Game-Changer

What “Craft” Means in the World of Butter


In the context of food, “local” and “craft” are often taken as indicators of quality. Yet while everything from granola to jerky has undergone a small-batch renaissance, butter has somehow remained stagnant. Launched in 2013, Ploughgate Creamery set out to change that. The Vermont-based purveyor of local, small batch, artisanal butter boasts one additional adjective that places it in a league of its own: cultured.

Founder Marisa Mauro sources cream from a local food co-op (in turn sourced from nearby dairy farms) and leaves it to mingle with bacteria, or culture, for 48 hours before being churned. It’s a technique that hearkens to Mauro’s background in cheesemaking, and one that imparts an addictive, tangy-sweet flavor on the already exceptional, high-fat butter. Wrapped in humble butcher paper, Ploughgate Creamery’s cultured butter looks fairly unassuming. Yet spread on good bread, it’s anything but. Marked by a bright yellow hue (an indicator of cream sourced from grass-fed cows) and peppered with crunchy sea salt crystals, it’s downright transformative.

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