I once asked a famous celebrity chef how he made his pasta taste so good.
He answered “Butter. Lots of it.”
When we land in Paris, jet lagged and cranky, we head right to our favorite street cafe and order strong coffee, baguettes and butter. And our systems are restored.
Butter is one of my life’s treasures. I love it.
Butter is also something we look for in the products and services we invest in at USV.
My partner Nick coined the term Butter, at least inside of USV, and he wrote about Butter on his blog recently, explaining what it is and why we look for it.
I particularly like this part of his post:
On the consumer side, Butter means end-user experiences that are frictionless and joyful. For example, I recently went to China and was blown away by the QR Code experience — straight butter wherever you go, linking the real world to the online world. Duolingo is Butter for Learning. Nurx is Butter for Health. Coinbase is Butter for Crypto. Amazon Prime is Butter for e-Commerce.https://www.nickgrossman.is/2019/the-butter-thesis/
Nick provides some good guidelines on how you can make your product or service buttery in his post.
We look for buttery products and services to invest in because customers look for buttery products and services to use. It is really that simple.
So when you design and build your product or service, make it buttery. That will lead to all sorts of good things.
That was a great post by Nick. Rang true at so many levels.But European butter is richer than American butter (more fat in it, hence more taste).
European butter is commonly made from sour cream and, thus, has more taste. For being richer, it might also have a little less water, but not much less since there isn’t much water in the usual US butter.IIRC, in at least one dairy in Upstate NY can get “sour cream” butter.Back early in my career when I was doing surprisingly well financially, I used to take my wife to the French restaurant Rive Gauche at the SW corner of Wisconsin and M Street, and they served their French bread with sour cream butter in little curls in a bowl with some ice. For the curls, there is a little tool to make those by scraping over a stick of butter.US salt free butter can be a little closer in taste to sour cream butter than US butter with salt. Also salt free butter is more appropriate in dessert making.Of course, it would be possible just to buy cream, get it sour by some means, and do the churning to make sour cream butter. Maybe after 50 pounds of butter in trials, would get all the details of time, temperature, etc. right!Yes, in the US, refrigeration so that the cream didn’t go sour was considered a good thing!Similarly for cheese: The centuries of civilization in Europe, when the US was still just Native Americans, with lots of milk, cream, and butter, from cows, sheep, goats without refrigeration yielded, after no doubt huge wastes, some really good flavors, especially cheese! A tablespoon of freshly grated Pecorino Romano from Italy is one of the secrets to my recent successes in pizza! Just why the heck it appears that the best US imitations are closer to sawdust is a mystery to me!Similarly for wine: The US got Welch’s, both grape juice and jelly, which are good, instead of Chambertin, Pommard, Volney, Nuit St. George, Montrachet, Haut Medoc, Chianti, Barolo, etc.!
One of the richest and best medicinally is Tibetan Yak butter. Just discovered it. Used most often in Chinese Black Tea with Barley and believed to be the precursor to the idea behind Bulletproof Coffee.
.Tibetan Yak butter — when I go to Whole Foods it’s impossible for me to decide because there are so many different brands of Tibetan Yak butter to choose from.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Sorry, can’t help you.
Get the Kirkland brand TYB at Costco. you won’t be disappointed.
and you can find it in nyc? yes, i know about Bulletproof coffee. i’ve recently read his last book.
There is nothing you can’t get your hands on if you want it.If you understand the concept of BC you understand the concept of the tea.
Hmmm.Marlon Brando found another use for it in Paris.
True… but why?
Too busy to go to the store?
Cultural eponym? Insert apostrophe.
Oh please! Nick didn’t coin “butter”!!! That was 100% Tribe Called Quest
It’s like buttah!https://youtu.be/oiJkANps0Q…
To me, that is NYC in a nutshell, a time when the “communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion” art somehow hits the center of the target of simple meaning. Have to respect such art if only from me it is tough to do.
maybe more specifically Long Island (where I’m from), and even some south florida (where i’m headed this week; thought i heard the video mention Boca Raton?)
The role of Long Island is more nuance than I got in my years in NYS. But I was on Long Island only a few times. Mostly I heard about Long Island from Betty Friedan, Network Analysis Corporation (early on played a role in internet technology), The Barefoot Contessa TV cooking show, a few movies, and James Simons.
+1! Thank you for bringing back the true origin story for this concept! #barbra
We are about to see Madonna in Miami, so seems particularly apropos!
Where the good things happen.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
don’t put sand in the gears….. feel like the more Uber and Lyft iterate on their apps, the more sand there is in using them.
.KerryGold Irish butter.One’s life is not full until you have eaten Southern biscuits — good Southern biscuits in Savannah or Charleston or New Orleans — with KG and homemade marmalade.Do not leave this life having under lived your potential.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Help me on biscuits: Dad was a biscuit virtuoso, could knock out a batch of biscuits, very light and flaky, in about the same time as pouring milk over cereal!!! But he used baking powder, cut Crisco into the flour only roughly, i.e., to leave chunks to make flakes, used ice water for the water to help NOT melt the fat, and to keep the results light handled the dough a little as possible. The results were really good, especially with his gravy he made with Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinner.He learned at his mother’s knee, who made a pie a day and biscuits nearly as often, in West Valley, NY, a dairy farming area a little south of Buffalo — so his biscuits, and pie crust, were northern instead of southern.So, what is the fat used? Butter? Lard? Crisco?
.The key to great Southern biscuits is White Lily flour, frozen butter grated on an old fashioned metal grater, ice cold water, and a minimum of kneading, followed by a lot of folding–knead three times, fold the dough over to create a layer, turn 90 degrees, knead, repeat.The least amount of handling with your warm hands the better.Brush the tops with melted butter a minute before the biscuits leave the oven to brown them.The picture is from the Mansion in Savannah, Georgia, and is likely the first meal you will receive when you enter Heaven at the end of your honorable life.You are sitting in the dining room of a Civil War era mansion overlooking Forsyth Park and you are thinking good thoughts.They bring those biscuits hot. For a second you just sit there feeling grateful, smelling those biscuits, then your hunger takes over and you open those biscuits — they do not require a fork or a knife. They break open at your fingertips.Then, you butter them, marmalade them (homemade strawberry), you close your eyes, you bite that biscuit, it sits on the end of your tongue like Christmas morning, and you chew.You leap to your feet, begin to sing Halleluiah! (turns out you’re a great singer) and then you know that your life is complete.They are fine biscuits made according to the recipe above.You leave with a full belly and for the rest of that day, you are reluctant to foul your mouth by the introduction of any of the world’s lesser tastes.You want to move to Savannah.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
THANKS.So, looks like no baking powder. Okay.Then there is the folding — that makes layers a little like in French puff pastry.A cheap version of layers is just flakes, and can get those just by having the fat in chunks and NOT well blended with the flour.I’ve heard of the role of White Lily flour — maybe part of it is its fraction of gluten from its fraction of hard versus soft wheat flour.Good to see that the fat is butter instead of lard or Crisco.For the singing, there is, surehttps://www.youtube.com/wat…A cute Deanna Durbin performance, with a story to go with it, starts at about 5:00 inhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…Or starting at 4:41 inhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…Or by the British, from Handelhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…WOW, with all that singing they must have been REALLY good biscuits!!!Ah, the famous advice “plastics” was pretty good but “electronics” would have been better!AT&T Bell Labs thought that the transistor was too big to patent so gave it to the world — I wonder if even they, Shockley, etc., had any idea what it could do!Similarly for their work on solid state lasers for lighting optical fibers!Special times!
Butter also generally is bad for human consumption – as is dairy. People’s ego mind prefers entertainment over health though, the more so the more unhealthy, disconnected one is from their body; it’s good and all to shout from the rooftop the good parts of something, e.g. tasty, but what about the bad parts?
Not enough of that on the web. It’s mostly hard lard yards.
Julia Child is kvelling…somewhere…
unless you hate butter… me right here :O
I think Linda Richman (Mike Myers) beat you to use of “Butter” by quite awhile https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Linda Richman (Mike Myers) gets credit for coining the use of “butter” https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Yes, there was a remark that some of the big secrets of French cooking are (i) lots of butter, e.g., added at the end for most sauces, (ii) if not butter, then cream, especially heavy cream, sometimes whipped with sugar, and (iii) in nearly all savory dishes at least a little garlic. Another standard source of enrichment is egg yolks. Of course the food chemists will explain that fats capture flavors; e.g., the perfume industry used to put rose pedals on lard to extract the aromas.
This is from Disney’s Pinocchio movie, Figaro the cat sniffing dinner… and the butter m.e.l.t.i.n.g. Couldn’t find the actual animation. As I child I was very impressed by the animation sequence. I recall it every time I see butter melting. This is ancient stuff. Anyone? 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Shhhhh, big secret, do NOT tell anyone! For Christmas for a niece, I’ve got a genuine copy of the original 1938 or so Disney Snow White. From that movie, as in your image of Figaro the cat, Disney’s artists were just TERRIFIC — I do NOT see how the heck they did, do, that — at making animals look like humans displaying strong emotions!For more, in Snow White, some of the emotions are so over the top — the images of the pure evil of the queen, Snow White running away terrified of the prince, the prince singing to Snow White, the scene of Snow White lost in the woods at night, the dwarfs afraid of who is in their house, the evil queen transformed into a witch and making the poison apple, the evil queen tricking Snow White, the reactions of grief of the dwarfs of Snow White’s death — it may be too much for the niece. Disney really cranked up the emotional content.The emotional range in that movie is astounding: The Disney rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. are adorable beyond belief, and how his artists drew those to make animals look like humans adorable beyond belief is still more amazing.Then, near the beginning in just minutes, really just seconds, Disney had Snow White look lovable beyond belief. A story goes that, better to draw Snow White, the Disney crew got Marge Champion, the dancer, filmed her dancing, talking, etc., and then did the animation from that film! So, really, for a lot of the expressiveness of Snow White, are looking at Marge Champion!Story telling has not improved since 1938!
I’ve started adding extra butter to my scrambled eggs (about 1.5 TB in the pan before the eggs so they don’t stick, and then another half TB with 4 eggs). Give it a try if you make scrambled eggs.
When the butter is SO good that even the problems are digestible; A product manager and gatsronomophile’s dream.
Considering the long term, catastrophic health consequences of consuming butter, I’m a bit surprised you use that as something aspirational