Not all dairy is equal. Some of the world’s most beloved butters are prized for their traditional methods of production, dedication to using milk from specific regions and exceptional terroir. France is home to some of the world’s best dairy. The unique influence of soil, topography, and climate creates a one-of-a-kind flavour, and French butter is thought to be very exquisite and exclusive. Besides making an appearance in upscale grocery stores, French butter also often appears on restaurant tabletops. Interesting in upping your baking or cooking game? You can find several French butter brands in Singapore too, both online on Redmart and at brick-and-mortar stores. Here are seven brands to try!
Frequently touted as the best butter in the world, La Beurre Bordier still uses the traditional ‘tapage’ method to craft their butter, which involves kneading the dairy with a malaxeur (wooden machine) and then pounding and shaping it with wooden paddles. Only the best fresh milk from small farms in Brittany are used, and the butter's aroma changes with the seasons due to the different feed that the cattle consume. The product is made over the course of three days, which allows complex textures and flavours to develop. The end result? An exquisitely silky, distinctive and luxuriant butter that has won the hearts of many throughout the world.
First produced in 1989, Echiré butter is still manufactured traditionally in teak barrel-style churns to this day. Cream is churned for two and a half hours, which imparts a velvety texture and bold hazelnut flavour. The dairy is then washed and beat to develop a creamy, even texture. Dairy from several French provinces go into the product, where cows feed on top quality grass in the warmth of the Atlantic coastal region. The end result is something bold enough to pair with plain bread and for making the perfect pastry!
Le Gall stays true to the tradition of butter-making. The product is left to mature with enzymes, followed by the slow and traditional churning of Brittany’s best fresh creams. The lengthy artisanal procedure takes an entire day to make and echoes the dairy production method of traditional farms in Brittany. Only ‘grand cru’ milk from the western French region of Cornouaille is used, to ensure the product's signature buttercup-yellow hue and rich flavour.
Isigny Sainte-Mère uses milk from the Isigny region, where cows graze in mineral-rich pastures and a warm, temperate climate by the sea. The dairy is thought to be some of the best in the world. Adhering to age-old techniques to create its butter, cream is left to rest for about 18 hours before it is churned, allowing the butter’s full flavour and aroma to shine through. With distinctive notes of hazelnut and milk, this butter is perfect on a baguette with some quality ham.
Elle & Vire is a favourite supermarket French butter brand in Singapore. Originating in Normandy, its exceptional terroir offers top quality dairy. Elle & Vire butters are great for spreading, cooking or pastry. They can be used whatever the need, whether you're cooking like a chef or adding a special touch to dishes. With a good flavour, smooth texture and a medium richness, Elle & Vire holds its own against other fancy brands.
Founded by André Besnier in 1933 in the town of Laval, France, Président brings over 75 years of French artisanship and tradition. A unique combination of soft and salty, this spreadable butter is the perfect table butter. Add it to vegetables, cooked meats, cold cuts or seafood for a touch of savouriness. An unexpected whiff of pepperiness also creates an interesting complexity, but it can come across as heavy for some.
Grand Fermage sources its milk from the Grand-Ouest and Rhône-Alpes region, only working with farmers take the greatest care of nature and their cows. The Noirmoutier sea salt butter deserves a special shout out – this exceptional product is made with Noirmoutier sea salt crystals, and you can feel the little grains of crunchy salt before it melts immediately on your tongue. We highly recommend it with some fresh oysters, to use in macarons, or just to add a taste of France to your dishes.