Over the last 100 years, at least in Germany, butter has experienced a rather checkered history: While it used to be a sign of good living to indulge in the generous use of butter, in the second half of the 20th century butter became increasingly frowned upon, as it was attributed to be detrimental to health due to its high content of saturated fatty acids and to contribute to high cholesterol levels and vascular blockages.
The bad reputation of butter
The claim that butter is detrimental to health was refuted early on, and the study initially put forward as evidence against butter was exposed as technically deficient and unsubstantiated. But the reputation of butter was nevertheless ruined to some extent. Margarine products made from hydrogenated vegetable fats or vegetable oils were able to gain significant market shares. The Mediterranean diet with lots of olive oil was praised as ideal. The fact that in France, for example, with traditionally high consumption of butter (7.9 kg per capita and year), life expectancy is comparable to that in Italy, where only a fraction as much butter is consumed (2.3 kg per capita and year), was always successfully ignored by the butter opponents.
Butter for frying
Many people also avoid using butter for frying because it burns easily in a hot pan. But this actually only happens at temperatures that are rather disadvantageous for frying anyway. Experience shows:
Most fry too hot! "Hot frying" does not mean "full power"!
Butter is like a pan thermometer
This is how butter behaves in the pan
- about 30-100°C: The butter melts.
- approx. 100-140°C: The butter foams because the water it contains (approx. 16%) boils away. If you want to fry a fried egg, add it to the pan as soon as the fat has settled and turn down the heat if necessary. The egg should cook rather gently in the fat and not fry hot like a piece of meat.
- About 150°C: The water has boiled away and the foaming has stopped. The butter is clear and begins to brown due to the proteins it contains (Maillard reaction). Good frying temperature for onions, for example.
- Approx. 160°C: The butter is slightly brown. Good frying temperature for most foods. (Vegetables, meat, fish, omelettes, pancakes, etc.).
- approx. 170°C: The butter is brown. Good for frying very thin slices of meat.
- above 180°C: Butter is black-brown and too hot! Butter tastes burnt / bitter.