Sunday, January 04, 2009

Clover Farmstead Organic Butter

European-Style, With Sea Salt, Artisan Product

*Update March 2009* Sadly this butter is no longer being made, according to one source.

picture photograph image ALT 2009 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
A while back, probably sometime late last Summer, my friend Jen Maiser asked me a question. Had, she wondered, I tried the new butter from Clover, the one that comes in a little crock pot? As she waxed lyrical about this new butter's deliciousness I took mental note. Never one to shy away from trying anything better when it comes to butter I resolved to keep an eye open for this product which didn't prove to be available in my more regular shopping haunts.

Eventually I spied the elusive butter in the chill cabinet at San Francisco's vegetarian cooperative, Rainbow Grocery. I've generally found the cost of shopping at Rainbow to be pretty fair but even so, the price of Clover Farmstead might make you balk just a little, at $10+ for the starter pack which includes the cutesy, ribbon-adorned crockpot or $7+ for the refill.

Let's put the price in perspective. Seven dollars could easily be far less well spent: A couple of coffees or the cheapest glass of wine at your local watering hole might give you some modicum of fleeting delight, but this creamy, salty butter will spread happiness on your toast for a whole two weeks, more or less, depending on how large you like your pleasure. I happen to like mine in thick slabs, almost like cheese. It's that good.

I love this butter. It tastes exactly how I expect a good butter to taste and I don't even need to slather it in Marmite to make it palatable. Unlike some of the artisan butters I've bought from the market, the quality of Clover Farmstead so far has been consistently good. And its pedigree is fine: It starts as organic milk from cows pastured in coastal Sonoma before making the journey to St. Anthony's Farm just outside of Petaluma where there is a small buttery powered by methane gases generated by the farm's cows and the farm work is done by participants in a residential drug and alcohol recovery programme for the poor and homeless.

So, not only does this butter have good taste, it has a heart and it has a soul. Now that's a message I'd like to spread...




QUESTION OF THE DAY graphic copyright sam breach
?If you know any other stockists of Clover Farmstead, please can you share in the comments?


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© 2009 Sam Breach
Clover Farmstead Organic Butter

24 Comments:

  • At 4/1/09 09:00, Blogger Joy said…

    Whole Foods (the one on 17th) carries it as well. That is slightly closer to you than Rainbow is.

     
  • At 4/1/09 09:28, Blogger sillysausage said…

    Thanks Joy, I do go there occasionally but hadn't seen it. I was at WF on 4th street & they definitely didn't have it yesterday. I have found myself preferring Rainbow to Wholefoods of late. It's just so much more interesting. Maybe its something to do with getting old. Since I buy all my meat, veg and eggs at the markets/from farmers I only need to go to the regularly grocery to get a few staples.

     
  • At 4/1/09 11:12, Anonymous Genie said…

    I'm going to have to give this a try -- I've seen the refill at Whole Foods on Bay Place in Oakland, but am not sure I've seen the crock...am going to have to check that out.

    I think maybe it's from growing up in Europe, but most American butters gross me out. Good butter is an amazing thing...and it's not worth eating the bad stuff.

     
  • At 4/1/09 12:34, Blogger Katie in Berkeley said…

    In the East Bay the Berkeley Bowl and Andronico's have both carried it in the past.

     
  • At 4/1/09 14:10, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    I'm happy to eat plain old Clover regular (but I'm American and don't know how gross it is). :-)
    Haven't popped for the farmstead version yet.
    But I'll tell you my greatest discovery for keeping butter edible: Snap it into a refrigerator container with a tight lid. We found one that holds four sticks, and still fits into the little compartment in the fridge door.

     
  • At 4/1/09 18:54, Anonymous Anne said…

    So glad to hear Whole Foods carries it. Cannot wait to try. I can taste its freshness already!

     
  • At 6/1/09 07:14, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam I can't believe you would spend that much on butter-even very good butter!

     
  • At 6/1/09 14:01, Blogger Kenya said…

    I've been debating whether to try to sell this in my store. I'm the perishables buyer at real food on polk; my concern has been whether I can convince enough people in my small shop to shell out for it. The most expensive butter we sell at the moment is just the straus. I was hoping to bring in this or the double devon butter. Does anybody here shop at my store, and would you be interested?

    I've also been trying to bring in marin sun farms eggs - but again, I'm really not sure whether a small operation such as ours will enjoy the benefits of an $8 dozen of eggs.

     
  • At 6/1/09 16:05, Anonymous Ellie from Kitchen Caravan said…

    I saw the Farmstand butter here in Santa Cruz the other day, but reached for the regular stuff as usual. However knowing what I know now after reading your post, I'll gladly give it a try! Sure it may be an extra pinch in the pocket, but it's nice to know that I'd be supporting a forward thinking group of farmers and food processors. Thanks for the info!

     
  • At 6/1/09 21:23, Blogger Passionate Eater said…

    I think I might have to visit Rainbow Grocery or Berkeley Bowl and try this butter out for myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

     
  • At 6/1/09 22:01, Anonymous sam said…

    Kenya - funnily enough I lived near there once and for a year it was my local store. I would have shelled out for it - but I am not a usual shopper. It's funny you should mention the Devon butter which I also love (and have written about on ths blog) they are similar. I also buy $8 a dozen eggs but understand most people don't. If people would just taste this butter they would realise that Straus & regular organic clover aren't a patch on this. It's an eating butter. I still use Straus for cooking.

    thanks everyone else for chiming in!

     
  • At 6/1/09 22:27, Anonymous Mrs. L said…

    In the San Jose area, Lunardis carries this butter. I picked it up just before Christmas and it worked great on the Christmas dinner table.

     
  • At 7/1/09 13:20, Blogger Scott at Real Epicurean said…

    Off on a kind of tangent, your post has reminded me of how I used to eat crusty white bread spread with nothing but butter when I was younger...

     
  • At 8/1/09 15:50, Anonymous Alison said…

    I use Clover dairy products at home but have yet to spy this oh so scrumptious sounding butter. I will be on the look-out around Palo Alto. Or, maybe I'll stroll by Rainbow the next time I am in the city!

     
  • At 11/1/09 20:24, Anonymous MsGourmet said…

    butter + *sea* salt a match made in heaven... and its organic too!

     
  • At 14/1/09 07:49, Blogger Chelsea said…

    I recently purchased some at Farmer Joe's in Oakland. I've only just recently started buying salted butter to keep on the counter, to put in my new little butter pot.(http://www.surlatable.com/product/emile+henry+butter+pot.do?search=basic&keyword=butter&sortby=gsa&asc=true&page=1)

     
  • At 14/1/09 08:32, Anonymous Lisa said…

    I'd love to try this. I wonder how it stands up to homemade butter, made with really good cream (we like Strauss Farms)? We made some a few months ago as an experiment,to show my kids where butter came from, and it was so easy we sort of haven't turned back. It's only practical for small batches, though. sigh.

     
  • At 16/1/09 21:17, Blogger katya said…

    The Fatted Calf sells it!

     
  • At 18/1/09 15:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    SAM,
    Thanx for the acclaim!It is with a heavy heart I am informing you and your readers that St Anthony Farm will be closing it's doors. The cows will be departing 2/2 and I will be producing the last crock of Farmstead butter 2/3.
    My grandfather retired as a Creamery manager/buttermaker and his oldest son continued on in his tradition, ultimately winning 1st prize in 1969 at the New York State Fair. As the third generation buttermaker, I am genetically predisposed to making THE best butter, and your article has affirmed the accomplishment of my goals.
    As dairy supervisor for the past 13 years it has been rewarding to have aided so many on their path to recovery from the disease of addiction, and giving them the opportunity to work with our organic cows. The birth of a new calf is always a special event and I must close now for a delivery.

    Curtis Fjelstul

     
  • At 19/1/09 20:04, Anonymous Dani said…

    This sounds so good! I've seen it at the Oakland Whole Foods many a time, and never quite been willing to commit. I didn't want to end up paying that much for inadequate butter! Thrilled to hear it's that good - maybe I'll buy a pot of it and test it against the as-good-as-cheese $5 logs of butter from our farmer's market!

     
  • At 25/1/09 08:23, Blogger Mike & Andrea said…

    this is the best "non-restaurant" butter we've ever tasted. We always comment at nice restaurants how the butter "just tastes better". This stuff is dangerous and likely will be a big problem in our house. But oh so yummy

     
  • At 25/2/09 15:30, Blogger Rebekah said…

    Oh my gosh, thanks for this post! We are new to the area and I had no idea that Clover is "local". Thought it was a national chain for some reason. I'll be buying it whenever I can now. And I'll DEFINITELY be on the lookout for their yummy butter! (Also, thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Rainbow Co-op. Another great new find for this new SF resident!)

     
  • At 11/5/09 16:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was just googling curious about the butter. I bought it on a whim at Farmer Joes in Oakland. I winced at the price for a sec. but I've been trying to find a good new butter. It took me directly to this post. It looks like it's still on sale for now. I just discovered it and it's delicious! I hope it stays available!

     
  • At 17/5/09 21:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Curtis,

    I am saddened to hear of St. Anthony's Farm closing. Are you off to make butter somewhere else? Or getting out of the business altogether? I will certainly miss the delicious butter...

    Cat

     

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