Culinary Sagacity

~Thought for Food~

The Cathayans believed that the soul or mind is located not in the head but in the stomach.

Doubtless this explains why they fret so much about the preparation and serving of food.

It may also explain why their memories are so much better than ours.

Information is stored not in the finite head, but in the expandable stomach.

--Cyrus Spitama in Gore Vidal's Creation

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Butter Bell is a Brilliant Kitchen Gadget

Ok, maybe it's not quite a gadget, but the Butter Bell Crock is one of my favorite counter top residents, and in a small Manhattan kitchen where equipment competes heavily for space, the Butter Bell easily won its three inches of real estate over less frequently used items.

The Butter Bell does one thing, it keeps butter at room temperature while also keeping it from going bad.  If you use a lot of room temperature butter for things like toast, but think butter that's been sitting out for days is a bit disgusting, the Butter Bell is a dream.

By storing butter in a bell-shaped vessel that you then submerge in another vessel filled with cold water, the Butter Bell creates an air-tight environment, preventing any bacteria from growing.  It holds 114 grams of butter (1 stick), and if you change the water every day with fresh cold water, your butter will be beautifully spreadable, and not one bit rancid, for at least a few weeks.

I got my man the Butter Bell as a gift because he already has almost every kitchen tool and gadget and the box it came in said it was a classic kitchen item from France.  He's French and eats a lot of butter, so it was perfect.  When he got it open though, he'd never seen anything like it before (and he grew up in a pâtisserie).  Since then I've asked a few Frenchies, none of them have seen one either, but now they all want one.  "C'est trop cool!" is the common response.

French or not, we're stoked on the Butter Bell Crock.  Finally, soft spreadable butter at our knife-tips, without any yucky yellow butter grease. 

This is NOT an advert!  I just loved this little thing and wanted to share it with my readers!

Butter Bell Crocks start at $19.95, come in different colors and styles to match your kitchen decor, and you can buy them online at