It's about time! After years of being disrespected because of its high fat content, delicious, creamy, miraculous butter is finally getting the praise it deserves. Butter consumption in the U.S. has risen 25 percent in the last 10 years and is at a 40-year high, according to reports. It seems lots of people are beginning to realize that, although it contains a substantial amount of fat, butter is natural and doesn't contain trans fats, which are prevalent in many butter alternatives. Even cooler -- apparently, a whole new generation of young people are open to experimenting with butter because they grew up watching their favorite chefs use boatloads of it on Food Network shows.
As someone who was raised in a strict olive oil-only household, it took me a long time to embrace butter. Butter was something you used in little dabs, on toast, on top of muffins, or to smear lightly on corn on the cob. My parents always needed a stick of butter in their fridge just in case, but I can count on one hand the number of times they used it while cooking.
I avoided butter until I was in my late 20s and began attending more "adult" dinner parties and having friends over for meals. I began noticing that one close friend, who is from Louisiana, could do no wrong when it came to cooking. Of course, she's just someone who possesses natural skill and talent in the kitchen regardless of the ingredients she uses, but when one day she served us jambalaya -- using the exact same recipe I thought I had always followed -- I broke down and had to ask her what was lacking in mine.
Butter makes everything better, from risotto to sauces to one-pot chicken dishes to tomato soup. I may not use it every day, but if I'm expecting even one extra guest over for dinner, I automatically change up my recipe to include butter. It's simple, has been a staple since time immemorial, yet still feels like a special, decadent treat.
Do you use butter or are you a bigger fan of cooking oils or butter substitutes?
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