Guernsey Butter, Guernsey
Those of a cynical turn of mind may think that Guernsey butter is a marketing ploy; a way of harnessing the positive image of the second largest Channel Island to sell product. There is doubtless some of that involved, but the butter does have special characteristics, not least of which is excellent flavour.
Before you make butter you need milk, and for Guernsey butter you need Guernsey cows, a breed (like the Jersey ) descended from the Alderney. The Guernsey bloodline has been protected on its native island by careful breeding, and a policy that since the early 19th century has meant that no cattle exported from the island are allowed to return and bring disease or otherwise weaken the strain. The animal has become suited to its rich pasture on the island.
Milk from the Guernsey has a particular yellow hue, though it does vary in depth of colour with the season because of feeding changes, and it has an identifiable flavour as well as the richness suggested by its golden tinge. That richness is not illusory; the fat content at 5 per cent is considerably higher than standard full-cream milk. The colour is in part derived from the genetic make-up of the Guernsey cow, which doesn’t process beta-carotene as well as most breeds, passing the reputedly health-giving compound through to its milk. The cream made from it is allowed to ripen and develop still more flavour before being made into butter. Quality costs money, but it’s worth paying for. The product is used – in quantity - in making Guernsey’s other great artisan foodstuff, the brioche-like fruit-loaf gâche .
1 Response to Guernsey Butter
From Peter Annereau on 14th July 2010
As well as Guernsey butter there is Alderney Butter, made in only one place -- Kiln Farm, Alderney, exclusively from the milk of the island's herd of Channel Island cows.