Butter is having its moment again. Chefs and artisan dairies are churning out tangy, tasty slow butter that is no mere sandwich spread, but rather the main event.

There are two distinct strands to this big fat revival. The first is ‘cultured’, ‘fermented’ or ‘European’ butter; the other is the rise of the flavoured butter as a signature accompaniment to the bread on your table. Seaweed, urchin, anchovy: intense umami is the recurring theme in many additions, but it’s not the only way. This summer, Jean-Yves Bordier, France’s most esteemed butter maker, sold a seasonal raspberry butter from his Brittany dairy.

But in New York, where restaurants are spearheading the new era of ‘cultured’ butter (going back to the natural bacteria with which pre-industrial butter was made), many purists believe nothing more than salt should be allowed to interfere with the sweet, sharp taste of the real thing.

As originally featured in the October 2015 issue of Wallpaper* (*199)