Types of Butter

Butter, with its unmistakable taste, is another versatile dairy product. Salted or unsalted it can be used in a variety of dishes or simply spread on toast.


Lactic butter This is made from ripened cream which has been soured by the addition of a culture. Its flavour is full and slightly acidic. Most European butters are ‘lactic’: packed in silver wrapping.

Sweet cream butter This popular butter comes from pasteurised cream. It has a bright colour and a mild, creamy flavour. It is excellent for pastry-making. Most British, Irish and New Zealand butters are ‘sweet cream’, packed in gold foil wrapping.

STORING BUTTER Refrigerating Keep butter in its wrapper in the refrigerator until you want to use it. Keep salted butter for a maximum of one month; unsalted butter for up to three weeks.

Freezing Butter is best eaten fresh, but it may be frozen for up to three months. Over-wrap the original wrap with freezer film or foil, and label.

Savoury butters

To garnish grilled meat, fish or baked potatoes, make a savoury butter. Cream the butter with the back of a fork and add chopped, fresh herbs. The addition of parsley and lemon juice makes Maitre d’hôtel butter: serve it with a steak. Chive butter is especially good with baked potatoes. You can also beat in crushed garlic, anchovies or mustard.

Sweet butters

Use them to accompany Christmas puddings, mince pies or steamed puddings. Brandy or rum butter Cream 85 g (3 ozl butter with 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar. Beat in 2-3 tablespoons of brandy or rum, adding a few drops at a time. For extra flavour, add a pinch of cinnamon to rum butter and use moist, brown sugar instead of caster. To make almond butter, cream the butter with the sugar and add 15 g (½ oz) ground almonds with 1-2 drops almond essence. Put in a dish, and leave to harden in the refrigerator until ready to use.