“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world
To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”
The Buddha -- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C

Thursday, May 30, 2013



When i first came to the US in 1975 one of the things i noticed was the butter did not have any taste (same for some other food which i will write about later). 

Being from Viet Nam which was the former colony of France i had tasted butter imported from France since childhood and being a food lover since my young age i distinctly remembered how the butter i had in Viet Nam tasted like. I tried so many kinds of butter here, Land O'
 Lakes, Challengers,  Strauss ... and none could compare to the butter i had in Viet Nam. I always wondered what the difference between the butter here and the French butter was but could not figure out and since Google was not available back then i kinda gave up my quest for the answer.

One day, about 4,5 years ago, i went to Whole Foods, saw this butter , and bought it. The reason i bought the butter was because of the words 'pasture' and 'limited edition may - september'. I assumed that this butter must came from the cow that grazed on fresh grass from may to september and it sounded great to me :-). When i opened the cover i saw the color of the butter was more yellow, good sign :-). Then i tasted it, lo and behold, it tasted like the butter i had in Viet Nam! Awesome! ... althought i had to admit that the flavor was not quite as pronounced but i was so happy that i finally found a butter made in the US that i like :-). I begin to wonder what makes this butter more flavorful than others? No clue until one day i was kinda staring at the metallic green cover and i saw the word 'cultured' which i didn't remember seeing in other butters. This word turned out to be the key to the mystery. I started Googling and found out that French butter was more flavorful because it's cultured.

What is the process of culturing in butter making? here it is

This also explained why pastries in France tastes better than pastries in the US for me.  The butter makes a huge difference in flavor, imho.  

I love croissant and again i was in constant search for a good croissant here in the US, the one that matched those i had in France but i always get disappointed time and again.  Until i run into this one which made me smile :-)

Croissant from Anisette

Croissant from Maison Giraud

Why? because the chef Alain Giraud used imported French butter :-).  However, based on my last trip to Paris i have to say that texture-wise the best French croissants that i'd tasted are still a step above the best ones over here.  This i will discuss in an other post :-)

I find out that cultured butter is becoming more popular here in the US.  Artisanal maker like this one in Vermont are churning out small batches of very good  butter and i hope that more bakeries, pastry shops will start using this kind of butter in their kitchen.

If you are a butter lover please look for the word 'cultured' in the package. 

Btw, if you go to France, please check out the lovely Bordier butter (i bought it from LaFayette Gourmet)

This site shows how to make your own cultured butter

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