You thought you knew all the comestibles that age gracefully: wine, cheese, even meat… but butter? You may think fresher is better, but aged butter just may be the next new thing. The truth is that there’s nothing new about aged butter. It’s inherently old, and although it may just be making its way into American cuisine, Moroccans have been aging their butter since ancient times.
Called smen in Arabic and beurre rance in French (yup, that’s rancid butter), Moroccans mix butter with herbs, spices and salt, seal it in a jar and let it sit in a dark, cool place for months, possibly years. Although this method was only meant to preserve butter in the heat, this process gives butter a pungent aroma and distinctive taste which have led it to be considered a delicacy. Traditionally, Berbers bury a pot of smen on the day of a daughter’s birth and unearth it to flavor the couscous served on her wedding day. Now that’s our idea of sentimental.
Use today’s Word of the Day: Corn, à la Fatty Cue