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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Salt or Not To Salt... That Is the Question!

One of my favorite bakers did it...  She crossed the line.  I was so happy with her recipes and cookbooks and then...  She joined the Unsalted Butter Battalion.

There's room for disagreement and matters of taste, of course.  But coming down so hard on my beloved salted butter is just, well, mean.  I've always used salted butter and I always will.  You don't have to, of course.  That's what makes America beautiful.  Butter choice.

What are some of the arguments in favor of unsalted butter?  Purists will tell you that salt content can vary from brand to brand.  I am sure that's true, but I've never even noticed.  Anyway, that can be so easily solved - use the same brand!  In some places in France, salted butter is all that's available by tradition and I've heard of no Gallic anti-salt uprising.

It's also said that salt is a preservative - so who'd want old butter?  The implication being that salted butter is less fresh - on the shelf longer.  I don't know about you but I've never seen unsalted butter sell out.  If there's a sale, it's the salted variety that flies off the shelf.  And, once home, I've never had a pound of butter last longer than a day or two...  Yes, we love our butter.  Maybe that unsalted butter, sitting alone on the refrigerator shelf without it's saltier sibling, is the old butter...  Have you ever thought of that?

In my experience, when visiting bakeries, I've never said, "Boy, this sure is too salty!"  I have, on many occasions, said, "This could sure use some salt!"  And no one has ever complained about my own chocolatey confections...  In fact, they want to know what I do differently.  The answer?  Salted butter...  salted...  butter.

While it's certainly a matter of taste and preference, I come down firmly on the side of salted butter.  In fact, I might just join the crusade to normalize this salty substance!  All right, I'm too busy for that, but please my saltless friends, stop making those of us who are pro-sodium feel like backward bakers.

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