Everything is better with Wisconsin Butter
While the exact details vary depending on the source, most sources agree that butter was created by accident, and that it involved a traveler, a sheepskin bag filled with milk tied to a horse, and lots of walking. Upon arrival to their destination, the traveler that the milk had been transformed into a creamy, delicious surprise called butter!
Jumping ahead more than 8,000 years to 2022, butter at its core has not changed too much. Originally, butter likely came from goats, sheep, or yaks instead of the cow milk. Regardless of the source, when cream is shaken, jostled, or churned long enough, the liquid buttermilk separates out and the solids come together in the form of butter. By regulation, butter contains at least 80% fat, approximately 16% water, and 3% milk solids. Salt can be added to the butter to enhance the flavor.
It is amazing how simple ingredients have made a big impact on our lives as eaters and Wisconsinites. Wisconsin is home to 13 butter processing plants and one of the top butter producers in the country. Each of those 13 plants helps fuel the nations love for this spreadable delight. Americans eat on average 6.5 pounds of butter each year, with each pound of butter taking 21 pounds (or 24 gallons) of milk to produce.
I am sure by now that most of you have heard about the latest trend – the butter board. This is not just an internet fad, but a great way to entertain friends and family this holiday season while using Wisconsin products. This simple idea includes taking softened butter, spreading it out onto a cutting board or serving tray, topping it with a variety of add-ons, and then scooping the butter onto a cracker or piece of bread. The possibilities for toppings are endless, but there are some suggestions available online to get you started. You can head in a savory direction with roasted garlic, basil, and olives, or opt for a sweeter combination with lemon, figs, and honey. Whatever your palate prefers, there are some general guidelines to follow when making your board. Add an acid to contrast the butter, utilize flakey salt and lots of it, add fresh herbs and edible flowers, be generous with the toppings, and make the butter board as close to serving time as possible for freshness.
Do you know how to identify Wisconsin dairy products on the grocery store shelves? Anytime you see the Proudly Wisconsin Dairy badge or the number “55” on packaging, you know you are eating genuine Wisconsin dairy products. While you are picking up butter for your holiday gatherings and throughout the year, be sure to look for the “55” to enjoy butter from right here in Wisconsin!