A couple of years ago, goat butter started to turn up along with the bread basket at a few restaurants. Usually the kind of restaurants that serve regional, back to the earth, ingredient driven cuisine. Then in New York, artisan butters of all kinds became available and it seemed like just as we were becoming most worried about our spreading hips, we were also spreading butter around like fiends, too.
Although the artisan and specialty butter trend didn’t spread to Canadian grocery stores (likely due to our strict dairy rules), goat butter is now available in some cheese shops, at farmer’s markets and at fancy grocers. I bought this half-pound of goat butter at Whole Foods and it was, sadly, past its prime. Fresh goat butter is sweet and has a subtle tangy edge that is similar but milder than the flavour that makes chèvre so distinctive. Old goat butter smells like sour milk.
If you can find a fresh slab of this fatty spread, do pick it up. Your guests will feel like dairy queens (and kings) when you serve goat butter with fresh bread or as a garnish for steamed garden fresh veggies. In fact, using artisan butter of any kind is a great way to elevate an otherwise ordinary menu to a higher culinary level.