Friday, March 9, 2012

How To Serve Butter - Food

When butter is used for the table, some consideration must be given to the serving of it. Probably the most usual way of serving butter is to place a slice of it on a plate and then pass the plate with a knife to each person at the table. The advantage of this method is that each person can take the amount desired and thus prevent waste. However, a still more desirable way of serving butter that is to be passed is to cut it into small cubes or squares or to shape it into small balls and then serve it with a fork or a butter knife. To prevent the pieces or balls of butter from melting in warm weather, cracked ice may be placed on the butter dish with them. Butter cut into cubes or squares may also be served on an individual butter dish or an individual bread-and-butter plate placed at each person's place before the meal is served. Whichever plan is adopted, any fragments of butter that remain on the plates after a meal should be gathered up and used for cooking purposes.

Butter that comes in pound prints lends itself readily to the cutting of small cubes or squares for serving. Such butter may be cut by drawing a string through the print or by using a knife whose cutting edge is covered with paper, a small piece of the oiled paper such as that in which the butter is wrapped answering very well for this purpose. If butter balls are desired for serving, they may be rolled with butter paddles in the manner shown in o make butter balls, put wads of the butter to be used into ice water so as to make them hard. Then place each wad between the paddles, as shown, and give the paddles a circular motion. After a little practice, it will be a simple matter to make butter balls that will add to the attractiveness of any meal. Paddles made especially for this purpose can be purchased in all stores that sell kitchen utensils. Sometimes, for practical purposes, it is desired to know the quantity of butter that is served to each person. In the case of pri nt butter, this is a simple matter to determine. As shown in Fig. 2, first mark the pound print in the center in order to divide it in half; after cutting it into two pieces, cut each half into two, and finally each fourth into two. With the pound print cut into eight pieces, divide and cut each eighth into four pieces. As there will be thirty-two small pieces, each one will represent one thirty-second of a pound, or 1/2 ounce. In about the year 1870, through a desire to procure a cheaper article than butter for the poorer classes of France, came the manufacture of the first substitute for butter. Since that time the use of butter substitutes has gradually increased, until at the present time millions of pounds are consumed every year. A certain amount of prejudice against their use exists, but much of this is unnecessary for they are less likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria than the poorer qualities of butter. Then, too, they do not spoil so readily, and for thi s reason they can be handled with greater convenience than butter.

The best substitute for butter and the one most largely used is called oleomargarine, which in the United States alone constitutes about two and 1/2 per cent. of all the fat used as butter. This fat is called by various other names, such as margarine,and butterine, but oleomargarine is the name by which the United States authorities recognize the product. It is made by churning fats other than butter fat with milk or cream until a butterlike consistency is obtained. Originally, pure beef fat was employed for this purpose, and while beef fat is used to a great extent at present, lard, cottonseed oil, coconut oil, and peanut oil are also used. Whatever fats are selected are churned with milk, cream, and, for the finest grades, a considerable percentage of the very best pure butter. After they are churned, the oleomargarine is worked, salted, and packed in the same manner as butter.

The manufacture and sale of butter substitutes are controlled by laws that, while they do not specify the kind of fat to be used, state that all mixtures of butter with other fats must be sold as oleomargarine. They also require that a tax of 10 cents a pound be paid on all artificially colored oleomargarine; therefore, while coloring matter is used in some cases, this product is usually sold without coloring. In such an event, coloring matter is given with each pound of oleomargarine that is sold. Before using the oleomargarine, this coloring matter is simply worked into the fat until it is evenly colored.

Another substitute that is sometimes used to take the place of the best grades of butter is renovated, or process, butter. This is obtained by purifying butter that is dirty and rancid and that contains all sorts of foreign material and then rechurning it with fresh cream or milk. The purifying process consists in melting the butter, removing the scum from the top, as well as the buttermilk, brine, and foreign materials that settle, and then blowing air through the fat to remove any odors that it might contain. Butter that is thus purified is replaced on the market, but in some states the authorities have seen fit to restrict its sale. While such restrictions are without doubt justifiable, it is possible to buy butter that is more objectionable than renovated, or process, butter, but that has no restriction on it.

Very often oleomargarine and process butter bear such a close resemblance to genuine butter that it is almost impossible to detect the difference. However, there is a simple test by which these substitutes can always be distinguished from butter, and this should be applied whenever there is any doubt about the matter. To make this test, place the fat in a tablespoon or a small dish and heat it directly over the flame until it boils, stirring it occasionally to assist in the melting. If it is oleomargarine or process butter, it will sputter noisily and take on a curdled appearance; whereas, if it is butter, it will melt and even boil without sputtering although it foams to a certain extent.



Post a Comment