We’re currently in month 37 of this year and we could really use a break from the world. But since we can’t actually go anywhere, our only chance of escaping the never-ending grind of 2020 might be to take a mental respite. And while you can dive into a good book or TV show, we’re going to be spending some time imagining what it would be like to work at a traditional butter house in France. Because watching that sweet creamy delight be churned, folded, and molded the old-fashioned way is the moment of zen we crave.
Earlier this year Claudia Romeo of Food Insider traveled to Brittany, France, to meet with Jean-Yves Bordier for a delicious video (which we first came across at Colossal). Bordier makes artisan butter using a technique from the 19th century known as malaxage. Instead of churning his butter with modern machines, his process relies on a large wooden wheel. It constantly kneads the butter, giving it texture and squeezing out the excess buttermilk and water. But it’s not just a matter of turning on the machine and watching it spin. The butter must be folded and shaped constantly. No easy task, as each block weighs 50 kilos (roughly 110 pounds). It’s a real workout, and requires three years to learn how to do it right.
Good gravy, though, is it worth it. And forget the taste. The visuals alone are outstanding. We can stare at these GIFs forever. We know because we can’t stop watching its mesmerizing, calming power.
Watching artisan butter get made is our version of meditating.
This video also gave us a new appreciation for the subtleties of the butter-making process. It never occurred to us how much the weather, time of year, and quality of the grass cows eat determines the taste, smell, and texture. Plus, now we know salt both serves a purpose in the prepping process and contributes to the taste (though the flavor fades). And butter cutting machines were way cooler 250 years ago.
But the most best part of this video is that it gave us this strangely relaxing butter wheel.
This is the tasty moment of zen we need in 2020.
Featured Image: Food Insider