butter…what’s the best in the world?

February 27, 2007

Over the weekend we were in Vegas celebrating a friend’s birthday. We were having dinner at the “Atelier by Joel Robuchon” (review to come later) and after tasting the mashed potato a friend of mine jokingly asked the waiter “is there any butter in the potatoes?”. The waiter said “not just some butter, but the best butter in the world”. We had to follow up with “what’s the name” and he cameback with “Eshire”.

I am not a big butter fan (as most people from olive-oil rich southern European countries) and I found the idea of the “best butter in the world” very interesting. I had to research a bit more!

Time to start looking for the “best butter in the world”.  I started looking in the usual spots (google, live, etc…) and surprisingly did not find as much as I thought.  Regardless I did find something.

First I found a good history of butter. Wikipedia has a good intro and there is a another good one here.

5 Star Butter claims to be the best.  I did not see any proof or awards, but they claim that the best chefs in Vegas use it.  Don’t know…it did not convince me.

An interesting one is Organic Valley.  They don’t claim to be the best butter in the world, but the best butter in US.  They have a LONG list of awards to prove it.  There is the usual problem with awards….there are a gazillion of them, so lots of people could win one.  Regardless, this seems a good everyday choice.

Back to our story in Vegas.  The butter that the waiter mentioned is “Echire”.  It’s a French butter.  Here’s short description from Amazon:

“famed artisan French butter, from the milk of cows of the small village of Poitiers and La Rochelle. Known as one of the best butters in France, Echire butter is served in the finest dining establishments (which is why the French covet this butter and keep 85% of the production within France). This sophisticated butter won AOC protected status, and is produced mostly by hand. This bar of Beurre Echire has a light texture, lightly salted, and subtle flavor make this butter just about divine. ”

I found out that Echire is also used by the pastry chef at Le Cirque.  It seems that with two big French restaurants using it, this Echire butter must be pretty good.  Amazon carries a few different sizes.

During the search I also found couple of other reccomendations.  The guys at Forward Food recommend “Le Gall Beurre de Baratte”.  Their review is good and the comments seem to confirm that.

Another butter that came up with lots of awards is a Danish one: Lurpak.  Aside from the awards I have no way to validate whether this is indeed the best butter.

Anyway, as researched a bit more I found a great article about the Franco-American butter dispute.  It briefly discusses what the best butter is and surprise surprise the answer is “depends”.  But it does mention Echire as being used by some big shot patry chefs. 

Although I did not find what the best butter in the world is,  I have at least verified that this Echire butter is indeed very good.

If you have any preference or definitely know the best butter in the world, please let me know!

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8 Responses to “butter…what’s the best in the world?”

  1. Clint Arthur Says:

    Five Star Butter is the very first thing served (with the bread) at the following super-gourmet establishments in Las Vegas: Le Cirque, Picasso, Aureole, Mix, Alex, Neros Steakhouse, Prime Steakhouse, Michael Mina, Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, Payard Bistro, Restaurant Charlie. These places are run by the very top chefs in the world, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alex Stratta, Julian Serrano, Charlie Trotter, Charlie Palmer, Alain Ducasse, and Michael Mina. Do the research on these chefs and you will see that they have the ability to serve whatever butter they choose, and many of them have switched from Echire to Five Star Butter because, in the words of Chef Alex Stratta, Five Star Butter is “Clearly superior to Beurre Echire.”

  2. Clint Arthur Says:

    Five Star Butter is the very first thing served (with the bread) at the following super-gourmet establishments in Las Vegas: Le Cirque, Picasso, Aureole, Mix, Alex, Neros Steakhouse, Prime Steakhouse, Michael Mina, Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, Payard Bistro, Restaurant Charlie. These places are run by the very top chefs in the world, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alex Stratta, Julian Serrano, Charlie Trotter, Charlie Palmer, Alain Ducasse, and Michael Mina. Do the research on these chefs and you will see that they have the ability to serve whatever butter they choose, and many of them have switched from Echire to Five Star Butter because, in the words of Chef Alex Stratta, Five Star Butter is “Clearly superior to Beurre Echire.” Check it out at http://www.FiveStarButter.com

  3. Austin L. Says:

    This guy Clint Arthur seems like a relentlessly self-promoting douche. I would avoid his butter on that basis alone. Echire all the way! Hey, I made a rhyme.

  4. Christopher Ross Says:

    Mentioning Lurpak – a mass produced butter – in a review of the best butter in the world is extraordinary! Echire is OK. But the best artisanal butter in France is probably Jean-Yves Bordier’s ‘Le Beurre Bordier Beurre de Baratte.’ Most 3 star restaurants in Paris use it and the flavoured butters are excellent – I like the one with Norwegian smoked salt and another with seaweed. Lurpak! Oh dear oh dear.


  5. cucina.wordpress.com’s done it once more. Great read!

  6. leslie mclaughlin Says:

    How about Kerry Gold? It is consistently great!

  7. Helen Says:

    I ate butter for a long time and have tried many. Cabot of Vermont is the best to me, for the price and being available here in the States.

  8. Ayoe Says:

    Lurpak is a danish classic, danes have a long tradition of butter making, but Lurpak is the mass produced one and not a top butter at all. I thinks one of the best butters I have tasted was an artisanal french one with chips of unrefined sea salt, beside this wonderful butter my favorite artisanal producers are danish organic ones from the following and these are extremely yellow/golden butters, with taste of cream and not Lurpak. The NIMB Mejeri which is located in the TIVOLI of Copenhagen, and Grambogaard and Oellingegaard are also great buttermakers, I know that several french top gourmet restaurants use danish artisanal butters, Lurpak lives on the reputation outside Denmark, because artisanal danish butters are world class.


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