The Realities of Whipped Butter
In all but the best of restaurants, the whipped butter that is served is not really butter at all.
It is actually a blend of butter and margarine whipped to look and taste almost exactly like the real thing. Sometimes, there is no butter in at all!
The same goes for the “honey butter”, “cinnamon butter”, “herb butter” and any other types that might be an option. They are almost without exception butter/non-butter blends as well.
Another trend is serving a blend of maple syrup and cheaper cane syrup while still calling it “maple syrup”. Cracker Barrel is one prominent chain that does this last time I checked.
Don’t get me wrong here. This is certainly better than the artificially flavored high fructose corn syrup usually served. However, it isn’t what customers are expecting … 100% real maple syrup.
Spotting Margarine vs Butter
You can see in the photo above the whipped butter blend on the right and the pieces of 100% butter on the left that I was recently served at a steak restaurant.
In order to get the real butter, we first asked the waiter if the “whipped butter” in the cup was 100% butter. He said no, so we asked if he could please ask the chef for pure butter instead.
He was happy to help and brought out the cup of 100% butter shown on the left in the picture above. The chef apparently had to cut it off a stick for us!
Watch Out for Butter Packets Too!
If you are served whipped butter packets instead of a small cup of whipped spread, take care to read the print very carefully.
These little packets which used to be 100% butter are now increasingly butter blends as well.
The print on these tiny containers is hard to read too even if you don’t use reading glasses! A trick I use if necessary is to use your phone and take a picture of the label. Then, you can magnify it nice and large to see if it’s real before deciding to eat it.
Are you wondering what all the fuss is about with customers wanting real butter?
The reason is that the high omega-6 fatty acid profile of margarine tends to encourage inflammation. In addition, butter substitutes contain many undesirable additives, fillers, and otherwise artificial ingredients. They are best avoided.
That’s why they are using margarine or a whipped butter/margarine blends after all! Because it’s cheaper!
Butter is always more expensive than margarine, and educated customers are going to prefer it unless there is a dairy allergy present.
In that case, it is best to not eat the margarine/butter blend at all.
What do you do in restaurants when they serve butter with the bread or main entree? Do you just eat whatever they serve or ask for real butter instead?
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. Her work is dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household. She is a sought after lecturer around the world for conferences, summits, and podcasts.
Her work has been covered by major media including USA Today, ABC, NBC, and many others.