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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Butter or margarine?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37535points) January 25th, 2023

Butter all the way! I’ll die on this hill!

I haven’t bought margarine since I started buying my own groceries 37 years ago.

Fake stuff. Blerrghfk!

And these days, I buy Kerrygold Irish butter. So there.

I’m a completely healthy weight, and my cholesterol is fine. The average French person eats 18 pounds of butter each year. The average American eats only 3. Who’s fat?! It’s the Americans. I bite my thumb at the dieticians who decry consuming animal fats in dairy. (Link)

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45 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

As a child I was allergic to butterfats, no butter, no cream, only skim milk, so I was surprised when I outgrew the allergy and discovered the real thing.


Now I practically want to eat it by the stick.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Was blind but now I see.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Nom nom nom nom nom!

chyna's avatar

I don’t eat much butter, but I do buy butter. It tastes so much better in baked goods. Yes it does! Don’t argue with me! I can taste the difference.
I probably use a tablespoon a week because I have 2 waffles on the weekend as my treat.

ragingloli's avatar

Margerine is just an artificially coloured oil-water emulsion mixed with all kinds of chemicals. There are more white powders in there than in Stephen King during his writing sprees.

Forever_Free's avatar

There is no substitute to butter. I cook and bake a lot. No Butter is a dealbreaker.
The last time i was forced to eat Margarine was when I spent time with my Aunt & Uncle when I 7. Everything in moderation (except glorious creamy butter).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Forever_Free I think I like you. [bats eyes] I like the butter to soak through the toast and pool on the plate.

cookieman's avatar

I agree with everything you wrote Jake — including Kerry Gold. That stuff is amazing.

tinyfaery's avatar

Funny story. The first time my ex tried to make her mom’s fudge she used butter instead of margarine because she’s a butter snob. The fudge came out awful, but with margarine it was excellent.

Vegan butter I don’t miss the dairy version at all.

Caravanfan's avatar

@ragingloli I’m not a Stephen King fan either.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@tinyfaery I have tried many different types of “milk” that are vegan. I have tasted vegan butter. I have decided to remain a good, old fashioned lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Butter and I use a mix of ghee and oil for frying.

Entropy's avatar

You know what…I’m not sure what the difference is taste wise. I definitely know what butter tastes like. But while I’m sure I’ve had margarine, I can’t recall having it in a context where it was the dominant flavor. Like Toast with butter on it is definitely a thing I’ve had such that the buttery flavor is unmistakeable. But like. ... I can’t ‘picture’ the taste of margarine in a similar fashion.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Entropy Count yourself lucky that you don’t know exactly what margarine tastes like. Imagine salty liquid plastic…

Acrylic's avatar

Margarine, as it’s cheaper and lasts longer.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^Yuck [making a frowny face and sticking out my tongue]

KNOWITALL's avatar

Real unsalted butter. Always.

janbb's avatar

Butter all the way!

Zaku's avatar


I mostly dislike margarine, and I’ve never lived in a household that used it regularly for anything.

Jons_Blond's avatar

Butter all the way. I just bought a cute butter dish a few weeks ago!

@janbb oops, didn’t mean to steal your words. I didn’t look at previous comments. :)

filmfann's avatar

I am notoriously cheap, but even with its high cost, it’s all about the butter!

kruger_d's avatar

In MN the “Dairy Princesses” are sculpted in butter at the state fair.
They are winners of regional pageants for dairy farmer’s daughters. Yes, really.

seawulf575's avatar

Butter. I saw a study once where they put butter and margarine out exposed to everything. Flies came to the party. Not a single fly would land on the margarine but did on the butter. If a fly won’t eat it, why would I?

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Margarine is made from hydrogenated oil. That should stop anyone from wanting to eat it. Butter in small amounts is good for you.

JLeslie's avatar

I use both and I don’t use either very much. Both are bad for me. I’d say most extra fats are bad for me, because of my bad genes.

If you mix half margarine and half butter it tastes just like butter in my opinion. I prefer zucchini and mushrooms sautéed in margarine, but very often I don’t use any fat to make them.

Some things I prefer with sweet butter and some with salted butter. Lately, when I buy butter I buy unsalted and just sprinkle a little salt when I want it. Usually, I just take pats of butter from restaurants when there are leftovers and I rarely buy it.

Margarine isn’t “fake” per se, but it is processed. As far as I know they no longer have trans fats like the old days.

Medical science keeps flip-flopping on these things.

Edit: I’m not a fan of Kerry Gold. There is a Dutch butter I like better, don’t remember the name, but I know the package. I tried Truly butter recently and it was pretty good.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Butter butter butter! Even when I was financially challenged I chose butter. Always.

smudges's avatar

Butter! @Jonsblond I just bought a cute butter dish about a month ago. I like how it looks but man, it’s heavy! Shiny black ceramic with a wooden handle which has a slot for the wooden knife, and the word Butter in white script. But I really don’t like the weight of it. What’s yours like?

SnipSnip's avatar

Like Julia Childs used to say, “There can’t be too much butter…if you think you are getting close, switch to cream. She also would say….“With enough butter anything is good.” There is no place in my kitchen for margarine.

Smashley's avatar

I just try to keep my trough full of real food, not late-stage-capitalist industrially produced hydrogenated oil blend for humans. Butter on principle. Lard is the only alternative spread I consider.

jca2's avatar

I buy and love butter. My grandmother never used margarine, my mom never used margarine, and I don’t, either. I just buy regular salted butter, whatever brand is best priced but I do love Kerrygold and if it goes on sale at Costco, I will buy it. I understand Trader Joe’s also has a grass fed butter which is supposed to be good, but I haven’t had it.

I used Kerrygold to make blueberry muffins, once, and they were so luscious and creamy. I highly recommend it.

I find margarine to taste weird and have an odd, oily texture. Margarine is also not supposed to be good for baking because it’s more soft and melts quicker, making cookies flatter than butter.

JLeslie's avatar

What you all might not realize is for observant Jewish people to have baked desserts right after a meat meal they can’t use butter in the baked goods. If they serve mashed potatoes with turkey on Thanksgiving the potatoes can’t have butter. I wasn’t raised kosher, but I was raised with some margarine in the house. A lot of Passover sweets have margarine in the recipe.

A lot of the packaged desserts you can buy in the supermarket probably use margarine or vegetable shortening. A lot of them do taste very chemical though. I don’t know exactly what’s contributing to that taste.

I hate the soft spread margarines, none of them taste good and a lot of stick margarines taste terrible too, I only like Fleischmann’s and that has changed over the years for the worse, but it’s still better than the others.

Usually, I use liquid oil for cooking. Sometimes I add a mini amount of butter to the oil. I even bake with liquid oil and butter sometimes to cut the cholesterol. It won’t work in some desserts though.

Forever_Free's avatar

I thought of this thread last night when I dropped a stick of butter in the pan to make Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo. Heavy handed doses of Butter, Heavy Cream, Parmesan Cheese.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Vegan, of course, either the soft spread in a tub (for bread and toast) or stick version (for cooking and baking).

Jons_Blond's avatar

@smudges Mine is ceramic. Also very heavy but I like it that way because our cats can’t knock it off the kitchen island. :)

smudges's avatar

^^ ohhh yes! I understand about the cats!

Here’s mine. I love the look and will probably get used to the weight once I get things organized and it’s handier than it is now. Shoot…got lost while looking at the butter dishes. Love so many of them, and the colors!

Smashley's avatar

Vegans will never accept the term margarine. They always say “vegan butter”. I’m aware not all margarine is strictly vegan, but it sure ain’t butter.

@JLeslie – when Crisco hit the market it pushed out schmaltz, which had been the saturated fat of choice for Jewish cooks. Procter and Gamble hit the Jewish immigrant community hard and convinced them that their American identity could be found in “modern”, “clean” methods of making their staple foods. Margarine isn’t essential to Jewish cooking, just a convenient way to access American culture (like butter on mashed potatoes as a side to a meat course) that people have stopped thinking tastes weird.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smashley Agree with all of what you said about Jewish cooking and good addition to what I wrote.

Some “vegan butters” are made from nuts or avocado oil and other oils that are not what we think of as traditional margarine.

canidmajor's avatar

@Smashley Thanks for the reminder of schmaltz! I haven’t made it in decades, I used to love it, and the extra flavor it added. Thinking that will be a weekend task. :-)

RayaHope's avatar

Butter for sure! Margarine is pretty much plastic and tastes that way too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s straight oil.
We have a Mexican restaurant here in town that serves breakfast 24 7. But they don’t slap a bit of butter on their toast when come out of the toaster. As a result we get served cold, dry toast.
I said something about it and the toast that was delivered to me was a soggy mass of Wesson oil.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I always have to remember to order my toast dry or it’s usually butter filled.

I’m surprised a restaurant would serve toast full of oil, I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen. The waitperson should have told you they don’t have butter. They might not even have margarine, it might just be liquid oil they cook with.

RocketGuy's avatar

@Dutchess_III – At my favorite Salvadorian place they shoot oil onto the griddle to fry up their pupusas. Maybe that Mexican place is trying to make your toast that way. Too bad they can’t give you good buttered toast.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s the only restaurant in town.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Vegan here, so no butter for me. I’ve never felt deprived by using vegan spread (soft, vegetable-based) on my toast or “vegan butter” for cooking and baking.

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