The wonderful Paulina Gutiérrez from Food & Wine Magazine en Español found us and has just published a fabulous interview! If you're fluent in Spanish or just want to practice, please view the original article HERE. It's glorious and so is she.
If you're not fluent, please see our badly translated English version for your convenience below. All text, Spanish original and English translation, copyright 2020 Paulina Gutiérrez for Food & Wine Magazine en Español. No plagiarism or IP theft please. #CreditWhereCreditIsDue
THE INTERNATIONAL BUTTER CLUB: The online oasis for butter lovers
This is no regular club.
Here, we eat, sleep and breathe everything that has to do with butter.
Justine Elamatha is the founder of the International Butter Club, an idea conceived by the 2009 film, Bride Wars, where the term was used as a punchline.
From the other side of the world, Justine chatted with me over Zoom from Dubai her motivation for finally starting the club. “Bride Wars came out 11 years ago and in all that time, nobody appeared to have started up the International Butter Club. There are enthusiasts for all sorts of food like cheese, salt, whisky but butter was missing from that,” commented Elamatha.
As the expert explained, the idea occurred to her after she watched the movie in 2009. Then, whilst being laid up due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she decide that the time was right to create the club in March of this year.
Though she is a language teacher professionally, she describes herself as an amateur butter enthusiast.
Elamatha’s interest in food and cooking started young, when she started to notice many different opportunities of how to eat and cook with butter. The Club’s goals are to spread (LOL) awareness to consumers about the diversity of different butters available in different markets across the world.
Her interest comes from personal experience, thanks to having lived in a number of different countries so far. Whilst living in Mexico, she discovered proper ‘manteca’ (or ‘lard’ but not like it’s produced in Western places), whilst living in Germany, she noticed that the butter fat content of their butter was generally higher than it was in her home country of Canada. Thus, whilst travelling around, she found herself having to constantly adapt recipes to the unique butters available in different places, which made her start to pay attention to the different flavours, aromas or textures of ‘butter.’
Elamatha also had worked at a butcher shop during high school (SHOUT OUT TO WINDMILL MEATS) and gained an appreciation for using all the of the animal, including its fat. She slowly converted herself into an investigator of how to authentically make and prepare all sorts of butters.
Now, in Dubai, she’s discovered so much more and the International Butter Club is growing step by step. There are actual reviews of every type of butter you can imagine: One from Ukraine with a super high amount of butter fat; a 50%50% mix of cow and buffalo ghee and she’s even doing a review for camel ghee, which apparently, has a unique flavour that’s bordering on umami.
She has been thorough in her exhaustive investigations and experiments with all types of fats. Sometimes to the extent that she cooks the same dish with different types of fats just to gain a nuanced appreciation and extra research validation for her evaluations. She also provides information on the butters’ origins, the quality and the geographic regions. All this and more can be found in her reviews and on her social media pages.
Elamatha makes a point of indicating what type of milk, if the animal involved is pastured, if the butter is pasteurised, cultivated or extracted and if it’s salted or unsalted. Additionally, she has separate sections for clarified butter (ghee), standard butter or animal fat.
To see her list of criteria, click HERE.
To finish up the conversation, she commented that it would be amazing to bring that old Bride Wars punchline to life and to one day be able to share all these wonderful different butters with enthusiasts all over the world and be able to record and protect how butter is made, consumed, distributed and used in everyday life. You can subscribe via email HERE and received all sorts of information about the types of butter Elamatha is trying out this week.
The IBC currently has more than 50 followers all over the world and is growing daily.