BUTTERING US UP
CANADA’S BUTTER MARKET SUCKS, AND YOUR PASTRIES ARE SUFFERING—BUT THERE’S HOPE ON THE HORIZON
Posted in Toronto Life on February 22, 2012
by Stephen Spencer Davis
The front page of today’s Globe and Mail proclaims Canada “a butter backwater,” telling readers that if they’re struggling to produce perfect pastries, they can blame the country’s butter supply. The problem, according to Chris Nuttall-Smith, is Canada’s highly regulated—and highly homogenized—dairy market. While European bakers rely on fatty, 84 per cent butter to churn out flaky croissants, their Canadian counterparts are forced to make do with a product that’s often less fatty, at only 80 per cent. On top of that, regulations on everything from raw milk production to packaging mean dairy producers are limited in what they can offer consumers. Enter Stirling Creamery™, a central Ontario dairy operation that has begun providing bakers—and some independent grocers—with the fatty, barrel-churned butter they lust after. Indeed, a sample batch of fattier croissants cooked up by Nadège Nourian of Nadège apparently had a “deeply buttery resonance” that the ordinary, 80 per cent variety lacked. Of course, when people like Jennifer McLagan are doing things like MacGyvering their butter through cheesecloth in an attempt to reproduce something they might otherwise be able to buy at a grocery store, perhaps it’s time to open up the market just a tad.