Animal Farm Cultured Butter

Animal Farm

Animal Farm cultured butter from Vermont
Regular price $60.00 Sale

If you know, you know: Animal Farm Butter is some of the best in the world! Every few weeks, Saxelby Cheesemongers has the privilege of bringing you this sought-after butter straight from the Champlain Valley of Vermont. 

Animal Farm Creamery, founded by Diane St. Clair in 1999 and presently run by Hilary and Ben Haigh, is a haven for its small herd of Jersey cows. For 22 years, St. Clair cared for her prized herd of ten, turning their milk into exquisite butter. Last year, though, the time came to move the girls to new pastures. Their new home wasn’t far, only seven miles down the road. Now, at the Haighs’ Rolling Bale Farm in Shoreham, they enjoy a wooden barn on a grassy hill, and have three new bovine friends. 

Following the creamery’s 2022 transfer of ownership, Hilary continues to make the butter with the method Diane taught her, the same one she had used since 1999. First, Hilary skims the rich Jersey cream by hand, keeping its precious fat globules in pristine condition. She cultures the cream for 24 hours, using buttermilk as a starter. The final steps, churning and kneading, are also done by hand, until Hilary arrives at a product that she deems fit for the table. In many ways, Animal Farm Butter is the image of careful, small-scale dairying’s magic, and a testament to handmade products’ ability to persist despite the surrounding industrial landscape. 

Most of this exquisite butter goes to some of the best restaurants in the country: Per Se in New York, The Inn at Little Washington in Washington DC, and The French Laundry in Napa. Saxelby Cheesemongers is the only place you can buy it online! 

Each package contains one pound of sweet cream butter (4 balls at 4 oz each). The unsalted butter can be eaten fresh (which is what we recommend!) within ~2 weeks of arrival. If you can’t get through all of it in 2 weeks, make sure to throw it in the freezer!

Want to learn more about the creamery, its current owners, and storied history? Check out our conversation with the Haighs on our blog, and Melissa Clark’s New York Times article about Animal Farm’s persistence.

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
Bryan Bowen
Nothing better.

Been enjoying Animal Farm Butter for over 20 years since first having at The French Laundry. So grateful Saxelby’s carries it. You don’t want to miss this.

Dr. N. R. Klein
Worth the search

Anyone who cares about what they eat and who cooks, knows the foundation of your meal builds from the butter, up.
Just do a blind taste test, and you won’t go back tho the supermarket sticks with all the particulate matter and milky water you see when melted, and which you will now taste, after this testing,

Tom C
The best butter

This is the best butter from, I understand, the happiest cows. I am delighted it is still intermittently available here.

James Hood
Deeply satisfying butter from Vermont

My introduction to Animal Dairy Farm butter occurred at two Boston restaurants, Menton and Amara. Some butters have a neutral, recessive flavor profile, some have an immediately noticeably positive profile. I grew up in a Vermont dairy family. My dad’s family in East Topsham, Vermont produced milk, cream, buttermilk, and butter. My grandfather’s house had a creamery, separators and churns, and a herd that was a mix of Guernseys, Brown Swiss, and Jerseys. Of the three, Jerseys produce the most butter fat. Farms in cooperatives often boost their herd’s butterfat composition with Jersey milk. My first tastes of Animal Dairy Farm’s butter brought to mind butter from my grandfather’s house and French butters. A good bit creamier, more fragrant, and a flavor that is at once complex and fresh. I am reluctant to compare the butter to cheese or describe it as “nutty” as too many butters have that and from my perspective it is too assertive, approaching cloying, heavy handed, overwhelming or “barny.” Dairy Animal Farm’s flavor is delightful in its subtle complexity, and at the same time fresh. So good I apply a bit more generously than other butters. I enjoy a light sprinkle of salt. This intensifies and seems to open up its taste a bit more. It is beautiful with a sourdough or focaccia where the bread fragrance intermingles with the butter’s. This is a really special butter. I am a tiny bit concerned to comparing it with cheeses because it is lighter, but it’s rich complexity which I read comes of cultured buttermilk, has a real presence, but it does not overwhelm bread. We are very much enjoying our order, and though I did pan fry a couple pieces of fish in it I look at Dairy Animal Farm’s butter as something I will likely reserve for eating on bread.

Bob Kulmaczewski

Excellent butter

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