Beurre Bordier from Saint Malo

In the Rue de l’Orme lies La Maison du Beurre. Jean Yves Bordier started here in 1984 with a small butter shop. He wanted to make butter again the way his grandfather had done it, with a lot of time, wooden tools and traditional techniques.

Today, top restaurants from all over Europe order Bordier’s butter. It tastes milky, almost creamy fresh. Within three days, a delicious product is created that has nothing whatsoever to do with highly industrialized butter production.

At the beginning of the numerous steps in the process, the Breton Riendvieh stand on a lush sea-salted pasture and receive organic feed in summer and winter. The cows give much less milk than the high-yield cow from the large dairy. The cows’ feed affects the taste of the butter. The milk goes into a stainless steel vat and is stirred for 90 minutes. This step gives the butter the additional name Beurre de Barratte = barrel butter. It flocculates white and floats in a white whey. The mass is cooled down with ice water, thus contracting further, is skimmed off and then rests for three days.

Blick durch die Arbeitstheke im Maison du Beurre. Aus einem Butterblock werden kleine Portionen abgeteilt / © Foto: Georg Berg
View through the work counter at the Maison du Beurre. Small portions are cut from a block of butter / © Photo: Georg Berg

When butter cries all will be well.

The next step in butter production is malaxage, or kneading. Bordier relies on wood as a material here. The butter is kneaded between a wooden blade and a wooden roller. Until it starts to weep. The butter cries, from the moment it loses water drop by drop through the kneading. In the store on Rue d’Orme, you can watch this final step of processing. Skilled hands pry portions of 125 g each from a large block of butter and beat them into shape with two wooden paddles. The butter weeps here for the last time. Again, drops of water remain on the work surface.

The Bordier butter is now soft and tender. The last work step turns the staple food butter into a delicacy. The butter refiner malaxes ingredients such as Madagascar vanilla, piment d’Espelette, yuzu, smoked salt or seaweed into the natural butter. The result is fantastic creations with intense flavors. No wonder fat is the flavor carrier par excellence.

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