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Thread: the changing shape of butter

  1. #1
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    Default the changing shape of butter

    until just a couple years ago, every brand of butter at our groceries came in flat boxes, the quarter pound sticks laid crosswise, sticks roughly 1.5"x1.5"x3".

    all our butter is now in squared boxes, sticks stacked two on two, longer and skinnier sticks, 1"x1"x4".

    this conspiracy has me churning.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    And what's that thing where you leave the butter out on the kitchen table in the summertime, and on a warm day it tries to slink away?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    ah, here the inverse is true. The 1x1x5 sticks, stacked 2-on-2, is the way it's been forever. If you bought a solid-pound it was 4x4x5.
    The 4 sticks packed flat is relatively new on the scene.

    now we also get the european stuff in metrick bricks just to keep life interesting for the shelf-stockers.
    whoa, camel. WHOA CAMEL!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    so theyre just messing with us. as i suspected.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Are you simply attempting to clarify?

    Then either configurations should be fine. Have no concerns.

    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    i'm not spreading a conspiracy theory.

    but i won't be cowed by your logical arguments either.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    I didn't learn until moving from the USA east, to USA west, that the packaging size and shapes are different in those two regions. From wiki:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter

    Packaging

    United States

    In the United States, butter has traditionally been made into small, rectangular blocks by means of a pair of wooden butter paddles. It is usually produced in 4-ounce (14 lb; 110 g) sticks that are individually wrapped in waxed or foiled paper, and sold as a 1 pound (0.45 kg) package of 4 sticks. This practice is believed to have originated in 1907, when Swift and Company began packaging butter in this manner for mass distribution.[34]


    Eastern-pack shape salted butter


    Due to historical differences in butter printers (machines that cut and package butter),[35] 4-ounce sticks are commonly produced in two different shapes:

    • The dominant shape east of the Rocky Mountains is the Elgin, or Eastern-pack shape, named for a dairy in Elgin, Illinois. The sticks measure 4 34 by 1 14 by 1 14 inches (121 mm ◊ 32 mm ◊ 32 mm) and are typically sold stacked two by two in elongated cube-shaped boxes.[35]



    Western-pack shape unsalted butter



    • West of the Rocky Mountains, butter printers standardized on a different shape that is now referred to as the Western-pack shape. These butter sticks measure 3 14 by 1 12 by 1 12 inches (83 mm ◊ 38 mm ◊ 38 mm)[36] and are usually sold with four sticks packed side-by-side in a flat, rectangular box.[35]

    Most butter dishes are designed for Elgin-style butter sticks.[35]
    Butter stick wrappers are usually marked with divisions for 8 US tablespoons (120 ml), which is less than their actual volume: the Elgin-pack shape is 8.22 US tbsp, while the Western-pack shape is 8.10 US tbsp. The printing on unsalted ("sweet") butter wrappers is typically red, while that for salted butter is typically blue.[citation needed]
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    of all the products to import from across the seas, butter might be the least sensible.

    what, we don't have cows?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    as alluded to in bob's c&p, the shape of our old butter dish now makes more sense. it's always been too long, and the lid used to smush the corners of a new stick.

    we have been taking part in some sort of experiment. i'm still working on the why.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    i'm not spreading a conspiracy theory.

    but i won't be cowed by your logical arguments either.
    Not trying to get salty. I believe you. Udderly and completely.

    By sheer happenstance, we have one of each size box in house at the moment. I keep threatening to bake a cake.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    It's good stuff, but I know someone who goes through a lot of butter (daughter has been baking a lot during the pandemic) and when Darigold or Tillamook or even Land O'Lakes is on sale for $2 a pound, it's perfectly fine.

    I'll tell you what, some years ago I was volunteering at a food bank and they had a bunch of donated heavy cream that had gone sour. I threw it all in a big stand mixer and churned it into butter, and 95% of the sourness left with the watery buttermilk that was discarded. Some was then combined with herbs for herb butter, but the majority I heated gently and skimmed off the milk solids to make clarified butter for cooking, which removed all hint of sourness. Great for cooking (frying) as that raises the smoke point considerably, but not suitable for table use as it loses the creaminess from it being churned. (Although I didn't check to see if churning it in the mixer would restore that, I should have.)
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    The stuff (butter and margarine) was regulated like it was heroin. They are all up in your business. See the Olemargarine Act.

    https://history.house.gov/Historical...il/15032395622

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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    of all the products to import from across the seas, butter might be the least sensible.

    what, we don't have cows?
    have you tried it?

    do a side by side comparison and get back to me
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter


  16. #16
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Does anyone else fry their bacon in butter?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    It's true. Kerrygold is good. But not superior to the best products of the two major dairy regions in the U.S. Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota) and West (Idaho, Oregon, California). Or even Varmont, I suspect. We stopped buying Kerrygold when we read that it wasn't all grass-fed, and that the adjunct feed was GMO. But it is one of the darkest of butters, and some folks judge solely by that.

    In the end, though, I don't eat much butter by itself, or just spread on bread. So I don't get the full effect. Mostly use it for baking. So I find that - once it comes out of the oven - any good quality brand is fine. In fact, the 2 boxes we currently have are house brands from a couple of local natural food stores. And the one I've dipped into is quite good. I'll be surprised if the other isn't as well.

    Lee -- I did have some from a local 'boutique' supplier a while back that was so rich in butterfat that it was a different experience. Forget their name... 'The Buttery'? 'Butterfields'? I do know that you can get it at Helvetia Market... for like $25 a pound.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    I feel strangely mooooved
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  19. #19
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    I feel strangely mooooved
    Straight up to your horns?
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Why am I thinking suddenly about Chinatown?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  21. #21
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    have you tried it?

    do a side by side comparison and get back to me
    specifically, bake a batch of croissants with each and get back to me.

    the higher fat content is everything.
    whoa, camel. WHOA CAMEL!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Keep that weird shaped butter on the other side of the Rockies! Around here this is the good stuff:


  23. #23
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    I like Kate's a lot, but they have a weird packaging issue. On the unsalted butter wrapper there is a thin paper-like lining on the inside of the foil which tends to peel away from the foil and stick to the butter if it's fridge-cold.

    I KNOW I'M SUPPOSED TO LET THE BUTTER WARM UP A BIT before unwrapping, but sometimes the Lady of the house wants a batch of cookies and she means NOW, MISTER.
    whoa, camel. WHOA CAMEL!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    specifically, bake a batch of croissants with each and get back to me.

    the higher fat content is everything.
    As I say to my waistband ...
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  25. #25
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    I like Kate's a lot, but they have a weird packaging issue. On the unsalted butter wrapper there is a thin paper-like lining on the inside of the foil which tends to peel away from the foil and stick to the butter if it's fridge-cold.

    I KNOW I'M SUPPOSED TO LET THE BUTTER WARM UP A BIT before unwrapping, but sometimes the Lady of the house wants a batch of cookies and she means NOW, MISTER.
    It's a real thing... Maine butter? I just assumed it was a hoax. The Bauer sense of humor at work again. <G> I mean... that's not even a COW on the box!!! Does it all come pre-frozen?
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    have you tried it?

    do a side by side comparison and get back to me
    ok, i will try it.

    for what it's worth, i have had lucky charms and i admit it is better than captain crunch.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Kerrygold sold in the US is made from US milk. IOW - it ain't imported. IIRC, the company is based in Chicago.

    1x1x4 butter sticks are simply the correct shape. Anything else is a commie conspiracy.

    Why would anyone buy butter that's not locally made? Oh right - same reason as buying water shipped from Fiji...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  28. #28
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    until just a couple years ago, every brand of butter at our groceries came in flat boxes, the quarter pound sticks laid crosswise, sticks roughly 1.5"x1.5"x3".

    all our butter is now in squared boxes, sticks stacked two on two, longer and skinnier sticks, 1"x1"x4".

    this conspiracy has me churning.

    Two kinds of butter sticks in this country. You gots your East Coast Skinnies, and your West Coast Stubbies.

    Apparently, it had to do with two different companies that made the machinery. Or so I'm told.

    Tilliamook, at least, has been switching over to East Coast Skinnies.

    When I first moved out here, the butter was weird - all short, fat and chunky. First time we got the East Coast Skinnies from Tillamook, some months back, I was like... "this is so weird, all long and skinny".
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. ó P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    ok, i will try it.

    for what it's worth, i have had lucky charms and i admit it is better than captain crunch.
    Heresy!

    But Sugar Pops (now called "Corn Pops") are better than either.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    When we get the great butter conundrum settled, can we discuss boneless chicken wings?
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter


  32. #32
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Who knew? Good to see that the west coast of the US saw the light, and uses New Zealand style chunky butter packaging.

    Pete
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    23AE34E9-26B8-44A7-891F-0155ACB92A0A.jpg

    Iíve only purchased butter in one pound bricks, the most common way itís sold in Canada. One can buy it in those fancy quarter pound sticks but be prepared to spend a lot more for the privilege.

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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Kerrygold sold in the US is made from US milk. IOW - it ain't imported. IIRC, the company is based in Chicago.

    1x1x4 butter sticks are simply the correct shape. Anything else is a commie conspiracy.

    Why would anyone buy butter that's not locally made? Oh right - same reason as buying water shipped from Fiji...
    I'm sure Corning Glass agrees with you.
    Rattling the teacups.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: the changing shape of butter

    So my daughter came back from her farmers market stint with a chunk of butter that I initially mistook for a block of cheese. Hmmm, this is interesting, murmph, not cheese! I’m mostly an olive oil person. My daughters family goes through a lot of butter and they’re all healthy lean folks.

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