It spent decades in the nutritional wilderness, blamed for heart disease, high cholesterol, and making people fat. But butter is back – and if you don’t believe us, ask the consumer goods colossus Unilever. Billion-pound brands such as Flora have been at the heart of the Anglo-Dutch giant since its inception nearly a century ago. But the appetite for margarine seems to be melting around the world, forcing Unilever to admit defeat in the war against butter.
Where British chefs aren’t making their own butter, they are buying it direct from artisan butter makers such as Abernethy Butter, based in Co Down, Northern Ireland.
“We can’t make it quickly enough. We make 600 rolls a day. It’s 1pm and I’ve got three left,” said Allison Abernethy. “It’s very time consuming and labour intensive, so many chefs find it easier to buy from us.” Abernethy’s fans include Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Wareing, who buy it for the flavour: the cream comes from grass-fed cows and contains something known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has been found to have anti-cancer properties.
More on this story from yesterday's Independent here.