Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova

IMG_6090 Butter: A Rich History
Elaine Khosrova

It’s a culinary catalyst, an agent of change, a gastronomic rock star. Ubiquitous in the world’s most fabulous cuisines, butter is boss. Here, it finally gets its due.

After traveling across three continents to stalk the modern story of butter, award-winning food writer and former pastry chef Elaine Khosrova serves up a story as rich, textured, and culturally relevant as butter itself.

From its humble agrarian origins to its present-day artisanal glory, butter has a fascinating story to tell, and Khosrova is the perfect person to tell it. With tales about the ancient butter bogs of Ireland, the pleasure dairies of France, and the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet, Khosrova details butter’s role in history, politics, economics, nutrition, and even spirituality and art. Readers will also find the essential collection of core butter recipes, including beurre manié, croissants, pâte brisée, and the only buttercream frosting anyone will ever need, as well as practical how-tos for making various types of butter at home–or shopping for the best.


Pretty certain that the simple act of reading this book, let alone enjoying it as much as I did next levels my nerd game. The historian/anthropologist in me got to come out and play, roll around a bit in this, and then carry on. I have a soft spot for domestic history, especially well written ones as it is such a deceptively simple part of our lives that we take it for granted.

Sometimes histories aimed at the general public suffer from being incredibly dully, overly repetitive, or just kind of smarmy. This was none of those things! You can tell that Khosrova is passionate about her subject. This book practically oozes enthusiasm (like melted butter).

It isn’t for everyone. You probably have to be into nonfiction and food histories to start with, but I liked it. Now I’m going to bore my friends and family with butter facts until the end of time. Whee!