© Denzil Green
Salt acts as a preservative, in butter as in everything else.
Adding salt to butter gives it a longer storage life, of up to 5 months under normal refrigeration, provided it’s still in its factory packaging unopened. .
Just as salt changes the flavour of the butter, it can also mask any mild odours in the butter.
- In France, butter defined as salted will be more than 3 % up to 10% maximum.
- In America and South Africa, Salted Butter will be 2% salt or more.
- In Australia, Salted Butter will be 3% salt or more.
The salt is added after the buttermilk has been drained off, and the percentage is based on the butterfat that has remained after that draining. The salt is worked into the butter.
In France, there are also some speciality butters where salt is not just a preservative, but a gourmet feature. Some specialty butters such as “Beurre de Baratte Fleur de Sel” are salted with speciality salt. Some even have large, sea-salt crystals that crunch in the butter.
If a recipe calls for unsalted butter, and you only have salted, go ahead and use the salted, but per every ½ cup (115 g) of salted butter you use in that recipe, cut back on any salt called for separately by ¼ teaspoon.