Monday, December 19, 2011

Animal Farm Butter

Animal Farm Butter: Available Only at Saxelby Cheesemongers!
Diane St Clair, butter maker and farmer at Animal Farm in Orwell Vermont, has seven milking cows. One of them is named Keller, after the famed chef and owner of Per Se and The French Laundry.animal farm

This isn't a case of culinary star gazing from afar. Thomas Keller has a lot to do with Ms. St Clair and her diminutive herd of bovine companions. For years now, every ounce of butter made at Animal Farm is churned, molded, and shipped... straight to Mr. Keller's temples of gastronomy.

For an extremely limited time this holiday season, Animal Farm butter will be available at Saxelby Cheesemongers for all of you true butter fiends out there to savor! Order online at saxelbycheese.com, or call the shop at 212-228-8204 to place your pre-order.

Just what makes Animal Farm Butter better? Start with the fact that the butter is made from pure Jersey cream, which contains over 87% butterfat. Diane hand-skims the cream with a ladle instead of relying on a mechanical separator, which makes the process much more bicep-building and arduous, but also keeps the precious fat globules in pristine condition. After the cream has been separated, Ms. St Clair cultures it for 24 hours using her own buttermilk, creating a unique tangy flavor profile.

Next the cream is churned by hand until it turns into butter. Diane then drains the buttermilk (which we proudly stock in our dairy case and dole out liberally into our pancake and biscuit recipes!) and puts the block of butter up on a marble slab for kneading. The kneading and 'washing' of the butter takes another three hours or so. Diane works the butter over, washing it with water until she's sure that all the milk is out of it and the butter is perfect.

Since Animal Farm butter is practically NEVER available for retail sale, don't be afraid to stock up! The butter comes in 4 oz rolls (4 to a bag) and can be frozen and kept for months. If you don't want to freeze, the butter will last for a few weeks in your fridge. After all, we'll get it the day after it's churned, so fresher butter can't be had. Take advantage of this rare, once-a-year opportunity and indulge!

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