Trader Joe’s FRENCH CULTURED BUTTER


If you want to “up your butter game” at home, you should try this excellent, high quality butter from France. But be warned, if you try this once, you may never go back to regular butter.

Spread a bit of this French butter on almost anything you would put butter on… say some asparagus, frozen peas, green beans, a baked potato, some steamed Yukon Golds, a nice slice of bread (sliced Brioche?)… on top of an omelette…anywhere…and you will notice how good really good butter is once you taste some.

I’ve lately grown to buying two kinds of butter at Trader Joe’s. “Regular” butter and the “premium” (i.e., imported butter). This French butter is definitely the Good Stuff. If I’m having some toast in the morning and I put some of this French butter from Brittany on it, or anything, its heavenly. At any other store you would pay something like $6-7 for this 1/2 lb. pack. Trader Joe’s now sells it for about $3.80 for 8,8 oz.

I’ve gotten to really like the two Imported “premium” butters that TJ sells. Irish KERRYGOLD butter comes in a gold or silver package (salted/gold, silver/unsalted). Imported from Ireland, Kerrygold is an excellent high quality butter, and I love that one too. It costs a bit less than the French one: Kerrygold Irish butter is $3.19 for 8 oz. 

“Trader Jacque’s FRENCH CULTURED SALTED BUTTER” comes in a blue package. It may have the slightest of edges on the Kerrygold Irish butter (but frankly both are superb butters). The French butter comes from Brittany (Bretagne), the region in the North West of France famous for cows, butter and cheeses (and Calvados!)

I’ve tried to do taste tests comparing the Irish vs. French butter and pick one over the other but they are both so good I almost can’t pick one as “better”. Both have a rich flavor that says “imported” premium butter. I started to buy the French butter as a neighbor says the French one has a slight edge. The difference may be that the French butter is “cultured” (fermented with enzymes similar to those in yogurt) to give a little bit of a tangy taste vs. the non-cultured Irish Kerrygold. Honestly though, I go back and forth on which I like more, the Irish or French butters, and always give up. Try them both and see which you prefer (if you can)! Both the Kerrygold Gold and the French Cultured are salted butters but are way less salty than you may think for salted butter you are used to (like Hotel Bar). Still, if you want an UNSALTED butter get the silver Kerrygold package. The gold package is salted (but lightly).

These imported butters naturally cost more the regular butter Trader Joe’s sells for $3/lb. I would say the normal TJ butter is equal to Hotel Bar butter or similar. But this French butter (or Irish Kerrygold) does up your “butter game”. FRENCH CULTURED BUTTER comes in a 8.8 oz pack which sells for $3.49, (PRICE INCREASED SINCE WRITING*) So figure its costs about twice as much as the regular butter. Still TJ’s French butter is I think the equal to butters you might buy in a supermarket in France. And if you compare this to imported premium butters you might see sold in an upscale supermarket here which carries imported butters, well they are crazy expensive (12/lb?). So as usual Trader Joe’s is selling this premium imported butter at a still fairly reasonable price (around $6 lb.) for an excellent French butter. The Cultured French Salted French butter only comes in a salted version but I find it fine, not overly salty at all, it’s just right for most applications. I’ve grown to love it. In fact, my Japanese sister-in-law loved this butter so much when she was visiting us that she actually carried back two packs all the way home to Japan in her bags!

Give it a try once, say slather some on a piece of warm French baguette just out of the oven, and you may never go back to regular butter…. Mes amis, c’est La Vie en Rose!

Cultured butter is typically created by adding live bacteria (cultures) to the butter before it’s churned, versus regular butter which is cream that just goes straight to the churning machine. … Results in a higher-fat product, which in turns makes the butter more silky and gives it a richer taste.”

RAVE

* UPDATE: Price of the French Butter price went up. Now $3.69 (Summer 2019) Irish Kerrygold still $3.19. To save a little I’ve been getting the Kerrygold recently.

UPDATE 2 (Nov 2020) This French butter has been M.I.A. in my local TJs for some time. I imagine its a supply chain problem due to Covid. The Irish Kerrygold butter is in stock so I have been buying that instead. Its as good or better but prices have gone up some though.

TJ’s FRENCH GREEN BEANS (Haricots Verts)


UPDATE! SUMMER 2019 – out of stock all year, this product has finally is back in stores !

 (Updated, Nov 2019) This product is in stores!

RAVE

These can easily be on any Trader Joe’s Top 10 List.

Easily best “first try” of a TJ product in a while, I was quite impressed with the quality of these frozen green beans. These are are extremely high quality French Haricots Verts (“green beans”). They are “IMPORTED FROM FRANCE”. These Haricot Verts are the real McCoy and a super bargain. 

French “Haricot Verts” are better and higher quality bean than our usual standard green beans. Haricots Verts are a skinnier French green bean variety, thinner and more tender than our regular US green beans.. These are the expensive-ass skinny green beans you get next to that $35 entree you ordered when you go to an expensive restaurant. When I see fresh HARICOTS VERTS, imported from France, at a top green grocer like Fairway for example, which does carry them, they are always quite expensive, something like $8-10 per lb? As opposed to $2/lb for our “normal” fresh green beans. I always think ‘who can afford to buy these 12 bucks a pound green beans?! They must have money to burn.’ Well now thanks to Trader Joe’s great buying skills, all of us non-Rockefeller normal folks can afford to buy these wonderful French green beans, just they’ve come flash frozen.

TJ’s sells a package of the frozen HARICOT VERTS in a 24 oz bag. (1.5 lbs) for $1.99! Do the math, thats comes out to about $1.50/lb so thats about the same price or LESS, than I might buy regular fresh green beans (a price check followup in April 2012 show this is still the same price!) 

These are those same wonderful thin, french haricots verts, all prepped and ready to use, which have been flash frozen. Dark, nice green color. Blanched for a few seconds prior to being flash frozen. Certainly easy to use: they are all prepped (tip and tailed) which you would spend time doing with fresh beans. This is a big time saver as prepping beans is the one thing I don’t like about when I buy fresh green beans, they take a bit of work to tip and tail a pound of beans. These come trimmed and cut into bite size lengths, ready to use. Handy. To cook, throw them in boiling salted water.

Or you can also just toss the beans into a hot sauté pan with some butter and oil (and garlic?) Cook either way for only 1-2 mins till just tender. Don’t overcook these! You can easily ruin them. With a bit of minced garlic and butter you have a nice French side dish of haricots verts, ready in minutes. Salads? Yes! I threw them into a salad after boiling them for about 45-60 seconds, dumping them in a colander and running cold water to cool them, and they were really good tossed with some good Virgin Olive Oil and White Balsamic vinegar…Delicious. Toss in some diced hard boiled eggs, and parsley, and you have a nice “salade composé”. I also use these a lot by just adding them to any dish I’m making, generally breaking them in half first as I add them to stews, soups, etc…..

haricots verts cocoCategory:Green beans

haricots verts cocoCategory:Green beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To sell at this price, I can only imagine these are one of those items TJ’s makes a huge deal with the farmer or vendors. TJ’s purchases in such huge quantities directly from the vendor and they say pays in cash for the next crop and thats how TJ’s makes deals so they can sell products at such bargains (case in point is Olive Oil, right? They buy HUGE massive quantities from vendors all over the world)

Anyway TJ’s FRENCH GREEN BEANS (Haricots Verts) are my new favorite vegetable, and are now on my “always these have on hand” Trader Joe’s List. I now always buy a package to have in my freezer at all times. Right next to TJ’s Frozen Peas and Frozen Edamame, also all staples in my house.  These are very versatile things to have on hand at all times. Try them, you won’t be sorry.

RECIPEHaricots Verts With Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

(If you make this remember the recipe assumes using fresh haricots verts so adjust the cooking time down)

Have you tried this product?  Let me know what you think in the comments section!

NOTE: THIS WAS M.I.A FOR SOME TIME AS NOTED BY MANY READERS. I INQUIRED ABOUT IT WITH THE CAPTAIN AT MY LOCAL TJ (NYC) WHO TOLD ME THE PRODUCT WAS NOT DISCONTINUED, THEY RAN OUT OF IT, AND HADNT BEEN AVAILABLE FROM THE SUPPLIER. HE TOLD ME THEY WERE WAITING FOR THE NEXT HARVEST AND SHIPMENT TO COME IT. IT SHOULD AGAIN BE AVAILABLE IN JUNE (2019) – As of July 2019, I still don’t see it

AUGUST 2019 – I think I found it again finally!!  Package looks different (white bag instead of clear) and instead of “Trader Joe’s” label says “DU JARDIN” but seems to be the Haricot Verts “extra fine green beans” “Product of France”…. so this must be it?…Except now bag is 16 oz instead of 24 oz and its $1.99. So price went up. Of course.

UPDATE2 (SEPT 2019) This product (original package) is back in the stores!