From the packaging to its core, the slab of golden deliciousness that goes by the name of butter is simply not just butter. It is cultured butter with attitude that convinces those who are fortunate enough to sample it at the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market begging for more bread and butter please.
Olivia Morrison is the hands behind the butter genesis that turns cream into golden slabs of buttery heaven. Each Saturday morning Olivia butters up pieces of sourdough from Harvest Launceston breadmakers to tempt market goers down the buttery path that has led her from a digital world where she and husband Rob designed web content, to churning cream into butter in the her little butter factory in the basement of their home in Trevallyn.
Olivia’s week starts with buckets of locally sourced Tasmania cream, to which she adds some lactic cultures and then leaves the bacteria to work some fermentation magic. The cultures eat the lactose in the cream producing lactic acid, which gives the butter its distinctive cultured tang and adds some nutty flavours and aromas.
Some 18-24 hours later, the next step is to chill and churn the liquid into a solid buttery mass. This is done in batches and once the churning is complete, the buttermilk is drained off and the solids are further hand pressed to squeeze out the last of the liquid. Then the perfect amount of Tasman Sea Salt is added and worked through the butter. Olivia weighs every gram of butter to ensure the correct amount of sea salt is used. After this the butter is left to rest overnight.
The following day it is reworked, hand shaped, wrapped, labelled and packed ready for market. Olivia is making about 80 kilograms of butter a week, using a litre of cream to produce 460 grams of butter. Her butter is used by local restaurants, some goes to local providores and the rest comes to market where you can taste it slathered on local bread.
The butter project is born out of Olivia and Rob’s passion for good food, produce and love of Tasmania. It began over two years ago. “After hundreds of kilos of experimental batches, building and licensing I finally sold my first block of butter at the Harvest Market in early June last year,” notes Olivia. The butter quickly established itself as a market must have. Olivia remembers how she went through about a kilo of butter just in tastings that first Saturday morning, but the response was amazing. Since then it has been embraced by locals and visitors, and just in is news that Judges at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Diary Show agree with local verdicts that this is simply some of the best butter around by awarding the Tasmanian Butter Co. a bronze earlier this week.
If you have yet to try the delights of cultured butter, visit Olivia at her stall at Harvest Launceston on Saturday where she will advise you on the best way to eat her butter.