the forthcoming bursts of salt.  Or, as the case may be when I’m feeling less disciplined, biting into it and enjoying the contrast in temperatures and textures: cool, yielding butter; crunchy pops of salt; warm, chewy bread.  Now that’s buttery flavor!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.


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