Kitchen Tips

The health benefits of eating cultured butter

When Pepe Saya first started making cultured butter, he wasn’t even thinking about the health benefits; the process he settled upon was solely about enhancing the flavour of his product.

Cultured butter is made from crème fraiche, rather than cream, and is fermented with a lactic culture for 25 hours.

This means that the culture is technically “alive”, converting the naturally occurring lactose in to lactic acid.

Saya’s butter is then left to age for up to four weeks, before being churned; it is during this special process that additional aroma compounds are introduced, which causes that extra-buttery scent and flavour.

It’s not just about the taste that keeps fans of Saya’s butter (which include celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal) coming back for more, either; home-churned cultured butter also has a low-moisture content and high-burning point, which can help to turn out lighter, flakier pastries.

“We go through all that process to add a beautiful flavour and aroma to the fat,” Saya says. “By default we end up with probiotic butter, probiotic crème fraiche and probiotic buttermilk, which is really good for you.”

But the real benefit to eating cultured butter lies in that lactic culture that Saya adds right at the start.

The resulting lactic acid may “produce helpful antibacterial substances as a by-product and therefore promote a healthy environment for the gastrointestinal tract”, meaning that cultured butter can act as a sort of probiotic supplement.

“There is no real difference in fat content between regular butter and cultured butter,” Saya explains. “But let’s face it: healthy eating includes health fats as well.

“It’s simple: If you’re going to eat butter, the cultured type is what you should be having.”

More From Women's Weekly Food