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Feelin’ Butta!

unsalted butter

Who doesn’t love the sweet, creamy taste of butter slathered on top of warm pancakes or melted over sweet corn on the cob? Yummm! We know butter is a necessity in everyday cooking and baking for our customers to get that “just right” taste. That’s why we are steppin’ it up to the next level.

For the past few years, Newport Ave Market has carried Newport’s Own Old World Style Butter, made exclusively for us by our local Eberhard’s Dairy. Now, dum dut da-dum!, we are introducing the unsalted variety. This means you can buy either salted or unsalted in the freshest variety around! Eberhard’s provides us with made-that-day giant blocks of the golden stuff, which we cut and individually package just for you.

We each know our favorite way to use butter, and our favorite foods to use it on, but one question we get asked is “when do I use unsalted butter?” All salted butters have varied salt contents, so removing salt from the butter equation helps put the control back in your hands. As we all know, control is very important in so many situations (self-control, portion control… ;)) but, when it comes to preparing your favorite dish, using salted butter is like using self-rising flour in baking; you can use it and hope that the added ingredient turns out ok, but who likes to rely on hope and prayers while cooking? Unsalted butter ensures you have complete control over the amount of salt you add to your baked goods.

Salt causes certain chemical reactions in baked goods, such as toughening the glutens in flour, which is needed in breads… not so much in pastries. And in some recipes, like shortbread cookies or pound cakes, it’s essential to keep the butter flavor prominent, yet not overpower it with the taste of salt.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping for butter is that salt is also a natural preservative, so removing salt from butter gives it a shorter shelf life. Unsalted butter lasts about a month, as opposed to salted which lasts at least 3 months.

After all that, now we know if a baking recipe calls for butter and it’s not specified we want to use unsalted, so we have complete control. Think of salted butter as a condiment, like ketchup or mustard, something you add to enhance flavor.  When doing your weekly (…or daily) grocery run, if you’re looking for something to slather on your baked potato, reach for the salted; if you’re baking a cobbler, grab the unsalted. Happy controlled baking!

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