Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Smjör Butter from Iceland - A Great Find

I have a new favorite butter that I am incorporating into my butter-buying rotation: Smjör, from Iceland.

I saw it for the first time the other day (in a Whole Foods) and was immediately captured by its kelly green wrapper and the fact that it is from Iceland.

As regular Delicious Truth readers are aware, I am a vociferous advocate of reading labels to find out exactly what is in the food we are eating. The wrapper said “no additives,” but that’s not really what got me.

Truth be told, I fell for one of the great marketing lines of all time: “Sustainable Iceland Since 874 AD.” It’s absolutely brilliant and it won my $2.99.


That being said, I’m still not 100 percent sure what is or isn’t (i.e. hormones, antibiotics, type of feed) in the butter, since the package didn't say and the website offered on the wrapper is in Icelandic.

(This would probably be an opportune time to see if Siggy Valtysson—the only person I know from Iceland, but who I haven’t spoken to in almost 20 years—is on Facebook.)

However, the deep yellow color and grassy flavor of the butter, plus Iceland’s rich pastoral tradition, lead me to believe that the Smjör cows eat grass and aren’t administered hormones and antibiotics. One of my other favorites, Anchor Butter from New Zealand, has a similar pedigree.

So we’ll all be able to sleep better, I’ll call Whole Foods and find out the Smjör story for sure.

If that doesn’t work, I’ll friend Siggy.

7 comments:

Brian said...

Go grass-fed. But what about local alternatives. There's nothing sustainable about buying butter from Iceland or especially New Zealand. The carbon footprint of shipping (and refrigerating while shipping) something as simple as butter halfway around the world is absurdly large. Like buying water from Fiji.

Chris said...

I like this butter but also wonder about the specifics,it seems very good.Local butter is impossible here and the only good US butter I've had comes from grasslandbeef.com so that doesn't leave me many options.
Until my co-op carries butter,it's whole foods for me.

Heidi / Savory Tv said...

Interesting, I haven't seen that here in Colorado. I'll be curious to know what Whole Foods has to say about. It is tough to find delicious butter here in the states, and I am a full supporter of buying local, but sometimes we are left without alternatives.

Rob, we would love to have you guest post on Savory Tv, perhaps you could share a recipe or a short story with a video? DM me on Twitter @savorytv or email me at the addy on our "about" page if you like!

Peter said...

Butter is so absurdly easy to make that I don't know why everyone who cares about their butter doesn't do it. Take a quart of heavy cream from your favorite dairy. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk it at medium high speed until it passes through the glossy stiff peaks stage and "breaks" into butter and buttermilk. Wash the butter in ice cold water, squeezing out all the buttermilk (which if not removed will speed spoilage). Combine with a tiny amount of salt, if you want salted butter . . . or not. Refrigerate. Enjoy.

Gabby said...

I don't think these cows are fully pastured since the website says they spend 7-8 months out of the year "housed" (so 4-5 months on pastures).

Isn't Pastureland butter made in the US (Minnesota or Midwest somewhere)? I eat it and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

I do, however, have to order it online.

NK Tr said...

I love to support local as some viewer stated, but I love the taste of European butter so much, they're far better in taste than what we have here in the US and I think Plugra is local which is one of the best butter I had besides European butter.

Mary Speer said...
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