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Marilyn’s Blog

Do boutique butters deserve their rave reviews?

Product Name Description Price

Highly Recommended
Lurpak Unsalted Butter

This Danish cultured butter tasted “creamy” and “nutty” on its own and baked up into cookies with a “near-perfect,” “tight crumb.”
$4.99 for 8 oz.

Recommended
Vermont Butter and Cheese Company Unsalted Butter

A favorite for those who liked a subtle “cheesy tang” to their butter, this small-batch New England log earned second place for being “rich” and “creamy” without tasting greasy.
$4.50 for 8 oz.

Recommended
Isigny Ste. Mère Beurre de Baratte

Multiple tasters compared this slightly sour French butter to “cream cheese,” “yogurt” and “mascarpone.” It also turned out “rich, buttery” cookies.
$8.25 for 8.8 oz.

Recommended
Beurre de Chimay

One taster noted that this “luscious,” “melt-in-your-mouth” Belgian butter tasted “just a few steps short of crème fraîche.” This plus a little sea salt, several tasters noted, would be perfection on bread.
$4.99 for 250 g.

Recommended
Land O’Lakes Unsalted Butter

Most tasters had no trouble picking this “plain,” “bland” supermarket staple from the lineup—“average table butter,” one taster noted—but it baked up surprisingly well in cookies.
$4.69 for 1 pound

Recommended with Reservations
Kate’s Unsalted Homemade Butter

Tasters appreciated this Maine-made butter’s “clean” flavor, though most felt its “sweeter,” “blander” profile paled in comparison to cultured butters.
$4.99 for 1 pound

Recommended with Reservations
PastureLand Unsalted Organic Butter

Most tasters noted this Minnesota butter’s striking yellow color. A few praised its “sweet cream” flavor and “rich” texture, but many found it “oily” and even “rancid” in flavor—perhaps due to its thinner wax paper wrapping.
$6.50 for 1 pound

Not Recommended
Beurre Échiré

Too much culture in this case, tasters thought. Only tasters who craved particularly “cheesy,” “sour” flavor in their butter liked this coveted French butter.
$8.99 for 250 g.

America’s Test Kitchen
America’s Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America’s Test Kitchen (www.americastestkitchen.com) on public television.