Beurre d’Isigny is a French butter that is used both as a spread and as an ingredient. It is sold in round paperboard tubs with replaceable lids (designed in Finland but made in Habsheim, France), in foil logs and in low, rectangular plastic tubs.
There are sweet and semi-salted versions; both are 82% butterfat.
The butter’s very golden colour comes completely naturally; no artificial colouring such as annatto is added.
Beurre d’Isigny is made in the Baie des Veys area of Normandy, along the channel in an area between Cotentin and Bessin. In effect, the production area straddles the two French départements of Manche and Calvados (as technically, Normandy no longer exists.)
There are 193 villages in the area. A lot of the pasture area is drained marshland. Cows in the area eat grass year round. Owing to their diet of grass from near the sea, their milk is high in oleic acid, minerals, salts, and iodine. The milk used for the butter, though, is allowed to also come from cows outside the area.
The milk is collected and delivered to the cooperative. It is pasteurized, then the cream is collected off it, and production of the butter starts within 48 hours of the cream collection. The cream is allowed to sit and mature for 12 hours in large vats — no starter cultures are added. Then it travels via a pipe into a large mechanized churn. After churning, the butter is transferred to large vats
and then packaged.
Beurre d’Isigny is made by a cooperative, which also makes products such as Crème d’Isigny, and the cheeses Camembert de Normandie and Pont l’Evêque.
2006 prices for Beurre d’Isigny were about $7.00 Australian ($5.37 US) in Australia for 125 g tubs; £1.09 ($2.03 US) in the UK for 200 g.
Locals date the fame of their butter back to the 1500s.
The cooperative was formed in 1932 by 42 producers. In 1945, it had grown to 180 members, and by 1970, to over 800 members.
In 1986, Beurre d’Isigny received its French AOC. It received its European PDO designation on 5 October 1999
The English name “Disney” comes from “d’Isigny.”