THE BUTTER KING
For before he and his beyond marvellous, and well, you just want to eat it by the spoonful, hand made cultured butter came along there were some pretty dire options when it came to the ‘good stuff’ in Australia.
“Butter” was either bought in a tub and with an eerily spreadable consistency owing to lacing of vegetable oil – foul. Or sitting in a slightly more pure form, but in a non-descript block in the supermarket. No more thanks to the creation of Pepe Saya butter, and its ever increasing presence in our speciality shops, clued in convenience stores, and if you’re lucky, the pointier end of a Qantas plane.
In our books, what makes Pepe Saya butter the fine product that it is, is the love (seriously, watch this), and there’s so much of it placed in this product from Pepe and his team. It’s an approach that’s stemmed from Pepe’s childhood, when he and his family lived in Lebanon. For six of those years, and owing to the civil war, the village was cut off on all sides – what was consumed was sourced locally and made by hand – milk came from the extended family, and would be made into yoghurts and cheeses, and it’s an ethos that flows through to today’s operations, and embedded in the brand’s history.
First the single origin cream is sourced from grass fed cows. It comes direct from the farm, and is ripened on site for roughly two weeks. Next it becomes creme fraiche via the inncolation of a lactic culture and fermented for 20 hours. Then aged for roughly another month before it’s churned into butter. The butter is then washed, and hand kneaded until the consistency is perfect, which is when it’s packaged and sent to buyers immediately. It’s NEVER stored or frozen you see. Fresh as.