BUTTER: as a food dates back to the time of the ancient Jews, but by the Greeks and Romans it was used only as an ointment and even now it is largely sold for that pur pose by apothecaries in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.
The greater part of the butter sold by merchants to-day is that made by creameries and the result of this centralization has been to improve greatly the average quality and to establish uniformity so that varying qualities may be intelligently graded.
By the old-fashioned method, creak for butter making was obtained by allowing the milk to stand from twenty to thirty-six hours, the cream which rose to the top being removed when sufficiently "ripened" or soured.
By the creamery method, the cream is generally separated from the whole milk while it is still sweet by running it through specially designed centrifugal separators. It is then treated by the addition of pasteurized skim milk, previously curdled by 'I the addition of "pure cultures" (see BACTERIA ) in order to bring about the lactic fermentation I essential to a butter of good flavor. If the churning is to proceed at once, which is prefer- 1 Ia able, from 20% to 30% of the "starter" is added, but if time is allowed for ripening, an additionJ.
of about 5% is sufficient. Butter made from separator-cream, untreated, is not "butter" in the true sense of the term—it is better described, as an emulsion of butter-fat.
The great majority of the butters of corn merce show a water content between 12% and U. S. "Standard" butter contains not less'44?-7 than 82.5% of milk fat. COPYas LVeTONE VIEW CO Denmark has for years held the reputation Cream Separator in operation of producing the finest butter in the world. It can be found all over the world in shops where luxuries are sold. In South America, in the East and West Indies, in India, Egypt and in tropical countries generally, epicures pay pm a pound for it in tins of one, two and three pounds' weight. No other country has been able to produce butter that will stand changes of climate so well. Its excellence is due to the efficiency of the government system for controlling the output. Almost equally good results are obtained by the regulations of the Cork
Market, Ireland, and by government control in New Zealand. Improvements in creamery methods and conditions promise to give equal reputation to the United States product before long.
More than ordinary care is required if a merchant wishes to establish and main tain a reputation for selling good butter. In the first place, it generally pays to buy grades a little choicer than that of the average market— a half cent or a cent a pound additional often means something quite a little choicer than the regular run—and par ticular customers are seldom averse to paying a cent or two extra for especially fine butter. Whether or not this is done—it is of course not advisable in every neighbor hood—it is very poor policy to charge higher than the market value of any grade. Not one person in a thousand can judge the value of coffee, for example, with any degree of accuracy, but a big percentage have keen noses and palates wherewith to discrimi nate in the matter of butter. It is very easy and very damaging to get a reputation for selling poor butter.
A retailer should know how to test butter both by taste and smell. Many. mer chants depend on only one or the other of these senses and as a result they often find themselves at fault in their purchases. This is particularly true of the dealer who buys by taste and is addicted to the use of tobacco or liquors. At times, his sense of taste may be keen enough to discriminate in a remarkable manner, but if he has recently been smoking he will find that it cannot be depended upon. Hence it is wis dom to cultivate both taste and smell to a point where, if one fails, the other can be relied upon. The expert buyer generally tests first by smell, breathing it well back into the nose, then by taste and final ly by allowing a little to melt in the mouth and letting the flavor expand up through the nostrils—this last test to de termine its keeping qualities.