I knew it – the HeinzelCheeseTalk crowd has evolved into an expert tasting group, and therefore it wasn’t even a risk to focus this meeting all on butter. Which is, after all, also a kind of cheese… and it turned out that no, I am not the only one who can nibble really good butter just like cheese, one small piece after another…
But what is really super good delicious butter? It was an unusual and widely cast selection of different butters, we had enough bready substances to go with it (rye Rundling from Soluna and the brilliant Sironi) – and of course, wine! We all liked the German Sauvignon Blanc from the Pfalz, and even better the slightly off-dry 2011 Riesling Steffensberg from Immich-Batterieberg/Mosel, with its mineral spice and palate cleansing acidity.
Also, this time Steph took a few pics (something I never get round to) which I’m using here, to give you an impression. We had 14 different butters, from Aldi to Piesenalpe (an alpine dairy in the Allgäu, on the border with Austria near Oberstdorf). They were made from cultured cream, sweet cream, and the industrial version with lactic bacteria added after the churning (“mild gesäuert” in German legislation). In price they ranged from 89 cents to 5 Euro, and they came from France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, and Poland… Your favorites differed, but altogether the intensely colored and flavored Piesenalpe came out top (thank you Norbert from Kaeskuche for sending it).
Next came two French butters, unsalted from Echiré (very elegant and firm) and totally delicious (and
beautifully packaged) from the Lyon affineur Janier (available in Berlin at La Käserie and Maître Philippe). As a group we also liked the opulent Brodowin and Marienhöhe (nordic, discreet and yet full of character), both from Brandenburg. Occelli from Piemont stood out (positively) because of its pale color and almost waxy texture, Maslo Klimiko from Poland at least for me was the embodiment of freshness. We also agreed about our dislikes: Kerrygold (overly, off-puttingly “creamy”), Aldi (no flavour), Hemme (strange in its funny pot) and Gläserne Molkerei (nothing special). Conclusion, our bellies and minds full of butter: we’d certainly spend a little more than the 89 cents, but then the butter’d better be good! See you all soon.
HeinzelCheeseTalks take place regularly, usually on a Friday at 6pm at Markthalle Neun in Berlin-Kreuzberg. I bring some interesting cheese, open a few bottles of wine, and we sit around the large table opposite the Suff wine stall, tasting, drinking, talking, discussing (mostly in German – but we usually manage to cater to English speakers too). Invites are sent out about ten days before we meet, to a mailing list you can join here. Reservations need to be confirmed and are strictly by first come first serve – so be quick! And please do let me know if you can’t make it – there is always a waiting list. A donation of ten euros per person (or one or two euros more if you really had a lot of fun…) is much appreciated. Cheesio!