Beurre des Charentes (Charentes butter)
Beurre des Charentes
Beurre des Charentes is an AOC and AOP pale-coloured butter with a firm texture, characterised by its fine aroma. It is produced in the Loire and Poitou districts, a region with livestock-breeding and wine-growing traditions. The phylloxera crisis of 1880 resulted in the development of the dairy herd and an increase in the production of butter. The creation in 1893 of the Central Association of cooperative dairies of Charentes and Poitou soon spawned a large number of initiatives, for instance a refrigerated rail transport service to convey the butter to Paris, which helped to establish the reputation of Charentes-Poitou butter, which was soon in great demand because of its high quality.
The butter has to be made using traditional methods and cannot include preservatives or colourings. Only 12 dairies are allowed to produce it. The cream that is used must undergo biological maturation for at least twelve hours after pasteurisation. The addition of colouring agents, preservatives or acidity regulators is prohibited. Guardians of a heritage handed down from generation to generation, the Dairy Association of Charentes-Poitou was established to protect local produce and the unceasing efforts of the producers and processors to provide quality products.
It is available from Waitrose.
Reference: The European Commission