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Well, adding things that taste good to a dish makes the dish taste good, and butter tastes good. If you added something that tasted bad to the cabbage it would taste worse. It's the essence of good cooking.

If you are asking why butter in particular is good, butter is an emulsion of fat, milk solids, and optionally salt. The milk solids have flavorings, the salt never does any harm with cabbage, and the fat adds not only flavoring but mouth feel. Butter is semi-solid at room temperature but melts not far above it. Butter fat keeps a nice, viscous coating property that oils don't have. If you put in sunflower oil instead and did another blind taste test your guests would probably tell the difference.

Animal fats generally have this quality as most become solid at room temperature. If you fried some bacon and added it you would have a similar experience to the butter.

EDIT: I see from the comments that the butter was added to the water steaming. The butter and solids will end up being vaporized in a mechanical process as the water is boiled and evaporating.

Well, adding things that taste good to a dish makes the dish taste good, and butter tastes good. If you added something that tasted bad to the cabbage it would taste worse. It's the essence of good cooking.

If you are asking why butter in particular is good, butter is an emulsion of fat, milk solids, and optionally salt. The milk solids have flavorings, the salt never does any harm with cabbage, and the fat adds not only flavoring but mouth feel. Butter is semi-solid at room temperature but melts not far above it. Butter fat keeps a nice, viscous coating property that oils don't have. If you put in sunflower oil instead and did another blind taste test your guests would probably tell the difference.

Animal fats generally have this quality as most become solid at room temperature. If you fried some bacon and added it you would have a similar experience to the butter.

Well, adding things that taste good to a dish makes the dish taste good, and butter tastes good. If you added something that tasted bad to the cabbage it would taste worse. It's the essence of good cooking.

If you are asking why butter in particular is good, butter is an emulsion of fat, milk solids, and optionally salt. The milk solids have flavorings, the salt never does any harm with cabbage, and the fat adds not only flavoring but mouth feel. Butter is semi-solid at room temperature but melts not far above it. Butter fat keeps a nice, viscous coating property that oils don't have. If you put in sunflower oil instead and did another blind taste test your guests would probably tell the difference.

Animal fats generally have this quality as most become solid at room temperature. If you fried some bacon and added it you would have a similar experience to the butter.

EDIT: I see from the comments that the butter was added to the water steaming. The butter and solids will end up being vaporized in a mechanical process as the water is boiled and evaporating.

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Well, adding things that taste good to a dish makes the dish taste good, and butter tastes good. If you added something that tasted bad to the cabbage it would taste worse. It's the essence of good cooking.

If you are asking why butter in particular is good, butter is an emulsion of fat, milk solids, and optionally salt. The milk solids have flavorings, the salt never does any harm with cabbage, and the fat adds not only flavoring but mouth feel. Butter is semi-solid at room temperature but melts not far above it. Butter fat keeps a nice, viscous coating property that oils don't have. If you put in sunflower oil instead and did another blind taste test your guests would probably tell the difference.

Animal fats generally have this quality as most become solid at room temperature. If you fried some bacon and added it you would have a similar experience to the butter.