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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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butter is made from cream which is further concentrated so that the final product is more than 80 per cent fat. In this form it keeps for longer than fresh milk or cream, and has therefore been used since antiquity (although not everywhere—the ancient Greeks, who cooked with olive oil, seem not to have used butter except as an ointment).

Butter is made not only from cow’s milk but from water-buffalo’s milk in India, and sheep’s milk in various parts of Asia. It is only exceptionally made from camel’s milk. Milk from the dri (female yak) is rich in butterfat; and that from a dzomo (yak/cow hybrid) can also be used. Goat’s milk butter, made on a small scale in France, is delicious.