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Canada’s butter market sucks, and your pastries are suffering—but there’s hope on the horizon

The front page of today’s Globe and Mail proclaims Canada “a butter backwater,” telling readers that if they’re struggling to produce perfect pastries, they can blame the country’s butter supply. The problem, according to Chris Nuttall-Smith, is Canada’s highly regulated—and highly homogenized—dairy market. While European bakers rely on fatty, 84 per cent butter to churn out flaky croissants, their Canadian counterparts are forced to make do with a product that’s often less fatty, at only 80 per cent. On top of that, regulations on everything from raw milk production to packaging mean dairy producers are limited in what they can offer consumers. Enter Stirling Creamery, a central Ontario dairy operation that has begun providing bakers—and some independent grocers—with the fatty, barrel-churned butter they lust after. Indeed, a sample batch of fattier croissants cooked up by Nadège Nourian of Nadège apparently had a “deeply buttery resonance” that the ordinary, 80 per cent variety lacked. Of course, when people like Jennifer McLagan are doing things like MacGyvering their butter through cheesecloth in an attempt to reproduce something they might otherwise be able to buy at a grocery store, perhaps it’s time to open up the market just a tad. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

  • Kathryn

    I was getting excited for a butter recommendation – happily I’ve been buying Stirling as the most local offering the stores ever had.

    Congratulations to them on a great product & expansion.

  • Gary Leonard

    STIRLING is a quality place and has quality product; once again…

  • Annette

    Another product, Stirling Creamery Whey Butter is a treat no one should miss. My family have eaten it for 40 years and nothing else works for us. Congratulations to the West Family for making the company so successful. Although they no longer own it, their dedicated employees along with present management, are doing a wonderful job.

  • Dave

    I was raised eating Stirling butter for 70 years I would buy nothing but it. A great tribute to the West family who had a long and storied history in the butter business. Now if we could just get the dairy commision to free up the rules in a completley controlled markett then the consummer would have access to more quality products.

  • Moo-dawna

    All of our baked goods from Lazy Daisy’s Cafe are made from scratch…using Stirling butter. We source from Fresh From the Farm on Donlands. Thanks TL for highlighting this fantastic, local, barrel churned butter.