True love is delicate, resilient, multifaceted and hard to find. Much like this little French gem, gifted to us by a dear friend who longer lives in the city. To celebrate both Valentine's Day AND Galentine's Day, this review is dedicated to our perfectly lovely Gaëlle: tu nous manques, ma belle!
At first we thought we were crazy: we looked EVERYWHERE (but not like, an 'NSA everywhere') for Le Gaslonde's professional presence on the interwebs and came up empty handed. Then we noticed the fact that they had their website printed on their label so, problem solved, right? Nope. We're pretty sure 'NXDOMAIN' indicates we're not the ones who forgot to pay their domain fees. This time. Anyway, Le Gaslonde is a French company that produces excellent milk and cheese products on that little peninsular nubbin sticking out of the North of France, uncomfortably close to Jersey in the English Channel. Perhaps to compensate for the geographical proximity, they've made themselves difficult to find (can you tell I'm miffed?) but, tant pis, as it were. We found you and we're going to DEVOUR your butter.
The beautiful Gaëlle actually found this for us at a market in Dubai and gave it to us for Christmas. It's the best gift we've ever received! We love her and miss her daily. Being from the North, Le Gaslonde is not afraid of salting their butter. This stuff is OVER 2% salt. Stock up on baguettes and hydration tablets, folks. A table!
Le Gaslonde Beurre de Baratte Butter Appreciation
Butter Break Down
Appreciation Date: 08/01/2021
Country of Origin: France (Normandy)
Point of Procurement: C'est un secrèt.
Purchase State: Fresh
Milk: Cow; Pasteurised
Salt Content: *2.5%*
Milk Fat Content: Possibly 80%. They seem to think it's none of our business.
Ingredients: Que les indices. Salé à le fleur de sel de l'île de Ré. Peut contenir les traces des poiles d'unicorn.
Declared Possible Allergens: Les gens allergiques sont faibles.
Company Website: See above listed on product label or: www.onvousenmerde.lol
In which we discuss Le Gaslonde's Beurre de Baratte (super) Salé.
France is, of course, famous for its butter churning techniques, the most enthusiastically churned of which is called 'beurre de baratte.' Most French butters are also 'cultured' or have been tempered or cultivated to allow the natural bacteria present in the milk to deepen the flavour and ripen the cream before churning.
Le Gaslonde produces excellent butter in the traditional way, with hyper-local ingredients. Though our palates may be too polluted with international expectations, butter enthusiasts will know to appreciate and savour these artisanal morsels.
The most charming thing about this butter is it's appearance upon unwrapping: LOOK AT THIS!
Absolutely ADORABLE! Honestly, presentation is part of the flavour profile. Get this right
and we'll forgive you for a bit of moisture beading like you can see here on the close up: This butter is deeply yellow- hopefully a reflection of the diet of the Norman cows. As it's traditionally churned, the texture variation is clearly visible, as well as detectable on the tongue. Though semi-transparent, it has a low gloss and is extremely soft- it could be to the (possibly) lower milk fat percentage and/or the foraged diet of the cows. We suspect and hope it's both!
The aroma on this one is delightful: a tangy ferment with sweet dairy notes. Truly the best of both worlds. What it does not divulge, however, is the flavour profile. Top notes: SALT. Mid notes: SALT: Base notes: SALT. But at 2.5%, we can forgive it for being what it is! Amazingly, though, the strength of the flavour profile of the butter does battle it's way through the salt (it's been well-trained? har har har). It still maintains a very clean taste, light mouthfeel, strong butter on the palate with lingering salt. Amazingly, the butter notes cling to the palate as the salt clears the mouth.
The addition of salt helps preserve the butter and make it more robust for storage, and bring out even more complex flavour. Cultured beurres de baratte are excellent for enjoying as-is or for cooking, though you'll want to save the most expensive and flavourful ones for just finishing off a dish or adding to mashed potatoes so the flavours and aromas have a chance to warm up and mingle but not dissipate into the rest of the pot.
This is a butter for those who love strong, powerful, buttery flavours and can handle the salt profile. Mercifully, Le Gaslonde produces demi-sel and doux (half-salt and unsalted) versions, so we'd be interested to get our hands on those too!
Colour: Deep yellow with baratte variations
Aroma: Tangy dairy sweetness
Taste: ON EST ARRIVE, LES GARS!!!! with some salt.
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