Also known as
Butter is a diary product, essentially the fat of cream separated from other milk constituents by churning or some form of agitation. Butter can be made from either sweet/ sour cream. Butter made from the latter has a more pronounced flavour. Butter must have a minimum of 80% fat content, a maximum of 16% moisture (water) and a non fat solid content of 2%. It generally has a pale yellow color, but can vary since the colour is dependent on the animal's feed and is commonly manipulated with food colours in the commercial manufacturing process, most commonly carotene or annatto. There can be many factors which separate the flavour, colour and texture of butter manufactured by various companies. The most common ones would be the breed of cow/ buffalo and the feed provided to the same since this affects the quality of milk from which butter is obtained later. Other factors include addition of salt and colour, whether butter was blended or not, method and efficiency of manufacture, packaging etc. India produces and consumes more butter than any other nation, and allocates almost half of its annual milk pool to butter production.
Butter is also sold in different packaging like in cubed forms. This helps chefs to portion out the grammage required as per recipe. It is best to note that in the US, a cube of butter is a quarter of a stick of butter, that is to say 1oz. If you cut the stick in half and then half again you will see why it is called a cube of butter! As a rough guide 2 tablespoons equals 1 cube.
How to select
One can select from various forms of butter which are Fresh, Blended, Ripened cream butter etc. You may get around 10 packaged cubes of butter in one box. Ensure that it is free from any added moisture.
· The most common use of butter cubes is to use it as a spread on bread, toast, scones etc. It is usually placed as an accompaniment on a breakfast table where pre portioned cubes is placed for self service. .
· Cubes or chiplets are manufactured mostly for consumption by the airline industry for on board meals.
· In areas where one knows that an exact measure of butter has to be used each time, butter cubes make way as the best option. Whether for soups, sauces or any other recipe, each time you need 2 tbsp of butter for a recipe, just pop put a cube of butter.
· Its more convenient to give butter cubes in a lunch box for children.
· To help prevent foaming and scum forming on jam and skin forming on sauces, add a cube of butter after cooking.
How to store
Since butter cubes are a perishable product, they need to be stored under refrigerated conditions. It is wrapped in greaseproof or foil lined paper. Since it has a tendency of absorbing odours easily, it is recommended to be stored well wrapped and away from strong flavoured foods. Keep away from sunlight as it tends to go rancid faster.