Here’s The Difference Between European and American Butter

The average butter lover usually has more than one kind of butter in their fridge because they know there are different kinds of butter suited to different things. Among the varieties are those that come from America and those created by the French and there has been some debate over which is better.

By Cookist

At the basic level, butter is made from churning cream which means that the cream was agitated. As such, with fresh cream and a mason jar, you can make your own butter with a good long shake.

An easier way would be to let whipping cream stay a little longer in the mixer until it transforms into butter. Some people may add salt after the churning, kneading and rinsing process but it is optional.

Salt adds flavor to the butter and gives it a longer shelf life than butter that doesn’t get salted.

The differences between American and European butter


Butter production regulations in the US differ greatly from EU regulations. While the USDA claims butter has at least 80%fat, the EU defines butter as having between 82 and 90% butterfat and a maximum of 16% water.

The fact that butter from the EU contains more butterfat is the biggest reason why many think their butter is superior to their US counterparts. EU better with its butterfat is better for baking and even when you’re just using it as a spread on bread.

American butter is standardized by the USDA, and butter made from cream with a low natural acid content is considered to be of higher quality. On the other hand, European butter is often made with regional ingredients and traditional methods. Some types of French butter have the PDO label, which ensures that the product is made using traditional methods and regional ingredients.

European butter is also often cultured, resulting in a tangy, lactic flavour. However, American-made, European-style butter with at least 82% butterfat and similar layered, complex flavors to European butter is becoming more popular these days.

Is European Butter Better?


For years, some believed European butter was better, but now American-made, European-style butter is quickly becoming more popular compared to the best European butter in terms of quality and flavour. It probably also has a lot to do with factors like lower cost and a consistent butterfat percentage. Despite that, some people still prefer the unique qualities of imported butter. Therefore, whether European butter is better or not depends mostly on personal preference and the specific brand and type of butter.

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