Give thanks for your butter

There are many things that I love about living in Ireland. There are a few things that annoy or trouble me. But there is one thing that I clearly hate — the fact that butter comes in a single chunk of butter — 454 grams, to be precise. Why is it 454 grams, you ask? Because that is as close to one pound of butter as you can get in metric terms.

I could deal with a big block of butter if only there were measurements on the wrapping.

The wonder that is American butter comes in a package of four sticks to a pound, with tablespoons and other measurements clearly marked on the wrapping. Irish butter, by contrast, arrives unadorned. It comes in the same kind of waxed-paper wrapping as American butter, but no useful scales or handy particulars mar its gleaming gold packaging.

A poor cook is left to either (1) guess or (2) calmly force the butter into a measuring cup, making sure that all the air pockets are gone.

You may have noticed, by my tone, that this drives me crazy. As many of you know, I love to bake. But between the tiny oven and the butter, I’ve been driven to distraction.

So, for all those American cooks out there, preparing for their Thanksgiving feast, please take a moment to appreciate the lowly American stick of butter. Pause for a moment and reflect that if you need six tablespoons, it is easy as can be. Take heart that American ingenuity has again triumphed over old-world “complacency”. Love your butter and give thanks for its genius – it’s the best there is.

Well… American butter’s taste may not be that great, but it’s darn easy to measure!

3 Comments to “Give thanks for your butter”

  1. Dave said...
    26 November 2008

    Well, I agree that no markings is kind of a pain, but the packaging seems to be more eco friendly. You eliminate the cardboard box, and extra wrapping to cover the insides… You’ve got to look at the positives here.

  2. Will said...
    28 November 2008

    Oh no, you’re going to make Anita angry!

  3. Keely said...
    8 December 2008

    omg. this is the first i’ve heard of this travesty. do you want me to stock up on butter for you to take back with you after christmas??? just let me know…
    p.s. i don’t think i can help you with the oven.