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Sunday, 6 October 2013


Butter was made in the ancient Middle East by beating milk in a bowl.

Later churns were developed made of hollow logs or leather bags that were swung from trees to create a churning action.

Butter was introduced to the ancient Greeks by the Scythians but they used it mainly as an ointment, medicine, or illuminating oil.

In Europe during the Middle Ages, butter was a creamy white. To make butter more attractive in color, carrot or marigold juice was used  However in France this was prohibited, as was selling butter on a fish stall.

Butter was not supposed to be eaten during Lent. However, when in 1515 the southern tower of Rouen’s Notre Dame cathedral was completed, it was called the “Butter Tower” because the people who contributed the money for its construction were in return given dispensation to eat butter during the solemn observance.

A light, slightly sour drink called buttermilk became popular in Britain in the 1660s. It was made from the left over liquid after producing butter from full cream milk by churning. Northern European dairymaids and shepherds had been drinking it for centuries before it became a fashionable city drink.

Mound of Butter (see below) is a painting by the French realist painter Antoine Vollon completed around 1880. A still life, it depicts a mound of butter, colored in rich, deep yellow, with thick marks after the artist's brushwork that may be intended to suggest the marks of a butter knife.

Tibetan butter sculpture is an ancient practice where monks use butter to create intricate, colorful figures called “tormas.” The carving are used in Buddhist rituals and as offerings to the deities.

To make one pound of butter, 29 cups of milk are needed.

The average American eats nearly 23 sticks of butter a year and in 2013 they spent $2 billion on the dairy product.

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