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I've recently realized how easy it is to make your own butter at home (thanks, SA!). Are there any significant benefits to this as opposed to buying butter in the grocery store?

I do not have access to dairy cows, so I would have to purchase cream. That seems like it would mitigate any potential cost savings.

How about culinary benefits? Does homemade butter taste better?

Related: How to make home-made butter?

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I would struggle to see how you could make butter cheaper, better, or with longer shelf life than a commercial churn does? It's a fun project for kids, that's all :-) –  TFD Mar 16 '13 at 4:31
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

One reason to make your own butter is that you get distinctly different flavours depending on the type of cream you use.

If you use fresh cream you get sweet butter which is popular in North America, Australia and Britain, but less easy to come by in continental Europe. If you use a cultured cream like Crème fraîche you get cultured butter, which is common throughout most of Europe.

Cultured butter is slightly soured by lactic acid. It has a fuller, more complex flavour than sweet butter. If you decide to make it, be sure that you don't use a cultured cream that includes artificial thickeners. The ingredient list should read something like "pasteurised cream, lactic-acid culture" (apologies if that's not accurate; I'm translating from Swedish).

I have a couple of other reasons why I personally want to make butter. First of all my four year old son has been asking how butter is made, and this would be a great way show him. The second reason is that I'm curious as to how real buttermilk tastes (the buttermilk in the supermarkets is fermented milk). And last of all, I noticed that my beurre noir sauce was working out much better when I lived in Australia, so I'd like to do some side-by-side comparisons with European butter.

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There's definitely no benefit in cost or time, the only reason to do this is flavor. Anything made fresh is generally better than what you get at the store, and you can use sea salt or spices to make it taste the way you like.

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