By Daniel from Monforte Dairy
Years ago in my youth I thought I knew about butter. It was salty and creamy and I always considered myself ahead of the curve, even a bit sophisticated for using it in Kraft Dinner instead of the prescribed margarine. Now that I’m older and perhaps even a touch wiser I know the truth of the matter.
There is butter and then there is butter.
Anyone who’s had a cultured butter from France or perhaps our own Golden Child probably knows what I’m talking about. For two glorious years we made butter from pastured cream. For those of you who haven’t tasted it, I could try and use words to describe the taste and color (vibrant, tangy, lustrous and golden) but even as I write them they don’t do it justice. What also made our butter special was that we only made it using milk that was 100% pastured. And therein lays the problem.
Canada is in the middle of a butter crisis. It’s been happening for a while and gaining momentum. Instead of being told that butter would eventually kill us we’re being told the opposite. Julia Child was right after all, we do need some fat to digest vitamins. The problem is that now with this increased demand there isn’t enough cream to go around and we’re forced to make some tricky decisions. And that’s what this open letter is about.
Making butter at Monforte is hard work. We often help churn the cream by hand and then we squeeze out the butter milk, again by hand. Finally we package it, also by hand. At the end of the day it’s one of the hardest things we do at the dairy. The problem isn’t the work. We love hard work. What’s really at issue is that we can’t get access to pastured cream this year. The only option left before us is making a cultured butter from convention cream.
The butter would still taste fantastic and it would still be a product made in a small artisanal plant instead of inside an industrial powerhouse. The person selling it to you at market would probably have helped in the process at some point. It would be a product I’d be proud to sell but at the end of the day it wouldn’t be pastured; and that for a lot of people might be a deal breaker.
So we’re putting the issue in your hands. Whether the Golden Child lives or dies is now entirely up to you. Let us know what you think because it’s too damned hard to make if no one wants to buy it.
Let us know!