TWO LIVERPUDLIAN Kiwis are bringing a bit of culture to New Zealand’s butter industry. Husband-and-wife duo Steve and Jan Dolan use traditional techniques to create proper cultured butter out of a purpose-built kitchen, housed in a sixmetre shipping container, at their Cambridge home.
The Dolans add the culture at the start of the butter-making process to create a richer product. Following a week of ripening to let the flavours develop, the butter is ready, and the taste is unlike what many may have tried before.
The pair make six butter varieties, each sold in 100g rolls. Alongside the traditional salted butter, there’s pōhutukawasmoked, chilli and lime, mānuka honey, roasted garlic and maple varieties. “You could literally eat our butter with a spoon,” Jan says.
Steve, an electrical engineer, and Jan, a human resources professional, were both made redundant in the past 12 months, which gave them the opportunity to try something new. They saw a gap in the butter market: done the old-fashioned way.
“It’s artisan – it’s going back to those old ways of producing food that doesn’t have loads of baddies,” Jan says.
Steve’s love of butter harks back to visiting the family farm in Ireland as a child. “One of my outstanding memories is my Auntie Chrissie standing at the counter churning the butter.”
The process of starting the business, which is named after the old Liverpool training ground of the couple’s beloved Everton Football Club, took a little longer than anticipated, but that gave them plenty of time to experiment. As we went to print, they had just begun selling their butter at the Cambridge and Hamilton farmers’ markets.
Feedback from those who have tried the buter has been resoundingly positive already, which is “like winning the lottery”, Jan says. facebook.com/ bellefieldNZ / THOMAS HEATON