If you're into better butter and haven't heard of—or tasted—this one, then you'll want to check it out soon. Allison Hooper, Bob Reese and their crew in Websterville, Vermont, start with freshly separated, carefully handled, high-fat cream to make a butter that I think is as good as any I've had.
Making great butter isn't rocket science. But it does take hard work and a lot of hands on attention. That's why commercial dairies stopped doing it. They also stopped using higher-fat cream because it's too expensive. Allison and Bob use cream with 42 percent fat (commercial dairies use 36). Most important, Allison and Bob culture their butter, which is kind of a way of saying they start it on the way to cheese by adding some bacteria that enhance the butter's flavor. It takes time and money, which means—you guessed it—big commercial dairies stopped doing that too. (If you like food trivia, "Sweet Cream Butter" is the name commercial dairies use for butter that's not cultured. Like most marketing it sounds good, but it's actually less flavorful.)
The difference in flavor between this Vermont butter and commercial brands is obvious as soon as you put some on your tongue. It has a lively, light, citrusy tang that makes for a much fuller, more complex butter experience.