We all know about the one pound sticks of butter that we buy at the supermarket. But there are other choices that may not be available at your favorite market, so you may have to shop around. One of them you create in your own kitchen! All of them are worth knowing about.

STANDARD BUTTER, salted and unsalted, is the one most used as a spread and in cooking, and usually is sold in sticks.

ORGANIC, also sold in sticks, uses cream that is taken from cows that have been fed 100% natural food. It can be bought either unsalted or salted and used like standard butter.

BRICK is sold in a one pound brick (unquartered). Why would you want to buy it in a chunk? Simple answer - it's a lot cheaper! Cut each brick in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Voila! Four sticks of butter for a lot less money. Extra bricks can be cut, wrapped well, and frozen until you're ready to use them.

WHIPPED has air added to it, making it softer than standard butter. Commercially it is whipped with nitrogen gas to help keep it from going rancid. It can be made at home more cheaply by whipping it with an electric beater, and can be left out of the refrigerator for a few days without spoiling. To use it right out of the refrigerator, the butter can be whipped with a little flavorless oil and it will stay soft. Whipped butter goes farther and has less calories, but it is not recommended for cooking.

LIGHT has only 40% milk fat, with water and fillers making up the difference. It is not recommended for baking or cooking, but can otherwise be used the same as standard butter.

CLARIFIED (some recipes refer to it as drawn butter) is unsalted butter that is melted over low heat to remove water and milk solids until just butterfat remains. It has a high smoke point so doesn't burn the way regular butter tends to do. It also keeps for a long time in the refrigerator. Many cooks like to use it for cooking because it has a better flavor than regular oils. It's also used to give a more buttery taste to grains and vegetables, as a dip for seafoods, and for various sauces. It can also be used in recipes that call for regular butter. Because it has less moisture than regular butter, it makes flakier pies and other pastries, and gives cookies and cakes a lighter texture.

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