AR­TI­SAN WATCH

Belle­field But­ter

Cuisine - - CRISPY BITS -

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

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