You have to go out of your way to find this Ukrainian butter but it's well worth the sojourn. This is a unique butter that needs to be tasted to be believed!
It never ceases to impress us that Ukraine exports so much butter to the UAE. We are, of course, eternally grateful because nowhere else on the planet have we even seen Ukranian butter even as an option! A country with such a rich (yet under-appreciated) food history would logically produce a lot of butter for its own consumption but we are very happy that Ukraine has decided to share.
Though we have yet to travel to Ukraine, I grew up with a lot of the descendants of Dutch and Ukrainian immigrant farmers. It wasn't until I left North America that I realised how worryingly unfamiliar the rest of the world is with 'real' potato salad, borscht and Peirogies. What Canadian kid DIDN'T grow up on cheddar cheese and bacon peirogies I ask you? (Not authentically Ukrainian, I know. BUT AN EXCELLENT GATEWAY CARB.)
Thankfully, we have wonderful food writers and cookbook authors like Olia Hercules to guide us through the beautifully rich, light, sour, sweet, decadent and refreshing culinary delights that is Caucus cooking, Ukrainian in particular.
It's our absolute pleasure to be making some of her dishes with Ukrainian butter!
Ferma Unsalted Butter Appreciation
Butter Break Down
Appreciation Date: 07/11/2020
Country of Origin: Ukraine
Point of Procurement: Viva Supermarket, Dubai Investment Park, UAE
Purchase State: Fresh (previously frozen)
Milk: Cow, pasteurised
Salt Content: None
Milk Fat Content: 82.5%
Ingredients: Natural pasteurised milk cream.
Declared Possible Allergens: Cow's milk.
Company Website: None indicated.
In which we discuss Ferma's Unsalted Butter.
This is the second Ukrainian butter supplier we've noticed here, though the first to make it to the reviews. The other supplier is an organic one, so the price point is higher but what we've noticed is how relatively affordable Ukrainian butter is. Even the organic is is on price par with some brand name butter. Ferma, possibly because it's at a discount supermarket (similar to Aldi), is a downright steal. More please.
The first thing to notice about this one is the high butterfat content. At 82.5%, this is the second highest butterfat we've yet encountered (the other contender is another Ukrainian offering!). Excellent value for money.
Second, this butter has good integrity even at room temperature. It's a good middle-of-the road texture. Spreadable without ripping the bread apart with a nice medium gloss and rich, opaque butter yellow.
The aroma for this one is fascinating though. We'll be sure to sample it again as external internet sources indicate 'just butter' but we got a faint whiff of cheesieness of this one. It was the first time we had experienced a definite cheese quality and it certainly left an impression. It's rich and buttery without being overpowering.
The taste, profile, though, is something else. It's milky then definitely cheesy, then sweet. Like Violet Beauregard's adventure with Willy Wonka's infamous chewing gum, this butter does three distinct courses... without the indigo demise of of the anti-hero. The complexity of this butter is impressive. Though some may prefer a less adventurous butter, we adore the flavour profile and like it when our butter makes us sit up and pay attention.
Due to its texture, it has excellent mouthfeel and a nice, lingering cling to the palate that remains complex but not overly cheesy. This is a butter with complexity and staying power without being overpowering. In fact, the sweet at the finish stops the 'cheese' from interrupting your enjoyment of solid butter on the palate.
A final note for this one is that is purports to be non-GMO and we certainly hope that is the case. It's truly awe-inspiring what can be done with simple processes and impressive ingredients. Well done, Ferma!
Ooh, we do like this one. It's brilliant for enjoying fresh and delicious with bread. It has excellent complexity that lends itself well to cooking or just eating with a spoon. Ask us how we know. For those still worried about the cheese, it mellows with accompaniments and superbly compliments other flavours in various dishes.
Colour: Soft with good integrity. Solid colour & medium gloss.
Aroma: Buttery with cheese notes.
Taste: Milky then almost cheesy then sweet notes. Superlative.
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