Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to read and review a cookbook that recommended using a high fat butter. While that book went into a little bit of detail on what constituted high fat butter, I realized I still had a lot of questions after a discussion on my review about exactly what determines a butter to be high fat. So when I requested this book, I hoped to learn more about how to choose a good butter for baking but got a whole lot more.
Butter: A Rich History, by Elaine Khosrova, explores not only the mechanics of making butter, but also the sociological, biological and the cultural aspects of butter and answered questions I didn’t even know I had. Who knew cows self-medicate by eating different plants? Who imagined that the prohibition of consuming butter led many countries in Northern Europe to turn to Protestantism and separate from the Roman Catholic Church? I never knew butter was so life changing and interesting. I loved the many stories about the history and folklore, including the story about the mjolkhare or milk hare:
“…a little woolly hare was woven out of sticks, wool, skin, clipped-off fingernails and human hair. The milk hare was then “sent off” to a neighboring dairy to drink up all their milk, after which it raced home and vomited up all the milk into the thief’s own pails.”
Elaine Khosrova, Butter: A Rich History p. 74
The book answered many of my questions about butter, from which cows give the richest milk to the best way to store butter. The recipes included in the book sound delicious and look easy to make. I knew a bit about some of the more unfamiliar ones (like Kouign Amann) from watching The Great British Bake Off and I can’t wait to give many of the recipes a try.
Overall, Butter is a very well researched and entertaining book that will make you better appreciate the rich, thick, creamy slab of butter you slather on your toast. A great gift for any baker, this book would be a great addition to any cookbook collection. (Great Christmas gift idea!)
Thank you to Algonquin Books for the ARC to read in exchange for my honest review
|Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Genre: Culinary, Cookbook
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)