Back in the’80s, us Irish-Americans used to feel pretty cool when our rural Irish cousins would come to visit us in New York, overwhelmed by our skyscrapers, blue jeans, and shockingly white butter. Fast forward a few decades, one massive economic trade pact, and three terms of Bush economic policies, and now we’re the quaint, poor ones, and Ireland is one of the richest countries in the world.
Among the turnabouts, they now have really nice cars, loads of political corruption, and my roof-thatcher uncle has become some sort of real estate baron. So now when we go visit, instead of sending the kids to go camp out in the backyard, they have an entire extra house for us. Pretty sweet! So two summers ago, when my brother, his wife, my cousin, her boyfriend, and my other cousin (oh, there’s a lot of cousins) went to Dunmore for yet another cousin’s wedding, we got our own house to ourselves, right in the middle of town, within stumbling distance of Dunmore’s many high-quality pubs.
And yes, I say all this to talk about butter.
Each night during that trip, as we returned home just a little tipsy from our nightly pub crawls, we would feast on what at the moment seemed like the most amazing food in the world: toast.
It happened the same way every night – one of us pops in a slice or two of white bread, then realizes they should probably make that four or five slices, and we don’t stop until most of the loaf is gone. The bread itself didn’t seem like anything amazing – a simple white loaf – and I don’t believe the toaster was magic. We soon realized it was the butter that had elevated this basic snack to an art form. Incredible creaminess masked in a vibrant yellow color, Irish butter is sold under the brand Kerrygold, a delicious product with the potential to seduce anyone, even that Land O Lakes Indian.
So I was pretty stoked when I visited the food co-op this week and found they have added Kerrygold to their stable of dairy products. I bought a giant block of it, ran home to make some white toast, and it is just about as good as I had remembered. So what makes Kerrygold so superior to your everyday butter? I did a little research…
Smooth and creamy, Kerrygold is the essence of the Emerald Isle. Echoing the unspoilt nature of rural Ireland, purity and taste lie at the heart of all Kerrygold products.
OK, not that we’re done with the Lucky Charms commercial, let’s be real. How do they actually make this butter so amazing?
The cream used in the production of Kerrygold Softer Butter is only sourced from specific periods in the summer, when the grass is at its best. Kerrygold use only the milk from cows that graze on summer grass, and it’s this diet of the lush, green summer pastures of Ireland which gives Kerrygold butter its lovely golden hue.
This cream is richest in naturally softer milk fat. It is free from all artificial colourings, flavourings, emulsifiers, stabilisers or preservatives.
Hows about that for some organo-loco bona fides. And of course, it wouldn’t be Irish unless it had a story of resistance and struggle behind it…
Historically, butter had been exported from Ireland in bulk form and was then incorporated with butters of other origins.
Following the establishment of the Irish Dairy Board in 1961, the new general manager – a young, athletic and already renowned Irish rugby international named Tony O’Reilly, initiated a plan to unify the Irish Dairy Industry behind a strong international brand.
The brand Kerrygold was created and Irish butter, packed in the now famous gold foil, was launched in 1962.
So don’t go trying to ruin our beautiful butter – you hear that, oppressors?
(Photo: Kerry Gold)