Taste Europe | Butter of France announced a partnership with Cozymeal, a leading online platform connecting consumers where they reside with world-class chefs, mixologists, food tour guides and more to teach culinary enthusiasts the backbone of French cuisine – the 5 mother sauces. These sauces are the building blocks of classic dishes in many international cuisines and are a staple in traditional French culinary arts. For culinary students, mastering the 5 mother sauces is a requirement and for enthusiasts, the mother sauces provide a basic jumping off point as these sauces can be turned into endless variations – also called daughter sauces. The new video series is available on Taste Europe, Butter of France.


Cooking with Butter of France

It’s the Butter That Makes ‘La Différence’

“The common thread in all mother sauces is butter from France, of course. It’s the butter that makes ‘la différence,’” said Charles Duque, Managing Director of the Americas for the French Dairy Board. “Partnering with Cozymeal on this effort provides a platform to showcase the importance of using high-quality ingredient such as French butter, especially for making these sauces in French gastronomy.”

Recipes for sauces made with butter are a time-honored tradition and were codified in the early 19th century by chef and chef pâtissier, Marie-Antoine Carême, who developed four mother sauces as the cornerstone of French cuisine. Decades later, Georges Auguste Escoffier built upon Carême’s work with an updated list of these mother sauces in “Le Guide Culinaire,” which also designated a fifth sauce. Each of the mother sauces is made from a base liquid, combined with a thickening agent.

The five French mother sauces are béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise and tomate. French butter was traditionally used in mother sauces and still is the top choice among chefs worldwide.

“European butter – specifically French butter – is unique because it contains a higher percentage of butterfat (min. 82%). More fat means less water. It is most often cultured, and the cream is churned longer, which results in a creamier texture and a unique flavor, perfect for luxurious sauces,” said Ivan Beacco, a European chef now based in New York City.

The French consume more than 16 pounds of butter per year and per capita, according to data supplied by the Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. France has three Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) butters that every French chef is familiar with: Charentes-Poitou butter, Isigny Butter and Bresse Butter. “Butter with the PDO label is a protected butter that signifies a production guideline regulating milk, production process, terroir and savoir-faire. If a butter has this symbol, it means they are produced following certain guidelines and only using the milk from a specific region,” said Duque.

Why Mother Sauces Are So Important?

Mother sauces add richness, texture and flavor and help to bring a dish together. The name “mother sauce” refers to the fact that each one is the foundation for countless variations. French butter is an exceptional base for developing extraordinary sauces to upgrade everything from meats and vegetables to soups and pasta.

“In America, mother sauces are the foundation of many beloved dishes,” according to Duque. Béchamel is the base of creamy homemade macaroni and cheese or lasagna. Velouté is the starting point for comforting chicken pot pie and shrimp bisque. A rich French brown sauce paired with filet mignon begins with Espagnole. Hollandaise is often drizzled over asparagus and graces one of the most popular brunch dishes, Eggs Benedict.

Cooks can master the five mother sauces like a chef with easy step-by-step videos available on www.TasteEurope.com/mothersauces. More recipes and tips can be found on social media @TasteEurope and www.TasteEurope.com.

What are the 5 Mother Sauces?

Sponsored by Taste Europe | Butter of France

By Brittany Davies and Tiffany La Forge

Learn how to make the 5 Mother Sauces with these videos.

this article is brought to you in partnership with Cozymeal and Taste Europe | Butter of  France. All opinions are our own.

When it comes to creating culinary wonders like the Mother Sauces, using the finest ingredients is key, and that includes incorporating the richness of European butter sourced from the heart of France.  

A rite of passage for every chef, learning how to prepare the five mother sauces can transform an average dish into something extraordinary. Practicing these foundational mother sauces is an easy way for home cooks to strengthen their culinary skills and bring  their creations to the next level. 

Top view image of the 5 mother sauces

How Does Sauce Enhance a Dish?

A well-made sauce can give a sense of cohesion to the  final plate while adding moisture, depth, texture and color. If you have ever dipped into a  luscious bowl of macaroni and cheese, soaked up a rich demi-glace with a piece of juicy  steak or enjoyed an eggs Benedict at brunch, you have sampled some version of the mother sauces.

French cooking is synonymous with quality, refinement and technique. Beyond its signature  precision and style, French cuisine is embedded with an air of passion and romance. Perhaps this connotation comes from the gusto with which the French select, prepare and enjoy their food, choosing the highest quality ingredients at the peak of freshness and never skimping on flavor. French gastronomy showcases regional and seasonal ingredients elevated with classic techniques, Best of France explains. Food is a way of life in France, where meals are  savored and shared with elements that appeal to all the senses.

If there is one ingredient that sums up the ethos of French cuisine, it is unequivocally butter. Made with care using time-honored methods, French butter transforms the average into unforgettable with its unparalleled texture and taste. High-quality butter enhances stews,  sauces, pastries and other baked goods from the mouthfeel of a bechamel to the golden flake of puff pastry. European butter from France contains less water, giving it a richer,  creamier texture than other types of butter. The premium cultured butter offers complexity  and visual appeal with a subtle nuttiness and tang in an attractive yellow hue. With its high  fat content and nuanced flavor, French butter is essential to flaky croissants, tender tart  crusts and of course, France’s iconic mother sauces.

What Are the 5 Mother Sauces?

Revered throughout the culinary world, mastering the French mother sauces is a fundamental element of every chef’s training. Proficiency with the mother sauces enables chefs to create countless derivatives, or daughter sauces, that can bring textural contrast and  balance the flavor of a dish. The term “mother sauce” first appeared in the early 19th century  when revolutionary chef and pâtissier, Marie-Antoine Carême, whom NPR dubs the first celebrity chef, conceived four mother sauces as the cornerstones of French haute cuisine. Decades later, Georges Auguste Escoffier built upon Carême’s work with an updated list of  these mother sauces in 1903’s “Le Guide Culinaire” which also designated a fifth sauce.

Bacon cooked in French butter in a saucepan

European butter — specifically French butter — is unique because it contains a higher percentage of butterfat (from cultures and longer churning) which  results in a creamier and richer taste, perfect for luxurious pastries and  sauces.

– Chef Ivan, New York City

An essential ingredient to creating luxurious mother sauces is good butter. Using a high quality product such as European butter from France provides an instant flavor boost as well as silkier sauces with a richer mouthfeel thanks to a higher percentage of fat. To achieve this, Butter made in France is cultured and churned longer than American butter to achieve that  higher portion of butterfat. French butter is an exceptional building block for developing  rich, flavorful sauces to upgrade everything from meats and vegetables to soups and pastas.

Each of the mother sauces is born from a base liquid combined with a thickening agent  enhanced with other ingredients for texture and flavor. Four out of the five mother sauces traditionally begin with a roux, in which equal parts flour and fat (typically butter) are cooked together to form a thickener before adding other ingredients such as stock to build the  sauce. These core sauces are vital building blocks in a chef’s repertoire and have become a  ubiquitous feature of modern cuisine. The five French mother sauces include béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise and tomato.

What are the 5 Mother Sauces?

Eggplant gratin with bechamel sauce

1. Béchamel

A simple yet versatile mother sauce, béchamel is made using only a few ingredients, including butter, milk, flour and salt. Preparing this sauce begins with making a roux which is  then mixed gradually with milk or cream to thicken. The resulting sauce should have a  smooth, creamy consistency that has thickened just enough to coat the back of a spoon. Salt  and other seasonings such as pepper, nutmeg or herbs may then be added to enhance the flavor. When making mother sauces like béchamel, Chef Ivan in NYC advises home cooks to “whisk constantly while adding milk to prevent lumps” and try dialing up the flavor by  “infusing the milk with onion, garlic or spices.” From the base of a béchamel sauce, chefs can  create an array of white sauces, cream sauces or cheese sauces that bring a rich  unctuousness to a dish. Smooth, buttery béchamel is a key ingredient in many comfort foods with the creamy sauce and its derivatives appearing in numerous casserole, soup and  pasta recipes.

Derivative Sauces
  • Mornay – this iconic cheese sauce consists of béchamel enriched with Gruyére de France and
    sometimes Parmesan as well as cloves, onion and bay leaf.
  • Aurora – this creamy pinkish-red sauce in which tomato purée is added to its mother sauce is often
    served with eggs, vegetables, fish or pasta.
  • Nantua – a popular accompaniment to seafood dishes, this sauce is made by adding shrimp or
    crayfish butter and cream to béchamel.
  • Soubise – sautéed onions, finely chopped or puréed, are incorporated into béchamel to create this
    savory sauce traditionally enjoyed with meats, game or vegetables.
Typically Served With
  • Croque Monsieur or Madame
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Lasagna
  • Casseroles
  • Creamed spinach

Grilled salmon filet with bechamel sauce

2. velouté

Thought to be the oldest of the mother sauces, velouté gets its name from the French word velour, which means velvet, referencing the smooth, silky texture of the sauce. As noted by MAD, both velouté and béchamel appeared in Chef Pierre de la Varenne’s “Le Cuisinier François” published in 1651 which revolutionized the art of French cuisine. Velouté begins  with a white roux that is cooked slightly longer than the base of a béchamel and has a subtly  golden hue. Instead of milk, a light stock is added to create this mother sauce with the most  common being chicken, veal or fish. Using stock instead of dairy gives the sauce a slightly  more complex flavor and a smooth consistency that is thinner than a béchamel.

When making mother sauces, Chef Lisa in Boston loves “the salty, tangy character of French  butter” and prefers it to American butter in dishes that allow the richness and flavor to shine such as in a classic velouté. Despite being one of the simplest of the mother sauces to make, the versatile velouté is perhaps the most important to both classical French and modern cooking due to the vast number of daughter sauces that use it as a base. Velouté and its daughter sauces typically pair well with chicken or seafood dishes and work well as starters  for creamy soups. Many of the daughter sauces of velouté each have their own derivative  sauces that continue to build layers of flavor upon this essential base.

Derivative Sauces
  • Allemande – one of Carême’s original mother sauces, this sauce goes by many names including
    German sauce or sauce Parisienne, and is made by enriching velouté  (traditionally veal)
    with egg yolk and heavy cream, sometimes seasoned with lemon  juice.
  • Suprême – typically made from a chicken velouté, heavy cream or crème fraîche is added, then
    strained to produce a luxuriously silky sauce.
  • Sauce Vin Blanc (White Wine Sauce) – traditionally prepared by simmering white wine with heavy
    cream in a fish velouté, this sauce is often served as an accompaniment to seafood dishes.
  • Normande or Normandy – while many versions exist with additional ingredients, at its core this sauce is a velouté, generally using fish stock, enriched with cream, egg  yolks and butter.
  • Bercy – this lively sauce, often enjoyed with seafood, is made by adding finely chopped shallots,
    white wine and butter to a fish stock velouté.
  • Ravigote – served hot or cold, this acidic sauce consists of a basic velouté infused with dry white
    wine, white wine vinegar, herbs and shallots.
  • Hungarian – made by adding sautéed onions, white wine and paprika to a chicken or veal velouté, this sauce is a beautiful accompaniment to roast chicken dishes.
Typically Served With
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Veal
  • Creamy soups (such as
    vichyssoise or bisque)
  • Vegetables
  • Biscuits (as gravy)
  • Swedish meatballs


Beef Steak with Espagnole sauce

3. Espagnole

Sometimes known simply as brown sauce, espagnole is a rich, complex mother sauce that  begins similarly to velouté. However, rather than the light or blonde roux used in other  mother sauces, espagnole begins with a roux that has been cooked and browned several minutes to develop a toasted, nutty flavor. To elevate its richness, a generous touch of French butter is expertly incorporated into this brown roux, further enhancing its depth and indulgence. Beef or veal stock made from roasted bones is then added, infusing the sauce  with even more profound flavors.

Most recipes for espagnole include a mirepoix of sautéed carrots, celery and onions as well as tomato purée and aromatics. Unlike the more neutral taste of mother sauces such as béchamel or velouté, this sauce carries a deep, bold flavor and serves as the base for a range of popular accompaniments to hearty meat and game dishes such as demi-glace and various wine reductions. Along with cozy beef stews in the New England winters, spring mushroom dishes and pan sauces for lamb, Chef Lisa in Boston highlights the versatility of this umami-rich sauce. She recommends keeping “a small reserve of demi-glace infused with the richness of French butter on hand just in case a sauce or base of a dish needs more  depth. Sometimes only a small spoonful will make or break a dish!”

Derivative Sauces
  • Demi-Glace – a key ingredient to create Madeira, Bordelaise, port wine sauce and Marchand de Vin or a red wine reduction, red wine is reduced with espagnole to create a thick, concentrated sauce with a consistency similar to syrup.
  • Bourguignonne – a popular accompaniment to beef, this sauce adds red wine, onions and bouquet garni (a bundle of parsley, thyme and bay leaf) to a base of espagnole.
  • Chasseur – also known as Hunter’s sauce, this brown sauce adds mushrooms and  shallots to a base of espagnole.
  • Lyonnaise – onions and white wine vinegar are added to espagnole or a rich demi glace to create this sauce which pairs well with roasted or grilled meats and vegetables.
  • Poivrade – traditionally, this sauce consists of mirepoix, wine and vinegar added to an  espagnole base and generously seasoned with black pepper.
  • Sauce Africaine – this robust sauce adds onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs to its mother sauce base.
Typically Served With
  • Beef
  • Game meats such as rabbit,
    venison or wild fowl
  • Lamb
  • Mushrooms

Asparagus with hollandaise sauce

4. Hollandaise

Of the mother sauces, hollandaise is perhaps the most unique. It relies on a technique called  emulsification rather than a roux to thicken the rich, acidic sauce. Not included in Carême’s  original four mother sauces, Escoffier demoted allemande, now a daughter sauce of velouté, and added hollandaise to the esteemed five mother sauces in the early 20th century. A luscious, creamy sauce made from butter, egg yolks and an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar, technique is key when making hollandaise.

To prepare this sauce, lemon juice and egg yolks are constantly whisked while heating  gently over a double boiler. Temperature control is essential as the eggs should not get too  hot or begin to scramble. Once the mixture has lightened in color and started to thicken, melted butter is slowly drizzled into the emulsion while the chef continues to whisk. It is  important to have patience while incorporating the butter to avoid the sauce breaking or separating.

Chef Ivan in NYC suggests home cooks “use room temperature eggs and melted butter to  prevent the sauce from breaking.” The finished hollandaise should be smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Hollandaise and its daughter sauces are very versatile and pair well with a wide range of dishes from delicate eggs and vegetables to hearty steaks  and salmon.

Derivative Sauces
  • Béarnaise – this emulsion includes vinegar, tarragon, shallots and black pepper to  create a rich sauce especially well-suited for grilled meats such as steak and has many daughter sauces of its own.
  • Choron – hollandaise infused with tomato paste enhances the sweetness and acidity of its mother sauce.
  • Crème Fleurette – simply add cream to a basic hollandaise to create this daughter sauce.
  • Bavaroise – also known as Bavarian sauce, this hollandaise derivative incorporates horseradish, heavy cream and thyme.
  • Maltaise or Maltese – the zest and juice of blood oranges are added to hollandaise to bring a tangy sweetness to this sauce traditionally served over asparagus or  broccoli.
  • Mousseline – sometimes called Chantilly sauce, whipped cream is folded into hollandaise to create this light and airy derivative.
Typically Served With
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Vegetables such as asparagus,
    green beans or broccoli
  • Steamed fish
  • Steak, especially as a béarnaise

Fish filet in tomato sauce

5. Tomato

Also known as sauce tomate or red sauce, the traditional French tomato sauce was added  along with hollandaise to the esteemed mother sauces by Escoffier in 1903. With roots in classic Italian cooking, it’s no surprise that this popular sauce is commonly served with pizza and pasta dishes although it is widely used across many European cuisines.

While the original French variation is built from blending rendered pork fat with vegetables  and stock into a roux to thicken, modern versions are often simply a reduction of tomatoes, herbs and other aromatics. Whichever way it is prepared, the most essential element of a rich, fragrant tomato sauce is always time. The longer it simmers, the deeper the flavor, resulting in a complex essence. This versatile sauce transcends continents, acting as the  precursor to tomato-based dishes worldwide, from tikka masala to shakshuka. At its core, the finesse of French butter intertwines with tradition, enhancing the sauce’s allure. Like an artist’s finishing touch, it turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, a testament to the artistry of cuisine.

Derivative Sauces
  • Bolognese – this iconic derivative traditionally adds ground meat and a sofrito of diced vegetables to its tomato base.
  • Marinara – perhaps the most widely recognized iteration of the mother sauces, the simple addition of herbs and aromatics including parsley, garlic and oregano create  the signature flavor of this beloved sauce.
  • Puttanesca – this variation of tomato sauce from the south of Italy gets its umami rich flavor from anchovies, capers and olives.
  • Spanish – mushrooms and olives are added to a tomato base to create this sauce.
  • Portuguese – sautéed onions and garlic cloves are added to a tomato sauce base then finished with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Provençale – this tomato sauce is enriched with olive oil and flavored with onions, garlic and seasonings such as a French herb blend known as herbes de Provence.
  • Creole – this spicy tomato sauce incorporates vegetables such as onions, celery and green bell pepper with herbs, garlic and hot pepper sauce.
Typically Served With
  • Pasta
  • Meatballs
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Seafood
  • Pizza
  • Eggs
  • Soups
  • Beans
  • Risotto
  • Vegetables


Top view 5 mother sauces

I love the salty, tangy character of French butter. Those qualities, along with the naturally deep yellow color and higher fat content, truly helps to set itself  apart from American butter.

– Chef Lisa, Boston

The Foundation of Mother Sauces: Butter

While each of the five mother sauces is markedly distinct, they are all enhanced by one  crucial ingredient: butter. Whether as the fat component of a roux, an essential emulsifier or  a vehicle for flavor, butter plays a critical role in developing the taste and texture of each of  the mother sauces. With 82% fat, using European butter from France improves both the flavor and texture of rich sauces, flaky pastry and more.


Chef Luana in Los Angeles uses “European butter both for sweets and savory dishes” using it  “to make pastry doughs that need more acidity, richness and flavor as well as in sauces.” The  chef is “always fascinated by butter’s different tastes, colors, and textures” throughout  Europe, where butter-making is an art form. Much pride is taken in producing high-quality French butter. The process is authentic, steeped in tradition and very controlled with rigid  regulations guiding the care of the cows, the land and the farmers.

Made with simple, all natural ingredients, French butter is rich in vitamin D and calcium and  complements a wide range of diets and lifestyles. To integrate French butter into your  cooking at home, Chef Andy in Chicago suggests incorporating “it into baking dishes first to  taste the different flavors and eventually use it for sauces.” You might also use French butter to create compound butters infused with herbs or spices to finish proteins or spread some  on a piece of toast for a simple yet decadent bite.

Proficiency with the classic mother sauces of French cuisine provides chefs and home cooks  alike a foundation for building a vast and versatile array of dishes. Familiarity with these five base sauces opens endless possibilities for creativity in the kitchen. From developing layers  of flavor in soups and casseroles to finishing the plate with an element of texture and color,  a well-made sauce can make almost any dish feel elevated and complete. With a little practice and high-quality ingredients such as French butter, these mother sauces can take your favorite dishes to the next level.

Get our favorite recipes for all five mother sauces and watch our step-by-step videos.

Flaky and Buttery Puff Pastry Made with European Butter from France is the key for Spring Bake Season!

Taste Europe Offers Expert Tips for Delicious Bites
with Advice from the Culinary Pros.

Milles feuilles with chocolate fondant look so good

Spring is finally here, and it’s the peak season for fresh delicate strawberries, juicy asparagus, ramps, carrots, and rhubarb. Keeping it light and fresh is the best way to celebrate the season. According to Charles Duque, Managing Director, Americas for the French Dairy Board, “Nothing marks spring like asparagus or strawberry tarts, made with homemade puff pastry,” adding, “making perfectly flaky puff pastry is easier than you might think, it’s also much tastier, and the secret is French butter.”

Puff pastry, also known as pâte feuilletée, is made from a laminated dough composed of flour, butter and a pinch of salt that quickly and easily bakes into a flaky, light crust. Pastry chef and culinary instructor Jenni Field of Fearless in the Kitchen Pastry Chef Online shares, “I love using imported butter from France in my laminated dough. French butter is generally made with cultured cream, using milk from grass-fed cows, and as such, it provides a rich flavor. It is also higher in butterfat than American butter.”

Jenni adds “While water does provide steam for rising, I much prefer using French butter for my laminated puff pastry. The slightly drier texture stays workable longer during all the rolling and folding necessary to make thin and lovely layers in laminated dough.” Best of all, you don’t need to be a pro to make puff pastry. Field shares her online tutorials and recipes  for both a “blitz puff” or rough puff pastry as well as regular classic puff pastry.

Choux with blueberry coulis

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan also shares a “not so rough-to-make quick puff pastry” recipe in her xoxoDorie newsletter and says it’s fun to make and takes only twenty minutes. Even faster? Justin Chapple of Food and Wine magazine  offers his trademark “Mad Genius” tips to making puff pastry in just fifteen minutes. He slices frozen butter in the food processor, uses bread flour as a base and layers in the slices of butter before rolling it out with a final secret rolling pin tip that he learned from Jacques Pepin.

Once you’ve made puff pastry you can use it to create a wide variety of dishes. For speedy and impressive appetizers and desserts, bake sheets of puff pastry dough and top with Hollandaise and asparagus or pastry cream and strawberries. Says Field, “Puff pastry is a lovely dough to use as a base for many springtime ingredients. The buttery flavor and flakey layers really let the delicate flavors of springtime shine. Consider filling a vol au vent with a tarragon-flecked chicken salad or serving a simple asparagus, ramp, or fiddlehead tart in a puff pastry shell.”

Head to Recipes for more delicious recipes, tips, and tricks using French butter.

What is pain perdu? Classic or with a twist, pain perdu is perfect any time of the day.

By Sophia McDonald

Sponsored by Taste Europe | Butter of France

Pain perdu cake

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. Pain Perdu, often called French toast in America, is one example of that. In Europe, when a humble slice of stale bread is dipped in a wet mixture and fried in French butter, it becomes something that has impressed kings and endured for centuries.

The dish is so versatile that it can be served any time of day. One thing that shouldn’t vary is the use of European butter from France to cook and crown it. Higher-fat butter adds richness and lingering flavor that is impossible to duplicate with substitutes.

The origins on Pain Perdu can be traced to Roman times, when cooks would take their dense bread, dip it in a mixture of milk and honey, and fry it to make it more palatable. Taillevent, who wrote the influential early French cookbook “Le Viandier,” included a recipe for a similar fried bread dish. Louis XVI is among Pain Perdu’s many fans.

There are several nuances to maximizing the dish’s appeal. Just like using French butter as a flavor booster, it’s also critical to use bread that is at least one day old, said Chicago-based baker Romain Dufour. Dry bread soaks up more liquid and makes for a tastier, most custardy dish. In addition, Pain Perdu means “lost bread” in French. The whole concept is to keep the bread from being wasted, a lifesaving proposition in the Middle Ages and one that jives with current efforts to reduce food waste. “Please, let’s keep the origin of the recipe and be more sustainable,” he said. Dufour likes to use thick slices of sourdough French baguette, however it’s common to use brioche or challah for Pain Perdu. Chef Joris Barbaray of Bergerac in Portland, Oregon, will sometimes use a Pullman loaf because the semolina flour gives it some bite.

Pain perdu with blueberry jam

For the milk, many chefs use whole milk, cream or a mixture of the two. For the eggs, use the yolks only when possible; it will give the dish a quiche-like texture, Barbaray said. Both sugar and honey are traditional sweeteners for the soaking liquid. A little vanilla or rum can add additional flavor.

Once the bread has been soaked, it should be fried in French butter until crispy and golden. This is a dish where the higher fat content of French butter really makes a difference, said Barbaray. French butter has at least 82% butterfat and is made with real cream, while other butters are around 80% milkfat and sometimes contain powdered milk. “You want the protein from the cream to cook down because when it cooks down, that’s where you get this nutty flavor,” he said. Only higher fat content butter provides this rich, round, savory flavor and a gourmand experience.

Dufour agrees. He recently cooked the same dish with French and American butter. “The flavor of both was really good, but with the French butter, the flavor stayed in your mouth longer, so you could appreciate it longer,” he said.

French butter also provides Pain Perdu with its signature golden color. However, it’s critical not to overheat it or you’ll end up with an unappealing blackened mess. Carefully monitor the temperature while cooking to ensure you get the proper color and delicious caramelized crust that higher-fat French butter provides.

Patrick Quillec, owner of Café Provence and Verbena in Kansas City, grew up in Brittany, France, where they put butter on everything. He remembers his mother putting a little pat of the region’s salted butter on top of the warm bread and letting it slowly melt. Although he’s tried other butters, they don’t hold a candle to the ones from France. “They’re not as rich. They don’t have that smooth taste on your tongue.”

Pain perdu cake with blueberry and cream

Pain Perdu for breakfast is traditionally topped with honey, fresh jam or a few raisins soaked in rum in addition to salted butter. Quillec has served it with plum jam and crème fraîche to rave reviews. Dufour likes the dish with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Though Pain Perdu is often served as a breakfast or brunch item, it can double as an afternoon snack. If you want leftover slices, Barbaray recommends baking slices on a tray rather than frying them to keep them from getting too soggy. At another restaurant, Pain Perdu was turned into a dessert with the addition of Cognac-soaked cherries and ice cream. Salted European butter from France is the natural choice in these dishes as well. “Like with chocolate mousse, a little salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients,” Quillec said.

this article originally appeared in the april 2023 issue of pastry arts

Consumers Can Save money

on Groceries & Avoid Waste with One Simple European Ingredient

French Butters make inflation busting positively delicious.

With food prices continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever to avoid throwing out leftovers and wasting food. At home consumers can save money and still enjoy delicious meals, by looking no further than the humble tartine. By using European Butter from France, they can transform leftovers into the most delicious and money-saving snack or meal. According to Charles Duque, Managing Director, Americas for the French Dairy Board, “The richness of French butter is what elevates the beloved sandwich, the tartine.”

A tartine is a French-style open-faced sandwich made with bread, slathered with butter, and loaded with various toppings. It’s a great way to use up whatever is in the fridge or turn leftovers into a gourmet meal and is incredibly easy to make. With a little creativity, budget conscious shoppers can create a variety of delicious tartines that are both pocketbook-friendly and delicious. Traditionally served as a snack, they can be topped with smoked salmon, sliced hardboiled, or scrambled eggs for breakfast, with meats or vegetables for lunch or dinner. Another way to make a tartine is by creating this French breakfast radish butter terrine, and savor it on slices of a baguette.

French breakfast radish butter terrine


Experts offer the following tips:

1. start with good bread – The key to a great tartine is good bread. In a New York Times story on tartines, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan shares, “Since it is the bread that gives the tartine its structure, it is best to choose one that can stand up to the weight of the topping. The two most commonly used breads are a baguette cut from stem to stern (the firmer bottom half makes a better tartine than the curved top) and a tight-grained country bread, preferably the larger center slices.” Toast it, to create a perfectly crisp canvas for creamy French butter and the toppings of your choice.

2. Get creative with spreads – Good butter is what takes your tartine to the next level. Use butter from France, salted or unsalted, or made into a flavored compound butter (you’ll find recipes at Taste Europe). Sheana Davis, explains in her upcoming book Buttermonger, “Because they’re fed a diet pure in grass and other ground plantings, the milk of the cows is a different, richer in color, which then results in gorgeous yellow hues in butter. That’s another reason why chefs love working with French butters.”

3. Experiment with toppings – Anything goes when it comes to tartine toppings. Leftover roasted vegetables, grilled meats, cheese, and even fruit can all be used to create a delicious tartine. Traditional French tartines include butter and shaved chocolate, ham, and butter or even just butter and jam. Let your imagination be your guide!

A traditional French tartine made with butter and jam


Using leftovers to make tartines not only saves money on groceries but yields delicious, gourmet snacks and meals. Head to TasteEurope.com for an exclusive 3-step recipe for Tartine with French Herb Butter & Fresh Radishes and more recipe inspiration including a delightful selection of compound butters.

Plasticity and Melting Points in Butter

By Sophia McDonald

Sponsored by Taste Europe Butter of France

Butter’s behavior has a lot to do with its plasticity, also known as its ability to be shaped and manipulated. Butter is a saturated fat, also called a solid or plastic fat, which means that it remains solid at room temperature. However, there are some qualities that set butter apart from other saturated fats such as vegetable shortening and lard. Keeping these qualities in mind can make it easier to select and successfully work with butters with different fat concentrations.

butter in flour

Human, mammal and vegetable fats are made up mostly of triglycerides, which themselves contain three fatty acids (thus the name). “A unique characteristic of milk fat is that these triglycerides are composed of a wide variety of fatty acids that melt at different temperatures,” says Grace Lewis, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Dairy Innovation Hub at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The fatty acids vary in length and saturation level, which allows butter to exist in different states.

“In the fridge, most of these fatty acids are compact and organized, creating a solid,” Lewis says. “As you move to room temperature, some are going to be liquid or less organized — what we call room-temperature or softened butter. When you heat them, they become more and more disorganized, creating a liquid.”

Cows in the field

Butter’s plasticity also affects what happens when it is melted. “If it is cooled super quickly, the fatty acids will not be as organized in their realignment, whereas if a butter is cooled down slowly, the fatty acids have more time to realign,” says Lewis. “In other words, after melting, the storage temperature does alter the structure of butter, thereby altering the butter plasticity.”

Butter has the narrowest plastic range, so this change in structure is more pronounced in butter than other solid fasts, says Colette Christian, a chef instructor at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. “Even if the butter is melted, chilled and resolidifies, it will not behave in the same way as before it has been melted.” Think of butter as similar to chocolate, she says. Temperature consistency is extremely important.


Butter’s plasticity can also be affected by the level of butter fat in a dish. “By definition, butter is at least 80 percent milk fat, meaning that it is approximately 20 percent moisture and other components,” says Lewis. “If you zoom in on butter, it’s this continuous fat phase with little spheres of moisture. As you remove that moisture, you’re going to get a denser structure.” The denser it is, the less malleable it will be.

This information has practical implications for chefs making laminated and other types of dough. When making a laminated dough, try to keep the butter between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire process. “Plastic fats, if they are at the right temperature, will move with the layers of dough during the laminating process,” says Christian. “This creates even layers of dough and fat and makes for laminated doughs that are flaky.” Chilling the dough between turns helps to keep the butter within this range.

On the other hand, once butter get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes brittle and can shatter under the layers of dough. When that happens, “the dough can have more of a bread-like surface instead of the desired blistered and flaky,” says Christian. She recommends using a laser thermometer to check the butter’s temperatures.

Butter cake

Butter’s touchy melting point is also why it’s critical to chill pastry dough before baking. “If, for example, biscuits go into the oven at room temperature, it is likely that the layers will be compromised and the biscuits will lack volume,” says Christian. The fat needs to melt at just the right point to coagulate with the proteins in the dough and deliver the expected volume and flake.

For pastries where volume and lift are important, this water can actually be a good thing. Evaporating steam helps to lift the dough and provide volume. For baked goods where a bread-like texture is not desirable and a strong butter flavor is, European-style butter is a better option. “Many pastry chefs who specialize in Viennoiserie love European butter and swear by it,” says Christian. “It can really glide underneath the dough layers.”

European butters, which have a butter fat content of 82 percent or higher, will also perform differently in recipes. If a recipe calls for European-style butter, it’s best not to switch it out for a lower-fat product.

this article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of pastry arts magazine.

Three Ways To Upgrade Santa’s Cookies With a Sophisticated Touch

This year transform your holiday cookie plate into a more decadent treat with European butter and a coffee cocktail pairing, inspired by the espresso martini which is trending on TikTok and was reported by Nielsen to be one of the top 10 cocktails on premise in the US.

Beignet in flour

According to Charles Duque, Managing Director, Americas for the French Dairy Board, “Butter cookies are a holiday tradition in many countries and pastry chefs the world over, rely on European butter for this classic. During the holidays it becomes a star ingredient because it makes home baked holiday cookies even more delicious.” Duque also added that ending a meal with simple but sophisticated butter cookies and a coffee cocktail makes the meal feel even more special.

Santa’s cookies aren’t complete without Vanillekipferl or Mexican Wedding cookies, the nutty butter cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Eat the Love blogger and cookbook author, Irvin Lin shares his recipe on Simply Recipes and uses French butter. According to Lin, “rich French butter complements the other key ingredient, toasted nuts. Adds Lin, “I love using European butter for recipes like butter cookies because it has so few ingredients in it that every ingredient needs to be top notch. French butter is awesome because it has more butterfat and is often cultured, so it has more flavor, which gives the cookies a richness that American butter doesn’t have.”

To pair with the nutty cookie try a Mexican Coffee made by combining 3 ounces of freshly brewed coffee with 1 ½ ounces of Amaras Mezcal Espadin and sugar to taste.

Yellow egg with butter and flour

In this year’s French cookbook Gateau, author Aleksanda Crapanzano shares why she uses French butter in cake-like Madeleines and financiers. Says Crapanzano, “Of the very, very many fabulous things I have to say about French butter, perhaps the most important is not what it has more of (fat) but what it has less of (water.) For example, when one browns butter to make a deliciously nutty beurre noisette for a batch of financiers, water evaporates in the process. Less water means less evaporation which means more butter. Water is in fact rarely a friend in baking, as the combination of water and flour leads to the formation of gluten, which can yield a tough crumb.” She offers classic, spice and chocolate Madeleines. Perfect for a holiday cookie plate, the recommended pairing is Cognac & Coffee made with 3 ounces of coffee, 1 1/5 ounces of cognac and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top.

For an even fancier cookie that relies on European butter, try the Austrian jam cookie, inspired by the Linzer torte, another classic dessert made with European butter. Rick Rodgers shares in his classic Austrian cookbook Kaffeehaus that printed recipes for the torte started to appear in the early 1700s. Today the sandwich cookie with jam is a popular holiday favorite in the US. To pair with it try the Chocolate Espresso Highball—simply shake 1 ounce of Mozart Dark Chocolate liqueur with a shot of espresso and ice in a cocktail shaker, then serve over ice with a splash of tonic water. Cookies and coffee never tasted so good.


If you are making your grocery list for entertaining or looking for recipe inspiration, look no further than our recipes, where you’ll find tips and techniques using French butter that will make your meals even more delicious. View the store locator to see if your favorite retailer has French butter in stock.

this article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of pastry arts magazine.

Is European Butter Better for Pastry?

What the science of butter fat tells us

By Sophia McDonald

Sponsored by Taste Europe Butter of France

Butter from Europe (and specifically from France) has a reputation for quality that drives many chefs to purchase it. But what does science tell us about making pastry with European butter versus American? Are there reasons or specific circumstances when U.S. chefs should look across the pond for their dairy?

Chef Jamie Simpson, Executive Chef Liaison at The Culinary Vegetable Institute, says “Butter has a few leading roles for thanksgiving, but it’s really on stage throughout the entire performance. From the dinner rolls at the opening scene to the pie crust at the finale, butter is there to enhance the show every step of the way. Generally speaking, commercially available butter is better when it’s from Europe. It’s more buttery, it’s denser, and it’s more memorable than the commodity butter made here in the U.S. When you’re checking off your shopping list this season, don’t cut corners – go European with your butter. The mashed potatoes will thank you!”

butter in flour

To answer these questions, it’s helpful to understand how butter is made and what happens when it is cooked in pastry. “Butter is made from cream, which is an emulsion of small droplets of fat suspended in water,” says Kierin Baldwin, chef-instructor of Pastry & Baking Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. The process of churning causes the dispersed fat droplets in the cream to glom onto each other and form a mass of fat with a small amount of liquid still trapped in it. This mass is what we know as butter.

Not all butters are the same. In America, butter must be made with at least 80 percent butter fat, according to Joanna Shawn Brigid O’Leary, PhD, a culinary consultant and food critic. (It will also contain 16 to 18 percent water and 2 to 4 percent other ingredients, such as salt.) European butters must have a minimum of 82 percent butter fat. These numbers are minimums, so it’s possible to find American-made produpxcts with a higher percentage of butter fat. However, many chefs reach for French or other European butters when they need that higher fat content because they know the product will deliver.

Cows in the field

There are a few other differences. “Most European butters are usually cultured as well, which gives them a pleasant tang,” says Baldwin. Farmers in Europe are more likely to raise their cows on pastures (not in feedlots with a diet of corn) and less likely to use additives. These variables can have a major impact on the terroir or sense of place that contributes to the taste of the butter, O’Leary says.

So, is it better to use European or American butter in pastry? The answer depends on the baker’s goal. If you want a rich, buttery flavor, a higher fat content butter is best, which means a French or European product may be the right choice. The fat is where the flavor resides, so more fat means more flavor. In addition, when butter is blended with other ingredients, it creates small pockets in the pastry. “The butter has a tendency to stay in those pockets, not distribute throughout the food,” says O’Leary. “The taste becomes more magnified because when you have higher butter fat, you have more pockets.”


Things like butter cookies or kouign-amann, which take most of their flavor characteristics from butter, are ideal candidates for European butter, Baldwin says. She adds, “Any type of recipe that depends on the fat in butter for either leavening or shortness will do best with a high fat butter. Things that fall into these categories are laminated doughs, such as puff pastry, croissant and Danish; pie doughs and other flaky cut-in butter preparations; and creamed butter cakes and cookies.”

Butter’s molecular structure means it lends a smoother mouthfeel to baked goods. Butter is a saturated fat, which means there are single bonds between the carbons in its chemical structure rather than double bonds, says O’Leary. Whereas the double bonds found in unsaturated fats like oils cause them to be liquid at room temperature, the single bonds mean butter is solid. That’s also what gives butter its rich, robust flavor.

In O’Leary’s experience, lower-fat butter works well in baked goods that need to be lighter and fluffier. The added water creates more steam to leaven items and there is less fat to weigh down the ingredients. Lower-fat butter is also ideal for baked goods where the flavor of sugar or other ingredients—not butter—should be the standout.

Butter cake

Beyond considerations related to butter fat, O’Leary recommend that chefs make sure they store butter correctly and use it soon after buying. “Fat absorbs liquids easily. Even if you store butter near a liquid that’s pungent, it can absorb that flavor quite easily. I would also pay really close attention to how long it’s been on the shelf and how it’s been stored, because exposure to light can alter the quality.” If possible, visit the brand’s website and read their suggestions on exactly how to store their butter for the best results.

“The most important thing to concentrate on when you are using butter in a recipe is being consistent,” says Baldwin. If a recipe has been tested with a higher-fat butter and a lower-fat product is substituted, the ratio of liquids to other ingredients is likely to be off and the recipe will not work as well. Stick to European butter for recipe that call for it to be results that will wow every time.

this article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of pastry arts magazine.


Ways To Enhance Your Thanksgiving with a European Touch

Make your Thanksgiving dinner a showstopper with European butter

Thanksgiving, a holiday inspired by traditional fall harvest festivals in Europe, is one of the top two food holidays in the US. According to a YouGov poll in 2020, the most popular Thanksgiving dishes in the United States included turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dressing, bread, and rolls. This year home cooks can make their traditional Thanksgiving feast even more delicious by upgrading staple ingredients such as butter.

Chef Jamie Simpson, Executive Chef Liaison at The Culinary Vegetable Institute, says “Butter has a few leading roles for thanksgiving, but it’s really on stage throughout the entire performance. From the dinner rolls at the opening scene to the pie crust at the finale, butter is there to enhance the show every step of the way. Generally speaking, commercially available butter is better when it’s from Europe. It’s more buttery, it’s denser, and it’s more memorable than the commodity butter made here in the U.S. When you’re checking off your shopping list this season, don’t cut corners – go European with your butter. The mashed potatoes will thank you!”

According to Charles Duque, Managing Director, Americas for the French Dairy Board, “Using French butter is one way to make a Thanksgiving meal better than ever.” He adds, “French butter has a higher fat than American butter or locally produced butter because it is churned longer to reach at least 82% fat content– and those two percentage points make a big difference.”

We turned to a couple of our top sources, Jolene Kesler of Simple Cooking with Pep and Chef Rick Rodgers, to learn a few simple ways French butter can improve your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Jolene regularly shares delicious recipe content and inspiration with an audience of over 18,000 on her blog and social media. Chef Rodgers is the author of many books on holiday cooking, including Thanksgiving 101 and Christmas 101. He currently teaches baking classes at Coffee and Cake with Rick Rodgers.


What’s Thanksgiving without fresh, homemade bread? And what’s bread without butter? “Nothing elevates fresh bread like French butter made with cream from cows who graze on grass and herbs to give it a distinctive flavor.”, says Rodgers. “Since I buy unsalted French butter for my baking, I will sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt over the butter in the butter dish.” French butter is available in salted, unsalted and flavored varieties so you can dial up the flavor of those green beans, corn or spuds.An alternative to the trendy butter board is to create butter spreads for your rolls or bread. Jolene says, “If you have a sweet tooth like me, adding brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon to softened French butter is an excellent combination. However, if you’re more into savory notes, try mixing softened French butter with fresh herbs like sage and thyme, or add some cranberry relish. Regardless of which combination you choose the richness French butter provides will wow your guests!”



Turkey is the de rigueur main dish, and Rodgers recommends basting it with butter. Rodgers advises, “Mash 4 to 8 ounces of softened French butter with 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (such as sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and parsley) seasoned well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll into a log with waxed paper and freeze an hour or so until firm. Slip your fingers under the turkey skin to loosen it from the breast and thighs. Cut the firm herb butter into thin disks and slip them under the loosened skin.”

According to Rodgers, “As the turkey roasts, it will take on a wonderful flavor, aroma, and color from the melting butter, and the drippings will be beautifully seasoned, too.” The amount of butter you need depends on the size of your bird.



Green bean casserole may be a traditional side of choice, but it’s heavy. Rodgers suggests balancing your menu with a simpler side dish that features clean, fresh flavors. The key? French butter.

Says Rodgers, “French butter has such a rich taste that heightens the easiest side dish.” He shares his recipe for green beans with toasted hazelnuts for an elegant but fresh take on traditional green beans. “Blanch green beans (preferably thin French-style haricots verts) until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain, rinse, and pat dry. Melt two tablespoons of French butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add another tablespoon of French butter and two tablespoons of water and shake the skillet until the additional butter melts with the water and forms a light sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted, skinned, and sliced almonds and serve.”

Sometimes a side dish can take center stage, especially for vegetarians. Says Jolene, “My favorite thing to make is mac-and-cheese featuring a Bechamel sauce. Bechamel sauce includes flour, milk, and butter. This dish depends entirely on the sauce, so the creamy notes in the French butter truly elevate the flavor. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser for adults and children.”

Regardless of the main dish, stuffing or dressing is a must. According to Jolene, if you buy pre-made sides, like stuffing, you can personalize them and make them unique with French butter. “Melt French butter with a mixture of salt, pepper, and various fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, and sage. Drizzle over the stuffing before serving for an elevated experience, ” advises Jolene.

Looking for ways to use French butter in your recipes? Head to TasteEurope | ButterofFrance on both Facebook and Instagram. These are filled with recipes, tips and more information than you could possibly need, all about the butters of Europe.

Fire up the Grill and Don’t Forget the European Butter

Our grilling tips with European butter

Grilling is heating up, and that means it’s time to grab the butter, and don’t cut costs by avoiding the good stuff. According to Data Bridge Market Research, grilling is currently growing due to the rise in the barbecuing on weekends and holidays, especially among young people. And there are no signs of slowing down! The report also predicts that the BBQ Grill Market will grow at a rate of 5.10% during the forecast period between 2021 and 2028.

Meanwhile, according to Future Market Insights, the global butter market is estimated to reach a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.9% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2032 and the United States remains the EU’s largest importer of butter.

So how does the growth of grilling and the consumption of European butter – and particularly French butter – go together? Americans are discovering the joys and benefits of grilling with European butter. In fact, many top chefs around the country notice the perks and flavor nuances of French butter.

For example, Chef Sheana Davis, butter monger for Bread & Butter Winery in Napa and author of the upcoming book Buttermongers, says that in addition to the classic addition of butter to grilled steak, there’s no limit to what you can grill with French butter. From sauteed vegetables on the grill, to grilled cheese, and even scallops and shrimp, Davis enjoys utilizing the high-quality butter in all of her summer grilling. A longtime fan of compound butters, Davis recently even perfected a recipe for asparagus with a chive lemon butter, featuring none other than French butter.

Davis explains that appeal, “With the 82% butter fat and the cultured flavor of the butter, French butter can really add a new level to the dish.” She adds, “When I was in Paris three years ago, I attended a butter tasting and they paired butters with wines from the same region. It was an eye-opener. The slight and yet pleasant sourness is what I really enjoy about the butters of Europe.”

Another chef and grill master who religiously uses European butter is Paul Jimenez, a.k.a. @bigpaulonthegrill, and Founder of The PaulieStrong Foundation, which uses cooking to create awareness for Childhood Cancer Research. Jimenez says “it’s all about flavor and French butter provides a unique nuttiness due to the quality of the cultured cream and what the cows consume. It gives it a nutty, mellow tang, and reacts differently when baked and grilled. French butter is extremely versatile in its uses. Spread it on toast and you will experience a subtle, yet delicious difference from traditional American butters, or poach raw lobster meat and prepare a game-changing lobster roll this summer.” He adds, “I like to use French butter to top a seared or grilled steak, and to poach seafood such as lobster or crab legs.” He adds that shrimp poached in French butter is “absolutely incredible.”

Charles Duque, Managing Director of the Americas for the French Dairy Board, explains where the pleasant sour tang of French butters comes from. “Cultured butter is treated with cultures like yogurt and is then fermented and churned. This results in a fuller, deeper flavor and is much creamier. There’s a slight tang from the cultures, just like with yogurt.” To make sure your butter is truly the best, look for the AOP or AOC label. Adds Duque, “Butter with an AOP or AOC is a protected butter from a specific region. If a butter has this symbol, it means it is produced following certain guidelines and uses milk specifically from a certain region.”

And it’s not just the flavor that makes European butter the pick of American chefs. Adds Davis, “the texture is so elegant based on the cream content. French Butter spreads so well and adapts to many dishes.” She shares her pro tips:

  • Purchase only what you need and keep it fresh
  • Store in an airtight container so that the butter does not absorb refrigerator flavors
  • Keep a portion on your counter in a butter dish so you have immediate access to spreadable butter (perfect with your afternoon baguette)


Jimenez also offers this top tip, this time for poaching with French butter on the grill. The key is to prevent the butter from boiling or it will separate. “Try to keep the butter between 160 and 175 degrees F. Use an instant read thermometer to keep it under 180 F,” he notes.

If you want to elevate your cooking, visit the website www.TasteEurope.com
@TasteEuropeButterofFrance is where you’ll find many recipes using European butter, along with a store locator, and more tips and techniques for adding more flavor to your favorite recipes.