Meggle butter vs grass fed kerrygold and Organic valley?
January 20, 2014 10:27 PM   Subscribe

I tried Meggle alphine butter from Germany and really like it. I also tried president butter from France and didnt like the artificial flavor. Later I tried organic valley the limited edition and was not impressed at all. Then I tried Kerrygold garlic and herbs butter which basically tastes just like sour cream, not only tasteless but actually kind of disgusting? I am wondering how does Kerrygold regular butter compared with Meggle? I haven't try it yet but don't want to waste time and money. Meggle tastes so good, but it's not grass fed I guess. How are butter and dairy products made in Germany , is there anyone know? Really hope it's not antibiotics and hormone loaded. Thanks!
posted by pack2themoon to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The EU bans use of hormones in livestock and their dairy products are tested for antibiotics, which are not allowed to be present.

I don't know why German butter is better than French, but I agree with you. I love German (and Danish) butter more than any other butter in the world.
posted by lollusc at 11:28 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kerry Butter unsalted is AWESOME.

Your question is weird to me, unless you have access to butter from NZ, in which case, quality and taste is obvious.

Since you only have Kerry Gold (or Silver is best!) .... Carry on...
posted by jbenben at 1:48 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: President butter is not artifically flavoured; it's just unsalted. You may simply not like unsalted butter. Kerry Gold in the gold packs is salted and may be to your liking; the silver packs are unsalted. Ignore the garlic and herb butter, as that is it's own thing.

The difference you are tasting in like-for-like butter is probably fat content. Irish butter (Kerry Gold) has more fat than US butter, and Danish and German butter (Meggle) has more fat than Irish butter. This makes an appreciable difference to taste and texture, and has messed up more than one home baker using international recipes.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:27 AM on January 21, 2014 [7 favorites]

This butter from President is amazing. Yes, it's not a highfalutin' gourmet product but the combination of a smooth fatty butter with chunks of sea salt is something else.
posted by chavenet at 4:14 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How are you trying the kratuerbutter/garlic and herb mix? I love Meggle's but can't get it in the states, but my grocer has the Kerrygold brand. It's awesome on a steak, fried potatoes, or a raclette...but I wouldn't eat it on plain bread.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:03 AM on January 21, 2014

Best answer: I don't really understand your question either. Normal French butters like President don't contain any additives.

What tends to define the flavour of commercial butters is the type and quality of the milk, the churning process and the salt added. European butters all tend to be around 82% fat. Americans, especially those into the paleo diet, appear to love Kerrygold because it is the prevailing European mass market butter, and because American butter can be pretty nasty. Here in Europe, Kerrygold is fine enough, but indistinguishable in quality terms from similarly-priced butters from France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, the UK etc. Meggle, Kerrygold and President are mass market brands from three different countries. That said, if you care about these things, Kerrygold butter does have higher than average levels of Omega 3.

That northwest corner of Europe - Normandy, Ireland and southwest England is a huge dairy area. So in climate terms it gets similar weather. It is generally less suitable for growing cereals owing to the topography, wind and rain. The cows are majority grass fed - generally grass/silage in the summer and cereals and feeds in the winter.

For mass market butters the whole thing about how rich it tastes because of the cows is largely marketing spiel. Milk is a commodity product, produced at very tight margins by the farmers, and mass market brands all retail for nearly the same price. While butter producers maintain relationships with specific farms, the larger the brand the wider the pool of supplying farms. For example, Arla, the UK leader, gets milk from more than 3,000 farms. Butter is an industrial product.

There is no one taste standard for how butter is made across Europe. It is generally set by each specific market preference, particularly insofar as how creamy the butter tastes and salt levels. Sorry, but that means your best bet is trial and error.

As an example: Isigny region butter, from Normandy, is pretty well regarded. This means it is churned for a long time and has a sourer taste. President butter also uses Normandy milk and French tastes tend to be more in the style of Isigny-style butter. The cows are grass fed for both mass market butters like President and higher quality Isigny butters. It sounds like you don't like that style of butter.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:10 AM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Variations for butter that may affect how it tastes to you include fat content, and grass fed vs. non grass fed cows for the source of the milk (some people swear they can tell but I usually can't), and whether the butter is cultured or not (cultured can taste a bit tangier), and whether there is salt added or not. The fat content and salt (or lack of) will affect the baking process so people using butter for baking tend to be pretty particular. If you are just getting it to spread on bread or potatoes, then really it is just a matter of taste preference so you should keep trying stuff till you find a favorite (I do check labels for antibiotics and hormones since that is not something I want).

The typical supermarket butter most Americans grew up with is uncultured, with a lower fat content than European butter, and often has salt (and yes, often was made from milk from cows treated with antibiotics etc.). My mother usually got unsalted butter, but she was in the definite minority when I was growing up in the '60's and '70's.

This article on European/German butter isn't bad.

If you see it, give Vermont Creamery cultured butter a try. It is is cultured and with more butterfat. The link talks a bit about how it is made. There are salted (sea salt) and unsalted versions.

You can also try making your own.
posted by gudrun at 5:52 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, I didnt mean President is artificial flavored, it's just the flavor tastes kind of "artificial" to me. So does Meggle uses milk with antibiotics, hormones or GMO corns?
And is Kerrygold cultured or not?
posted by pack2themoon at 6:11 AM on January 21, 2014

Best answer: Antibiotics are used on dairy cows. Most GMO grains that are consumed in Europe come through animal feed. Growth hormones are not allowed in Europe. Kerrygold is cultured butter, yes.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:30 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The European Union, where Meggle is produced, does not allow growth hormones in milk. See this article for information on antibiotics (look for the section called "Worldwide Regulations of Antibiotic Use in Animals")

Some info. on Kerrygold butter.
posted by gudrun at 8:33 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

One thing you look into is locally grown butters as well. Butters will change in taste by the season, based on what the cows are eating. Clover tastes different from grass.

I get one from Vermont that is crazy good. Of course it's also crazy expensive.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:26 AM on January 21, 2014

Best answer: I agree that Kerrygold Garlic and herbs butter is so bad. The regular version, however, is so worth it.
posted by elvissa at 12:54 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Try your hand at making cultured butter at home with some local grass-fed organic cream.
posted by fontophilic at 2:43 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

One other thing: Oxidation will rapidly degrade the taste of butter. Tin foil wrapped butters will tend to hold up better than wax or parchment paper wrapped ones, but if the President you tasted was several days older than the meggle that might have a big impact on flavor as well.
posted by Diablevert at 5:52 PM on January 23, 2014

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