With all of us looking for ways to reduce our use of plastic, isn’t it time to move back to buying the humble butter pat, rather than tubs of spreadable? If you are moving back to butter, give it a home of its own with a fabulous looking butter dish. There’s a huge range of butter dishes available, from bone china, to hand painted and glass, all of which will make a unique addition to your tableware.
What is a Butter Dish?
We did a bit of research and a butter dish can be defined as a ‘usually rectangle or round dish with a cover for storing butter at a table.” The first ever butter container was made by Simpson, Hall, Miller and Co around 1880 in Connecticut, USA. These were made out of silver and had a little ice chamber underneath to help keep the butter cold. The early French butter dishes used cold water instead and were designed to keep butter away from the air, and therefore keep it fresh.
We think there are at least ten reasons to love the butter dish and we’d like to start a campaign to bring one back to every home. Here are our thoughts as to why we should bring back the love for the butter tray:
1. Save on Single Use Plastics
How many tubs of spread do you get through a month? In our family its at least one or two. Its also highly unlikely that, when you’re finished, you will wash it out and re-use it. To be honest, I have a cupboard full of ‘use it again’ plastic containers, that simply never get used. Off to the recycling it goes then. No worries. Unfortunately, we really should be worried, as a lot of our plastic recycling doesn’t get recycled and either ends up in landfill, or shipped to other countries to dispose of. So much for us taking care of the planet eh! What we can do is forget the plastic tub of ‘it should be, could be, but isn’t quite butter’, and swap instead to a beautiful orange butter dish that can store a foil wrapped butter pat for at least 2-3 weeks. No more plastic pots falling out of the kitchen cupboard, and no more recycling concerns (well, at least about the butter pots…all the other plastic is another story).
2. Bring in Colour, with a Butter Dish on Your Worktop
I’m sat here writing this article and looking at my kitchen worktop; it looks a bit boring to be honest. I’ve got a dark green enamel bread bin, a radio and a pile of paperwork to sort. What it could do with is a bit of colour to create some vibrancy into the room. A lovely butter dish would be just the thing to bring a zing of orange and pinch of teal into my little world. Butter dishes come in all colours, designs and shapes…you can bet you’ll find one to suit your colour scheme. Take a look at this lovely Nicola Spring Ceramic Butter Dish with Navy detail.
3. Save Money
I popped to a well-known UK supermarket the other day and had a look at the prices. A pat of butter is around £1.25 and the smallest tub of spreadable available was £2.29. So, if you moved to the pure stuff, you’d make £1.04 saving – almost enough to buy another pat. I’ll just leave that with you and say no more!
4. More Space in Your Fridge
Unfortunately, my kitchen only has the space for a simple under-the-counter fridge. All you American Fridge Freezer people, may not have the same space debate after you’ve done your ‘big shop’. Whereas in my modest abode I have a weekly debate as to where to put everything in the fridge (I also have to clear out the salad tray out every week…yuk). Regularly I have to stack up the yogurt, cram the pickles in the back, and negotiate space for the cheese and the butter. But no more! Now I have a beautiful ceramic butter dish, there is more than enough room for the crème fraiche and other perishables.
5. There’s Spreadable, Then There’s Really Spreadable!
You’ve grabbed your ‘butterly’ out of the fridge and you’ve got minus five minutes to make the packed lunch and get out of the door. How frustrating is it, when you go to put the spread on the bread and it just doesn’t spread? It sits there in a blob, or even worse, it rips the bread. Cheese and mayo is going to escape and when you bite into it, you may get more butter than you bargained for. The spread, whilst spreadable, still needs to be warmed up from the fridge temperature in order to work. The answer could be, move to butter, stored ready to go!
6. Great Gift for Cake Makers
How many times have you read a sponge cake recipe and realised you need to ‘cream’ the butter with the sugar? That’s not going to happen with butter that has been stored in the fridge. Instead, you’ll either have to take the pat out and let it warm up and soften, or pop it into the microwave. An avid baker will know the value of having butter stored outside the fridge, so why not get them a little house for their ingredient?
7. Match It
You’ve got some people coming around for dinner. You’ve laid the table, it looks beautiful. You have the matching plates, bowls, pasta bowls and water glasses. Then, plonk! Out comes the plastic butter tub in its full, labelled glory. Gorgeous! You probably get the point.
8. Eat Pure
Another good reason to start using pure butter and storing it in a butter dish, is that most spreadable butter on the market is typically made with oil blends, colouring and emulsifiers. It does depend on which one you buy, but some are better than others in terms of their natural ingredients. Why not make the choice easier, and stick to the pure stuff!
9. Room Temperature Ready
You never know when you’re going to need a knob of room temperature butter. Especially if you’re a chef, or love cooking. Obviously, butter storage presents different problems in different climates, and it must always be covered. In our relatively temperate climate in the UK, we can comfortably store a butter pat, ready to spread, in a butter dish for 2-3 weeks. If we do get a warm week or two, we can just pop the dish in the fridge.
10. Looks Nicer on the Table than a Tub
A plastic tub of butter is boring. Instead, seek out some alternatives in the wonderful world of butter dishes. There are traditional rectangular ceramic ones, fun and funky with cute motifs, or cute little butter bells with are round bell like dishes with a dinky lid. Take a look at our full range of wonderful butter dishes. Its time to pop the toast on!