Creamy, dense, complex, and so rich that a a tiny swipe on the tongue will fill your entire mouth with intense milky, fatty lushness.
That’s Le Beurre Bordier — a French butter beloved by the most discriminating chefs and pastry chefs.
Now, you can get your hands on some in the Bay Area easily, thanks to the Frenchery, a French online marketplace based in San Francisco, which starting offering it a few weeks ago.
While mass-produced butter takes less than a day to make, Le Beurre Bordier needs a full 72 hours. Jean Yves Bordier uses milk from local farmers in Brittany to make his small-batch butter. Unlike conventional butter, he allows the cream to culture, and thus develop a fuller flavor. He also kneads the butter with a wooden machine for as long as half an hour to expel water and create an especially silky product.
He makes the butter on demand, so it’s not just lying around in storage, but fresh as it gets. The Frenchery pre-orders ahead of time, then the butter is shipped to Los Angeles International Airport, before being whisked to customers on the West Coast. All in all, it’s about two weeks time from when the butter is made to when it gets on your table.
I had a chance to try a sample recently. In the same way that just a sliver of A5 Wagyu will coat your entire mouth with a lavish fattiness, so does just a smidge of Bordier butter. It has a weightiness to it, probably due to the high butterfat content. There’s also a subtle nuttiness and floral quality.
A 125g cake of it is $8.50. Enjoy it unsalted, salted, and in such flavored versions as vanilla, yuzu, onion, chili, seaweed, and buckwheat. You’ll need to plan ahead to enjoy it, though: Pre-orders are now being taken for the next shipment, which will arrive Dec. 22.
The Frenchery also sells other coveted French butters, including Échiré, which is so prized that it won AOC protective status in France.
Handmade in western France, it has a minimum of 84 percent butterfat (compared to a minimum of 80 percent for the majority of American-made butter). It’s super creamy and rich, and a little bit more delicate tasting than the Bordier, with a sweet grassy note. A 250g stick is $9 from the Frenchery.
Both the Bordier and the Échiré are butters meant to be used with intention, when butter is the star of a dish or recipe. Me? I think you can’t go wrong just smearing it generously on a slice of toasted or grilled artisan bread — with nothing else in front of you to distract.
The Frenchery also sells all manner of gourmet products, including tins of scallops rillettes, Parisian ham, French yogurts, baguette-making kits, French wheat flour, and bottled juices by Alain Milliat.
Order at least $80 total, and delivery is free to San Francisco and the South Bay.
You can also find the Frenchery selling at local farmers markets, including the downtown Palo Alto and downtown Sunnyvale ones on Saturdays; and the Palo Alto California Avenue, downtown Mountain View, and downtown Campbell ones on Sundays.