I Tried Ina Garten’s Most Beloved Butter and I See Why She Eats It for Breakfast Every Single Day

published May 17, 2024
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cultured butter is spread on top of toast that sits on a plate with knife and butter package next to it
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

In the latest episode of Lemonada Media’s Wiser Than Me, host Julia Louis-Dreyfus (yes, that Julia) chats with the “universally cherished” queen of comfort-food cooking, Ina Garten. “She really pretty much is up there with fresh salty butter on warm bread,” says Julia. “I think it’s ’cause she makes every meal feel like a cozy get-together with an old friend.”

Naturally, cooking (and, more importantly, eating) are primary topics of discussion. Her first question to the “Barefoot Contessa” — what did you eat today? — was a basic one. But in true Ina fashion, her response was anything but. 

Her eating, she says, is “pretty orderly, actually”: “I have toast and coffee for breakfast;” tea every day at 10:30 a.m. — not a minute earlier or later; soup for lunch (Italian wedding soup, on the day of the recording); and for dinner, she and her husband, Jeffrey, go out with friends or order in. (After testing recipes all day, the last thing she wants to do is make dinner. We get that.)

Credit: Mara Weinraub

What stood out to me (and several of The Kitchn editors) is what she has on her freshly toasted bread. “The toast has to have good French butter on it with shaved sea salt. It’s called Beurre de Baratte with flaked sea salt and it’s just so delicious.” Stop the presses podcast! 

I bet, dear reader, you can guess what happened next. We immediately called several grocery stores in the area to see which, if any, carried this incredible-sounding butter so we could taste it for ourselves. As luck and population density would have it, one did.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

What You Should Know About Rodolphe Le Meunier Beurre de Baratte Salted Butter 

Rodolphe Le Meunier is a flavored churned and cultured butter from milk sourced from French farms. It is made in a wooden butter churn from pasteurized cream and then molded by hand, according to the company’s website, and is available in unsalted, lightly salted, and flavored varieties. (Le Meunier is also known for its award-winning cheeses.)

The gold-foil wrapped butter is sold in nine-ounce pucks (or slightly more than two sticks of butter) with an embossed cow on top. It’s an elegant-looking package and product with a price tag to match — the butter retails for $11.99 in-store at Murray’s Cheese, which is where we found it, and a few dollars more online.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Our Honest Review of Rodolphe Le Meunier Beurre de Baratte Salted Butter 

We picked up the butter and a crusty baguette and immediately got to snapping and unwrapping. On appearance alone, this butter is a showstopper. It has a “vibrant, opaque yellow tone” that Ola, our culinary assistant seeks out and expects in a quality butter. “It gave European butter energy.”

Credit: Mara Weinraub

As good as it looks, though, taste is what matters. So we sliced into the bread and slathered the mini rounds in the butter. Straight from the unseasonably cold air to our office kitchen and, we must say, it spreads real easily (“none of that bread ripping that happens with other butters,” says Mara, senior editor, groceries). Brenda, our director of SEO and audience data, could tell just by watching it was a creamy, dreamy phenomenon. “It’s very velvety and smooth,” adds Ola.

“It’s almost like a really really really soft cheese,” says Brenda, and has a “sweet taste that’s lacking in cheap butters.” 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

“I thought it was delicious actually,” says Ola, who also liked its savory notes and delicate saltiness. Despite a more modest 80 percent butterfat (most European butters have a minimum of 82 percent), this butter is rich and filling. “I can see why Ina loves it.” Ola also felt it would lend itself to finishing sauces and pastries, particularly ones that start with browning butter.

Terri, our executive editor, who regularly buys tubs of Kerrygold butter, doesn’t “necessarily think it’s worth paying that much more on.” (The tub is roughly half the price.) “If I was hosting friends I would buy this,” says Blair, our senior style editor. “But not to eat by myself in my apartment.” Confirms Brenda, “This is for a butter board situation.”

Buy: Rodolphe Le Meunier Beurre de Baratte Salted Butter, $15 for 250 grams (9 ounces) at Murray’s Cheese

Have you tried Ina’s everyday breakfast butter? Tell us about it in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: I Tried Ina Garten’s Most Beloved Butter and I Get Why She Eats It for Breakfast Every Single Day