Now’s about the time I expect to feel some honest outrage from the crowd: Butter shouldn’t even be called butter unless it’s soft! We want to scoop it out from its waxy jacket, slightly molten from an hour too long in a windowsill. It seems as though the world is divided into two temperature-regulated camps. Well, more like four or five, counting all you melted butter purists and those who like it even frostier than a penguin’s pinky toe.
Oh, and possibly another camp for those like Katie Macdonald, our Assistant Editor, who said:
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“I don't really use butter...but if I had to, I think room temperature?”
So how did we start quarreling over a condiment? Well, it all began with this Japanese butter spreader. Small and unassuming, it was only a matter of minutes before it had the office running for battle stations. See, Ella Quittner, Food Writer & Recipe Developer, didn’t skip a beat when she told me she prefers hers at room temperature. “And I spread it on...everything," she tells me. "I love to put a big glob on hot rice with parmesan (and salt of course)."
That answer (and the concept of going sans butter) we’ll address in another article entirely.
Hana Asbrink, our Senior Lifestyle Editor, chimed in with, “I like butter slightly cooler than room temp.” And then added, “I like to spread it on bread.” Same here, Hana.
Suffice it to say, everyone had a lot of feelings on the subject.
But back to the thing that started it all: the butter knife. On one side of the spreader, tiny perforations allow you to glide right over the creamy landscape of that Kerrygold. Like a harvester on a wheat field, a rake across a zen garden, a knife across...soft butter. Then it flips to spread the fine threads over every square centimeter of your bagel, your wrist unstressed, your breakfast—still hot out of the toaster—puddling with buttery goodness.
But maybe you’re still not convinced. Maybe you, like Max McDonough, our Office Coordinator, would say:
“I like my butter at room temperature so I can watch it melt (as I melt, watching) into the folds of a flaky English muffin.”
Or like Danielle Curtis-Williams, Marketing Coordinator, who emphatically stated: “I like my butter to be ‘soft’ enough to cut, yet hard so that it doesn't melt right away when putting in a pan...unless I'm making toast, then it needs to be soft and ready to spread.”
Then there’s Casey Simring, our Assistant Buyer, who I feel speaks for the majority: “I like my butter to be a little cool but still spreadable, so it can melt into my freshly baked cornbread or banana bread as I spread it on.”
Me? I suppose I’m somewhere outside the ring because I’ll eat butter any way it comes. But for those days when I’ve forgotten to dig out that lone stick I keep in the freezer for emergencies and my waffles are just out of the toaster, it’s this Japanese butter wonder I’ll be turning to for instant, golden gratification.
We want you to weigh in too! Warm butter, cold butter (somewhere-in-between-butter)—what are you spreading on your crumpets these days?