I know absolutely nothing about butter, no clue of its processes, but after a night at Pepe Saya’s kitchen, I learnt the entire process of churning butter all the way through to packaging and cooking delicious garlic butter mussels.
We were welcomed to a table filled with freshly baked sourdough breads, cheeses, butters, olives and meats – not to mention plentiful bottles of wine and beers. This class was apart of the Crave Sydney events, and attracted a very niche crowd of butter enthusiasts.
We head into the kitchen with our scrubs and hair nets in and begin the tour. Surprisingly the kitchen is a lot smaller than I had imagined. Pepe Saya also shares their kitchen with Pat & Sticks, who are famous for their ice cream sandwiches!
Over here, Pierre explains to us the initial stages of churning butter, adding sorts of packaged bacteria and serving us teaspoons at each stage so we could taste the butter slowly develop.
Pierre showing off his prized possession as the butter turns into a “butter popcorn” stage. Churn churn churn!
In the next stage, the butter is literally washed. Pierre squeezes as much of the liquid as possible (which essentially is buttermilk!) and it is hosed down with good ol’ Sydney tap water.
The fun begins when the load of butter is spread onto the kitchen tops and it’s time to get dirrrty! Our role here is to continue squeezing all the water out and prepare them for the moulds. This is also the stage where the salt is added (hence, salted butter) with a mix of normal salt and the treasured pink salt flakes. It isn’t too soon before we realise that you need to work super fast as butter tends to melt at 35 degrees, which is also our body temp.
Aw! Look at that grin of happiness while playing with butter.
Pierre packing the butter into a 2kg wheel mould which is mainly purchased by restaurants. It’s also the only product that is sold with the traditional packaging with a sheet of baking paper and twine.
After all our hard work, we dig into more food. At the end of this, we’re absolutely exhausted. Definitely props to the team at Pepe Saya for the dedication, love and care that is taken into making cultured butter. It is a tremendous amount of work for what essentially is, butter! But it is definitely worth all the effort from its delicious taste.
Pepe Saya also produce the range of Homemade Fine Foods using their cultured butter making amazing chocolate mousses, tiramisu, pannacottas, bread & butter puddings and apple crumbles; all winning medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show! They also stock plenty of pestos, tapenades and garlic paste – which go harmoniously with the butter and fresh mussels. All of these are available at their Tempe factory.
Minibites attended this event thanks to Vivan at When the World Stops Spinning
Unit 4, 3 Wood St