Butter. Glorious butter. Enough said. It’s one of the most versatile ingredients and just makes life better. No substitute will do. And is it really all that bad for us? Non! Butter is pretty clean and contains no weird chemicals— just take cream and beat it into submission and perhaps add a wee bit of salt. That’s pretty natural if you ask me. As for fat, butter is no longer on the “bad-for-us-bandwagon" list which rotates through the same few items ad nauseum. Sugar is in the hot seat now, but gluten, fat and salt all take their turns. Ridiculous.
And butter in France is just—well— better. Sorry folks, they're masters—which is why french pastries are so amazing. The base of good pastry is quality butter and flour. And with a hunk of fresh baguette, nothing beats a thick smear of this pale yellow marvel. Yum.
I know, Provence is the land of olive oil, and I do truly appreciate it. I love it in my salads, over my tomatoes, in my pesto. But when it comes to bread, for me nothing beats classic butter. The north of France is where this magical substance hails from, and thankfully there is no shortage here in the south either. I have so many to choose from, it’s almost dizzying. For pastry, I often go with “douce” or unsalted. But for eating, my favourite butter has huge crunchy crystals of salt from the sea—it’s a meal unto itself.
While I tend to come home with heaps of French products I can’t find in Canada to sustain me until my next visit, butter sadly cannot survive the journey. It gets just a wee bit melty. C’est dommage. Perhaps it's a good thing that we can't get everything we want when we want it.
Thanks to globalization, there are few treats that are reserved for the sole occasion you are in a specific locale.
So butter, I will make a return trip for you. Don't you worry.