To be on the internet is to constantly be barraged by information that is both useless and frustrating. But every once in a while you learn a little gem that not only completely blows your mind but also completely delights you. That’s what happened to me today when I learned there is a DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST COAST BUTTER???
While scrolling through TikTok, I came across one from @bloodbathandbeyond, where she did a great job of explaining why sticks of butter tend to look entirely different on the West Coast and the East Coast. Before we get into that, I have to just ask—am I the only one who didn’t know this?? If you did, good for you…please don’t yell at me!!
Essentially, butter on the West coast (the one on the right in the picture above) tends to be shorter and stubbier than butter on the East Coast. Literally, sticks of West Coast Butter are sometimes even called “stubbies,” according to MyRecipes. There are even different types of butter dishes in different parts of the country to accommodate them!
Now for the why: In the TikTok above, @bloodbathandbeyond explains that butter used to be sold in one-pound blocks wrapped in parchment paper and cardboard until a restaurant in New Orleans asked for it to be split into four equal parts. The concept stuck. East Coast Butter is often called Elgin butter, named for a prolific dairy company—Elgin Butter Company, in Elgin, IL—which standardized the butter press used to make butter in these equal parts.
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But when the West Coast got into the dairy industry in the mid-1900s, they likely had a hard time getting equipment (or just had newer equipment? People seem to be undecided as to exactly why!) and made their own presses, which looked a little bit different, and, well, stubbier. With that, West Coast butter was born! Land-O-Lakes even makes two versions of butter and ships them out to people on different sides of the country, according to MyRecipes. If you’re curious where you fall, you can see a helpful map here via an Amazon listing for a butter dish!
But, according to OXO, you shouldn’t be too alarmed if you’re a baker planning a cross-country move; both types of butter contain eight tablespoons, so no matter which you pick, you’ll be getting the same amount! The more you know!!
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