Sweet butter vs salted butter is a common question from our guests.

Sweet butter is simply made of butter fat solids when the liquid whey is removed from cream, and is left unsalted.  Sweet butter that has been salted is know as “salted butter.” Both are useful in todays kitchen. Go with your preference since today they are priced the same.

Some chefs who are French classical trained have strong opinions in favor of  always using unsalted butter for every purpose. Especially pastry chefs. We think it is an old habit started way before good refrigeration. The dairies might deliver salted butter to help mask any off-flavors or the beginning of rancidity. The custom then of requesting sweet butter started so that chefs may taste the freshness of the butter.

Today it is rare to receive rancid butter from our dairies. Of course, we chefs  by nature are rather controling and still want to add our own salt. We at EVOO believe that most recipes are based on salted butter since it was all that was available for several decades. So if still older recipes, which many of us do, using sweet butter in an older recipe, means salt will go missing in the finished product. So we think it is best to work with both, salted being just fine for most cooking since for most dishes we add salt anyway. (Taste before adding salt anyway being a best-practice). When baking we do prefer unsalted butter, especially for sensative items like danish pastry dough and crepes; it seems to us only sweet butter will do there. Pastry chef may have it right all along.


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