Butter. God how I love butter. Do you know anyone who doesn’t love butter?
From margarine and shortening to Smart Balance and Earth Balance to Olivio and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (I can), it’s amazing what a mess we’ve made of such a simple, healthful (yes you read that right) food.
Butter is perhaps the biggest symbol of real, traditional food and we real foodies love to proudly promote our creamy, buttery creations all over social media.
We write blogs about it. We proudly (and often defiantly) tell everyone how much we eat per day, per week and per month. And of course, we LOVE to write about its nutritional benefits including not only vitamins A, D, and K2 but also saturated fat and cholesterol.
Oh the untold arguments we’ve had with our families about those last two!
So when Time Magazine’s cover recently declared, “Eat Butter” with an article detailing why the conventional anti-saturated fat and cholesterol theory is WRONG, we traditional foodies jumped for joy.
I could see real foodies all across the country shoving that magazine cover in the faces of their fat-fearing friends and family and saying, “SEEEEEEEE, I TOOOOOLD YOU!”
Not that I did that.
OK, I totally did.
Sure enough, butter is making a comeback and best of all, there are many companies now selling good quality butter from grass-fed, pastured cows.
Unfortunately, there’s still one common place you can’t get good quality butter.
Most of them use poor quality butter from grain-fed and factory-farmed cows like Land O’Lakes. But it’s better than margarine and highly refined, genetically modified vegetable oils like soybean, canola, cottonseed and corn oil (which I call the The Quadruple Bypass). Trust me, they use those oils in EVERYTHING.
When I eat out, I try to choose the lesser of the two evils, the crappy butter, when I can.
Here’s a typical scenario from my recent vacation to Cape Cod.
I’m at this crappy little diner in Barnstable and I ask the waitress to have the cook sauté my omelet in butter. I always make this request and I never get tired of the reactions.
It’s usually a confused response in the form of a raised eyebrow, an awkward silent pause or just a subtle (or not-so subtle) sarcastic comment like “Ummmm, Oooookaaaaaay.”
But this waitress proudly says, “But WE use a 60-40 blend!” Basically that means 60% rancid, GMO vegetable oils and 40% crappy butter.
I’m not sure what my face looked like but it was probably something like this…
“OK” she said quietly like a swiftly scolded child. “Butter it is.”
But I also had a less typical butter scenario on Cape Cod at a different sort of restaurant. This always seems to happen at more high end, hoity toity sort of places.
It was my 40th birthday dinner and my family was taking me out to a really REALLY nice place.
Ocean view and white linens (see I’m not exaggerating). Great service and better food.
This was one of the most highly rated restaurants on Cape Cod.
The crab cake appetizer was the best I’ve ever had. Real crab, flaky, tender and the perfect mix of veggies herbs and bread crumbs to hold it all together.
My tuna entree was absolute perfection, topped with a citrus butter and served with the perfect side dishes – sticky rice and a mango kimchi.
But they made one horrible mistake.
They thought they could outdo butter.
When the bread came out, this is what they served instead:
A white bean puree with chili oil.
And this is how my face look when I tasted it:
Such a butter disappointment.
My message to The Ocean House (and to all the hoity toity restaurants that try to outdo butter)…
Yes, you were awesome. I’d recommend your place to anyone.
But please…for the sake of God…
Just serve the damn butter.
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.