|Fridgeir's mobile photo of butter.|
Icelandic butter? Seriously? Well, umm... YES. I know we're all supposed to personally know the cow that our butter comes from these days, but I must say that Icelandic butter-- specifically Smjör slightly salted butter-- is REALLY good. Decadent even.
|Fridgeir Helgason, Summer 2010. Courtesy F. Helgason.|
My husband later reported that Fridgeir told him that "butter gives the Viking the power to leap out of a hot spring naked in the middle of winter, run to the top of the mountain through a snowstorm holding a sheep over your head going 'Yah!'" Fridgeir raised his arms over his head as he screamed "Yah!" and when the crowd stared at him, he simply lowered his arms, shrugged and said, "Cause that's what we do in Iceland." Vikings certainly know how to get attention. They also know how to eat.
Fridgeir told me that Icelandic butter has a much higher fat content than American butter and as I was eating it, I was a believer. It was the most amazing commercially-produced butter I'd ever eaten. It was flavorful and creamy beyond belief. As I swallowed it, I felt as if my mouth and throat were being coated with a magical substance that lingered for several minutes. When the magical feeling was gone, I felt a twinge of guilt about how many calories I'd just consumed. Of course, it was too late at that point and I wondered if I'd encounter any lost sheep on the way home.
The next day, I did a little research and compared the fat content of Smjör butter to the butter in my refrigerator, which just happened to be Whole Food's 365 butter. The Whole Foods brand had 100 calories in a one tablespoon serving. The Smjör butter also had 100 calories in a one tablespoon serving. I was shocked. Both butters contained 7 grams of saturated fat, but the Smjör butter did have slightly more cholesterol. (Smjör butter had 33 mg of cholesterol compared to 30 mg in the Whole Foods brand.) If that extra one percent cholesterol made such a big difference, then bring it on!
I'm sure I won't replace my local butter with an imported product, at least not for everyday use. But rest assured, the next time I decide to make biscuits, I'll be trolling the aisles of Whole Foods looking for Smjör.