I just got this in an email and thought that it was a good one for scrutiny here at PF.
Sounds like it was produced by someone with a vested interest in promoting butter. Here is another point of view
perhaps biased the other way.
My mother told me that margarine used to come with food coloring packaged separately. You would have to mix them together yourself if you wanted the yellow color. The butter industry had insisted on it.
I thought margarine was invented by the French to supply a long life butter to the armies.
edit - In 1869 Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory substitute for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces.
My wife and I have no margarine in the house, and cook with butter, olive oil, and peanut oil (for high-heat dishes). Deep-frying (infrequent) is best done with lard because you can use temperatures high enough to sear the food so the surface is crispy and retards the absorption of any more fat. We've been out of the trans-fat/hydrogenated food stream for years. Butter is the "secret ingredient" many French dishes and in simple steamed vegetable and herb dishes.
I mostly use butter and olive oil.
Beef dripping for me from now on.
I've never liked the taste of margarine, and it isn't the right texture for baking, so I've never really used it and don't care if it's better or worse for you than butter, because I'm sticking with my butter.
Our local dairy farmer raised Jerseys and Guernseys (not Holsteins!) so cream occupied the top 25-30% of each milk bottle. We would shake it up and drink it that way, but my grandmother always poured off most of the cream, and used it in coffee and with berries and cereal for my grandfather's breakfasts, and every few days, she'd make up a batch of fresh butter. When I visited them, I loved waking up to a breakfast of freshly baked tall, flaky biscuits with fresh salty butter, eggs, bacon, and maybe some left-over baked beans and home-fried potatoes. Mmm! No margarine or shortening in her house, either. Butter, salt pork, and lard.
Butter is too hard to spread. When they make butter that's actually soft I'll switch. :)
You don't keep butter refrigerated. You keep it at room temperature in a covered butter dish, and it stays fresh and soft for a very long time. If you want to refrigerate your spread and have it stay spreadable, then you're going to use tubs of spreadable thickened vegetable oil.
Or you can just whip the butter to soften it in a hurry if you're not comfortable leaving it out. I usually just cut a few slices of butter off the stick and let them warm to room temp while I'm preparing whatever I'm eating (i.e., toasting the bread or baking the biscuits) so it's nice and soft when the food is ready for it.
I use whipped butter. Even though the new margarines with zero trans fat and no cholesterol are healthier than butter, I eat such tiny amounts it doesn't matter. Seriously, who would eat so much butter that it would matter?
Health-wise, consumption of butter vs margarine (in modest amounts) may not have a significant impact on one's well-being, but when taste and satisfaction is brought into the picture, butter kicks some serious butt. I'd be quite depressed if I could not have a little butter on my steamed sweet corn or buttercup squash or baked potato and had to settle for margarine. :yuck:
Everyone's a cook? Not one science geek among us?
i can only think of one non-cooking related use of butter, and that's film related.
Cooking *is* science.
Except for my youngest daughter, for her cooking is dumping a pouch of some pre-mixed thing into boiling water and stirring. She can cook salmon fillets, remarkably, and she only uses real butter (to keep this on topic).
Well, I'm an optician, a process chemist, an amateur astronomer, and for the last few years, an observational astronomer exploiting publicly-accessible databases of images, spectroscopy, etc. I'd rather be known as the best damned cook in the Maine woods. :rofl:
Rule 34 of science - “If you can imagine it, there is a recent Harvard study proving it.”
I suppose near anything you swallow will do that.
“Appeal to tradition”
I can see it now:
Table salt is but ONE ATOM away from being SODIUM!
How would you like to put that in you boiling water before you add the pasta?
Wait a second, butter is a fruit?
I just don't like the way margarine feels on my tongue, feels waxy to me. I would half to agree with Turbo, its a must for good cooking. If I couldnt have it on my baked or mashed potatos, I wouldn't eat them.
My parents keep bringing up the "one molecule away from being plastic" argument. I in turn inform them the beer that they're drinking is one molecule away from anti-freeze.
Yeah, that's the "play to those ignorant of science" argument. It just goes to show how many people paid no attention whatsoever in high school chemistry class. Heck, this topic is covered in grade school science, actually. A whole MOLECULE away...yeah...that would be the "margarine" molecule vs the "plastic" molecule? Any "pure" substance is only one molecule away from any other "pure" substance. It's worse than a "one atom away" argument (which we also all know means nothing)...table salt is only one MOLECULE away from arsenic. :rofl:
Hmm...it's not the texture of margarine that ever bugged me (referring to hypatia's comment), but the taste. It has none of the butter taste, but is very salty tasting to me. I'd rather use it as a substitute for salt than as a substitute for butter.
The only thing that I didn't like about when my grandmother made butter was that she kept trying to convince me that buttermilk was good to drink. Eventually, I figured out that if I kept praising her biscuits (tall, soft, and flaky with golden butter-topped crusts) she'd have to save the buttermilk to make the biscuits with and I wouldn't have to drink any more of it. I was raised on whole milk (non-homogenized, non pasteurized) and buttermilk had no character at all. Even pairing it up with her great apple pie, lemon chiffon pie, German chocolate cake, etc could not hide its deficiencies. She gave birth to my father a couple of years before the crash and the ensuing depression made those frugal people even more cognizant of waste, so she wanted to do something with the buttermilk, and I looked like a likely end-use. Luckily my appetite for buttermilk biscuits was enormous, and she'd make a batch about every 2 days when I visited them in the summers.
The only way to drink buttermilk is with salt, pepper and tabasco sauce. Sometimes, I get cravings for it, like now.
As a child I hated whole milk, so I got buttermilk instead and liked it. Can't say the same for margarinemilk.
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