At the beginning of the year, butter was still available for well under two euros. But recently the price of branded butter, for example from Meggle or Kerrygold, exceeded the magic threshold of three euros. Even the discounters are turning the price screw on their own brands – and charging more than two euros for half a pound of butter. It hurts especially when the "new luxury good" spoils.
However, it takes a while for the butter to be gone. After all, if you store them correctly, you can enjoy them well beyond the best-before date – we're talking weeks or even months here.
This keeps the butter fresh for a long time
You've probably encountered rancid butter before. This looks bad and can also smell unpleasant. In order to avoid such unpleasant encounters, you should keep the butter cool if possible – for example in the middle refrigerator compartment or in the butter compartment of the refrigerator door. The butter will keep best if you store it in an airtight container. You can also freeze butter to keep it fresh for longer. Tip: Before freezing, divide the butter into suitable portion sizes.
According to environmental experts from Lower Austria, butter that has not yet been opened can be eaten for up to six months after the best-before date, if stored correctly. Even butter that has been opened can be eaten for at least another four months. At room temperature, on the other hand, it quickly becomes critical and after a few days the coveted fat spread is gone. Rule of thumb of the consumer center: At temperatures above 21 degrees, the butter must definitely be in the fridge.
If the best-before date has passed, you should trust your senses. The consumer center calls this the sense check:
It looks like butter, smells like butter and tastes like butter: then there's no reason to throw it away.
Butter dishes on Amazon: see the best offers
Spoiled Butter: No longer fit for consumption
Real pleasure: This is what good butter should look like
Getty Images/ Nunning20
On the other hand, if the butter has already turned dark yellow and smells or tastes rancid or sour, then you have no choice but to throw it away. Because then it is no longer suitable for consumption and can even contain harmful degradation products.
However, the dark yellow coating alone is not an indication that the butter has already spoiled, but rather the beginning of the process. The coloring is caused by the meeting of fat and oxygen. Ie: If you want, you can remove the discolored areas and continue to consume the butter. Butter becomes rancid when its fats are broken down into their components in interaction with oxygen – including foul-smelling butyric acid.
Because of its high fat content, whole butter cannot go moldy. However, if it comes into contact with a dirty knife, mold can still form. Therefore: Always use a clean knife to avoid contamination.
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Butter tested by Stiftung Warentest
In view of rising butter prices, the question arises: is only branded butter really good, or can inexpensive own-brand and discounter products also convince? Stiftung Warentest investigated this question some time ago and tested a total of 30 butter products. We have summarized the results of the test for you in the article The best butter in the test: The test winners according to Stiftung Warentest.