how to taste salted and unsalted butter plain

If you want to taste the butter “blind,” the way chefs do, have someone who is not involved in the tasting prepare the butter. It could be a responsible, food-interested teenager or a friend.

1. Purchase four blocks of butter: one salted and one unsalted basic supermarket-type butter, and one salted and one unsalted Kerrygold Irish Butter. (You will just need a few pats of each; remaining butter can be frozen, well-wrapped, up to 12 months.)
2. Purchase a plain baguette (not sourdough) or matzo – something bland that will not compromise the pure butter taste when butter is spread on this “carrier.”
3. Designate which brand will be Butter A and which will be B.
4. Using four plain small white plates, mark the undersides of one, “Salted A.” Mark the underside of another, “Salted B.” Mark the remaining plates “Unsalted A” and “Unsalted B.” Note: Plates should be solid white (no design) to better evaluate color difference of the butters.
5. Cut equal-size pats of butter, being careful to put the right butters on the right plates, and refrigerate, covered tightly in plastic wrap to avoid odor transfer. Butter will absorb any smells in the refrigerator.
6. Photocopy the Butter Tasting Sheet (Plain), providing four sheets per taster.
7. Bring butters just to room temperature – cold butter will mask more subtle flavors.
8. Present the two unsalted butters. Use slips of paper to identify the unsalted butters – “A” and “B.” Provide glasses of water for cleansing the palate.
9. After the tasters have finished with unsalted butter, repeat the process for salted butter.

1. Taste the butter plain, then spread on baguette slices or matzo and taste again.
2. Butter has nuanced flavor; consider aroma, appearance, texture and mouthfeel, as components of overall taste.
3. Make comments and evaluate on the tasting sheet. Do not verbalize your opinions until the tasting is complete.
4. Tally scores and discuss results.

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