While pursuing the Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek, I made a mandatory stop at Souvenirs de France. Among all the delicious charcuterie and French cheese, I saw them. Tightly wrapped in their silky paper, lined one next to another screaming “EAT ME!” in my direction (ok, maybe the screaming part is just my glutton imagination), the packages of Le Beurre Bordier.
This butter, made in French Brittany, has a bit of a legendary status. David Lebovitz lists it in his “10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris”. Saveur devoted an article to Beurre Bordier calling it “A Butter Quest” . On Chowhound, people discuss stopping by Paris specifically to search for it since it’s sold in so few places. All in all, this French butter has a reputation as one of the best in the world.
Turns out, I didn’t know any of the above when I bought a package of Le Beurre Bordier au Piment d’Espelette. I bought it because, as a lover of all things butter, the packages looked so beautiful. So, when I got home I googled and found out the history behind this product. Le Beurre Bordier is made by French cheese maker Jean-Yves Bordier who also has a fromagerie and butter shop in Saint Malo. The Bordier butter is kneaded by hand to develop oxidation and give it a soft, supple texture. In his website, he claims that through kneading he hopes to infuse his butter with sensuality.
My Beurre Bordier au Piment d’Espelette lived up to the hype. Oh how it did. Piment d’Espelette is a nutty chili pepper cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, in the Atlantic Pyrenees area. This mildly hot pepper is protected by the French seal of Appellation d’origine contrôlée which means that only the peppers grown in that specific region can use the name Piment d’Espelette. The soft, rich nature of the butter was enhanced by the peppery flavor of this Piment. On toasted bread, it was love at first bite.
I now need to wait a couple of weeks until the next Sunday Market so that I can get my hands on other flavors of this butter. Since it’s sold in few outlets around the world, I cannot stress this enough: stalk the guys from Souvenirs de France when they are at local Dutch markets. In addition to the Sunday Market, they can be found weekly in the Amstelveen and Hilversum markets. Just make sure to leave a package or two for me.