In author Elaine Khosrova ‘s new book, titled Butter: A Rich History, the author dives into the backstory of one of our most cherished ingredients.
The book, published in November of 2016, goes all the way back to around 8,000 B.C., when a weary traveler discovered that the sheep’s milk he was transporting has curdled. According to NPR, the rough terrain and constant juggling of the milk had turned it into butter.
Much like that sheep herdsmen from long ago, butter has gone on a long journey. This happy accident led to 10,000 years of development and an ingredient that provides the basis for so many baked goods.
Khosrova is a writer specializing in food history and gastronomic culture. The former chef and fellowship student at the Culinary Institute of America has a special relationship with food which has allowed her to delve into food history with passion.
Research into the story of butter was an especially interesting project for Elaine Khosrova. She says that butter is a historical roadmap of humanity. "I felt like I had uncovered an epic story that very few people had been paying attention to," she says.
Modern butter tends to come from cows mostly, but in the early days of butter it came from a variety of sources, such as yak, sheep, and goats.
After butter was first discovered, a trial-and-error process eventually led to butter becoming prevalent in societies. One of the early methods of butter-making is still used today by isolated communities in North Africa and the Middle East.
Later on, ancient Romans used butter for cosmetic purposes and also as a healing balm. Many civilizations viewed butter as magical, since its initial creation seemed to happen supernaturally. They would offer up butter as a gift to gods and goddesses, as a form of appeasement.
Most people would agree that butter is amazing, and certainly worth expressing appreciation over. Butter: A Rich History is available on Amazon and other outlets.