Words: Shamim de Brún
Words: Shamim de Brún
The famous couple, who share three children together, discuss the ins and outs of their marriage on their podcast. Recently they came to blows over Vogue’s devotion to Irish butter. The Englishman genuinely scoffed at its superiority, and I am having none of it.
In the clip of their podcast uploaded to insta, which reached CHAR’s timeline today, Spencer said ‘she thinks that Irish butter is better than other butter’. Vogue rightly responded, ‘Okay. Do you know what? You’re not going to take away the butter because you know for a fact Irish butter is…’ In typical fashion, Spenser cut across his wife to argue that ‘Jersey butter is much better.’ Vogue remained steadfast and told Spencer, ‘Irish butter is the nicest butter, and that is a fact’. So, here is the point-by-point to prove her point.
Hyperbolically, Irish butter was sent by the ancient Celtic gods to heal the world. Divine butter older than Jesus or the Ancient Roman Empire is routinely dug out of our bog land. It is a big part of our culture that we buried it like the mafia do parmesan for rainy days.
Spencer dismisses Irish butter as a form of ‘patriotism’. Sure, we are staunch about our butter. It’s spread across all of our collective childhoods, no matter what generation we belong to. Feelings of nostalgia and the unabashed superiority of Irish butter can run deep. Few things would bond North and South Finna Fail/Gail and Sinn Fein as passionately as talking about Irish butter. We have a whole generation of people raised on Kerry Gold ads about this stereotype. But sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason. Here the reason is the fact that it is objectively better. The facts are the facts.
While the debate rages on about terroir because it is inherently unprovable, that is what I believe makes Irish butter the butter to end all others. Our green pastures are our competitive advantage. Those rolling green hills aren’t just picturesque. They’re great for growing grass. For the best grass, you need frequent and regular rainfall, and we’ve got plenty of that giving us the best grass in the bizz.
Irish butter cows graze on those temperate hills from March to October and are only milked during those months. Meaning that their milk is more nutrient dense. Grass-fed milk produces a rich butter, yellow with natural beta carotene.
The polyunsaturated fats in fresh grass also make for butters that are softer than those from hay or grain — all the better for spreading across your toast and melting your heart. Irish cream also has a higher butterfat content than most of the rest of the world. It’s that fat which creates the silky, creamy, eyes-wild-with-delight richer mouthfeel that only people who’ve had Irish butter truly know.
Irish butter tends actually to have a better nutritional profile as well. According to Everyday Health, there could be more omega-3 fatty acids in your pat of Irish butter when compared to regular butter. Also, a study from 2015 found that this type of butter could have less saturated fat, and more polyunsaturated fat, than your old standby.
It isn’t just the patriotic and passionate Irish who thought Irish butter was best. In fact, the Brits used Irish butter as a tool of colonialism. As they expanded and oppressed the world one continent at a time. Buckets made their way onto ships on the sugar routes or crossing the Atlantic to feed troops losing to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.
Hundreds of thousands of casks left Ireland every year, heading everywhere from Australia to Brazil, France to the West Indies. Because of this, “Cork Butter was the first global food brand” According to the Cork Butter Museum. It wasn’t Scottish, English or Welsh butter they loaded. Irish butter always had the edge, even when we were beholden to the oppressors.
Since at least 2011, Snoop Dogg’s bestie Martha Stewart has evangelised Irish butter. Many of her early recipes say “preferably Kerrygold,”. Full disclosure Kerrygold has been a sponsor for her show Martha Bakes. in a 2015 New York Times interview Dora Charles, a Southern chef and author, said that cookbook writer Fran McCullough introduced her to Kerrygold, which then made its way into her recipes.
According to Eater magazine, Anna Gershenson, a Boston-based food consultant, uses Kerrygold as her go-to. She says, “It imparts wonderful flavour to everything, be it toast, cooked grains, enriched doughs, you name it,” she says. “I am very discerning about where and how food is sourced. Kerrygold meets my standard.”
These days even the most famous dieters in the world think Irish butter is the best. The Kardashians are known globally as figure-obsessed women who have built their brand by selling their aspirational lifestyle online and on TV. Though butter would be regarded as the devil to many in the fitness world, the Kardashians know that when you need butter, only the best butter will do, and that is Irish. Kourtney Kardashian has been seen baking with it as far back as 2015. They have no skin in the game. The Kardashians are in no way Irish, but they are cultural arbiters of luxury, and only Irish butter could qualify there.
Literally, science says it’s better. Even the English knew it was better when they were colonising. And now it’s got such a good rep even the Kardashians know it’s better. Irish butter is dominating every single butter market across the globe. So Spencer, consider yourself proved wrong.
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