Of all the things to send me over the edge, you might not suspect that the greasy waxed paper around a crumb-covered knob of butter would be the thing. Or perhaps you’ve been around here long enough to know that the greasy waxed paper around a crumb-covered knob of butter would be exactly the sort of thing to take a refrigerator situation from mostly tenable to not at all.
Anyway, we have a new butter dish. It’s made of enamelware and wood and I love it.
Before this, we used a French butter keeper, of the sort that has water in the bottom and that keeps butter soft but (mostly) not rancid. The one we had for years developed a deep crack last summer and so James decided to give me the gift of a butter dish upgrade, which was thoughtful indeed but short-lived. The beauty flew off our counter top and smashed to smithereens. (We’ve smashed more household items in the past year than I can count.)
After months of doing penance for daring to have nice things, I’ve decided to flout tradition and indulge during this lenten season. Introducing our enamelware butter dish from the Japanese company, Noda Horo. Though not widely sold in the US, an internet search of Noda Horo enamelware won’t leave you empty-handed (though it might have you scratching your head a bit at the range of price points). I’ll leave you to your own searching, but eBay, where I found mine, seems to have a fairly reliable stockpile, and the very lovely online shop, Plain Goods, also carries the dish in two sizes.
I relied on various user reviews to decide on the larger of the two sizes—the 450 gram butter dish—so I could be sure that when it arrived my case would accommodate American sticks of butter and I wouldn’t be tempted to pass my time shaving butter into perfectly sized sticks. (I’m not discounting this as a route that someone with more fortitude could take; I’m just trying to be honest with myself about my bandwidth for butter whittling in a pandemic, or ever). As it turns out, this larger size fits two standard sticks of American butter side-by-side. If you are devoted to butter from across the pond, no doubt it would also accommodate your Kerrygold or your Isigny Ste.-Mère as well.
The lid, which is made from beautiful cherry wood fits beautifully, though not snugly. A rough translation of the Japanese instructions that came with my case, indicate that the dish is intended to be used as a vessel for the butter while it’s being stored and that the lid, flipped top to bottom, can function as something of a platter for tabletop butter service when you’d like.
I love that it fits perfectly in the butter section of our beat-up old fridge and moves seamlessly from fridge to counter to tabletop. I won’t imagine away the possibility that this might end up dinged by small children, or launched off a countertop, but I think it will fare a bit better than a glass or ceramic butter dish should that come to pass.
Anyway, that’s that: the enamelware butter dish of my dreams. Maybe yours, too.
Other butter dishes:
Tosca Butter Dish: This similar looking dish from Yamazaki Home is ceramic with a wooden top. It looks lovely, though be warned that the reviews I waded through reveal that butter shaping would be required for American butterers.
Glass Butter Dish: For folks who don’t mind looking at their butter, this handblown butter dish is a beauty.
Notary Ceramics Butter Dish: A delightful dome of a butter dish that was briefly ours, but met an untimely death.
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