[Sca-cooks] cow butter?
t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Jun 3 04:49:56 PDT 2010
> Guillaume posted two recipes from "Nuevo Arte de Cocina" which might be
> for fur seals, although I'm not sure that the directions for cooking a fur
> seal and a pike fish would be combined. The two animals seem so different.
As I recall, dietary rules made some very odd determinations as to what were
"fish." Taxonomic distinctions that are normal for you and I are largely a
product of the 18th Century.
> Another thing in the recipe that has me wondering is the mention of "cow
> butter". Is there no general term for "butter" in Spanish? Or do recipes
> tend to call out specific types of butter?
Manteca or mantequilla, although, I believe, here in the U.S. you are more
likely to encounter manteca being used as the short form of manteca de cerdo
or lard. I would say the cook is being very specific about the butter to
achieve a certain effect.
> Other than things like salted butter or unsalted butter, (well and
> Icelandic fermented butter, which we've discussed), I didn't realize that
> there were different types of butter from different animals. I know that
> cheese is often made from sheep's milk or goat's milk, but I've not heard
> of goat or sheep butter before. I don't remember seeing other butters in
> my grocery store. But maybe it is available in some ethnic stores?
Butter type is largely a cultural thing based on the most common
domesticated animals in a culture. Butter has been produced from cows,
sheep, goats, water buffalos, yaks, and even camels. The general
American/European bias toward cow butter is most probably an artifact of
availability, quantity, and fat content. The French, being their contrarian
Gallic selves, also produce goat butter (IIRC).
> Do we see "sheep" or "goat" butter called out in some medieval recipes?
> Are there certain milks which won't coagulate into butter? What about
> human milk?
Butter is made from cream rather than milk and is a condensed, emulsified
fat. ISTR, that there are mammal milks which do not contain enough fat to
make cream and that human milk is among them, but I would suggest
researching that rather than take my spotty memories as gospel.
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