Butter to gourmet restaurants is an ingredient that cannot be ignored by connoisseur of fine cuisines. Quality of butter is an imperative factor in defining the palate of an epicurean gastronomic experience.
The Middle East is the second biggest market for European butter, in volume and value, after the US. For the UAE only, the butter market was expected to grow at 3.6% in 2018 to reach a market value of US$80.6m at the end of the year, according to data from World Dairy Situation, International Dairy Federation. Also, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (KSA) report published by ReportLinker Data, there will close to 2% increase in butter consumption consistently every year in Saudi Arabia till 2026.
There are several categories or types of butter like spreadable butter, unsalted and salted butter, fine and extra fine butter, churned butter, etc. which correspond to a wide range of ways of consumption.
Butter is one of those universal food item that is used in cooking across continents, baking and also consumed directly. For years, companies have tried several substitutes of butter, but nothing comes closer to the richness, taste and fineness of a high-quality butter.
Superiority in terms of butter quality coming from Europe is extremely high due to strict quality control and other factors like climatic conditions. The tradition and know-how is also important concerning this product, crafted in the same way for hundreds of years. In a book called “Butter of Europe”, seven international chefs were interviewed about the ways in which they use butter. Whether they excel in kitchens in Beirut, Dubai, Riyadh, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Paris they are unanimous in the opinion that butter is a multifunctional product, both as an essential ingredient in cooking and as a flavor enhancer. It also plays an important
role in the aesthetics of dishes, depending on how it is used: melted, emulsified, in sauces, solid. They recommend you should always use high quality butter containing 82% fat and, in particular, to avoid substitute products such as vegetable fats and other blends.
Butter of Europe campaign was developed by the European Union and the French dairy board. There were 2 workshops on European butter held recently in Riyadh which targeted not only media and influencer but also general public at Granada Mall to sample a variety of flavored high-quality butter. Speaking at the workshop organized on November 3rd at Embers restaurant, Riyadh, Chef Ahmad Fraijeh, Chef & consultant at HMF Hospitality and European butter ambassador in the KSA, said “butter is a key ingredient in many baked goods and recipes, using quality butter is essential to create beautiful pastries and gastronomic dishes. It can be used in many ways and will always enhance the aromas of your creations. French butter is of high quality, 100% natural and reliable, that’s why I prefer using it. It allows me a lot of creativity in my cooking”.
Consumption of European butter is expected to increase tremendously in the Middle East region not only because of the forecasts but also due to the high acceptability and love for the European butter by the people in the region.