Friday, November 2, 2007
Thomas Keller, Chef/Owner of French Laundry and Per Se
Anyone who has ever been to Europe before and has buttered a piece of toast or bread has noticed a distinct difference. I remember the first time I had ice cream in London I was pleasantly surprised to find the texture noticeably creamier than what I was used to here in the States. It doesn't take long before you realize that the butterfat content is different there. And you'll love it!
Gourmet Magazine recently reported on one of our favorite chefs. Thomas Keller, of French Laundry in Yountville, California and Per Se, In New York City, two of what are arguably the best restaurants in the country. It seems that Keller uses only butter sourced right here in New England in all of his cooking. It's such attention to detail that makes his restaurants different from all the others. But don't rush out to Stop & Shop or Shaws to try and stock up! It's not quite that easy.
Animal Farm in Orwell, VT
The stuff is produced by Animal Farm in Orwell, VT. It's a small (30 acre) family run farm that produces everything certified organic, the way things used to be before they invented all this manufactured food.
As their website says:
"Our butter, made several times a week from the freshest Jersey cream, is pasteurized, cultured and then hand-kneaded. It is the only hand-made butter in Vermont.
It also has a butter-fat content of 87 percent, significantly higher than other butters made in the United States and the equivalent of the finest French butters. This makes Animal Farm butter superb for pastry-making – as well as for every other use.
Almost all of our butter is currently sold to restaurants,
primarily the acclaimed French Laundry in Napa Valley, California."
For the details on their butter making process click on this link: Animal Farm.
Needless to say that once you try a butter with a higher butterfat content you will never go back. It's like you have been let in on the secret. And although you may not be able to find Animal Farm butter in your local supermarket if you look close enough you will probably find some imported brands from France, Denmark, United Kingdom, and even New Zealand.
Well, now Boston Magazine has blabbed the fact that one actually CAN purchase the famous Animal Farm butter at a retail location right here in Boston: Butcher Shop. Located in the South End this tiny shop sells tiny portions (4 oz.) of the creamed gold at $8.50. Ouch! Just keep in mind that true quality is priceless. If you have prepared the meal of your life using grocery store butter try it all over again and learn why food just seems to taste better in Europe.
And speaking of Keller, you will recall in a previous post (July 1, 2007) that he was the man who served as consultant to the brilliantly foodie film by Disney/Pixar "Ratatouille" which has just been released on DVD.
A Scene from RATATOUILLE