The artisanal butter at Jean-Yves Bordier’s butter factory in Brittany, France is famous for its quality and hand-made origins. In this Food Insider video, Claudia Romero goes behind-the-scenes at le Beurre Bordier with the third-generation butter maker to learn how his team uses 19th-century techniques to produce 21st century butter.
And it’s harder than it looks. An example: Properly kneading the 50-kilo (110 pound) chunks of butter with malaxage, a teak wood wheel technique that requires strong arms and three years of training. Why three years?
Because the sun and the rain never fall the same way every year. And it’s the sun and rain that are going to give flavor to the grass and to the land, which cows have to like and that seasons are going to set to music. Spring, summer, fall, winter. And to learn how to discover butter, which is the result of what animals eat, you need three years.
Their site expands on this poetic concept:
Kneading times differ according to the quality of the butter, the temperature, the weather, the feed given to the cattle (silage in winter, grass and fresh flowers in summer), and the seasons: around 25 minutes in the winter compared to only 15 in the summer. It is only at traditional manufacturers’ can one still find a seasonal difference in production techniques. “Butter is nature’s blotting paper,” underlines Jean-Yves Bordier.
Learn more about their butter-making at le Beurre Bordier. Then watch another video from the factory: Chef Ludo Lefebvre visits the Bordier Butter Factory.
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