National Butter Day Date in the current year: November 17, 2024

National Butter Day Unless you’re a vegan, butter is an essential product that is used to make a wide range of dishes, sweet and savory alike. Given its importance, it is not surprising that there is a holiday dedicated to butter; National Butter Day is celebrated annually on November 17.

Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream; it consists of butter fat (approximately 80%), water, and milk proteins. Butter is considered indispensable in many cuisines. It can be consumed as a spread or as a condiment, as well as used as a cooking fat in frying, sautéing, baking, sauce-making, and other culinary procedures.

According to legend, butter was discovered by accident by a Persian goat or sheep herder some 9,000 years ago. Butter was a common food in Europe as early as the 12th century, but it had a reputation of “food for peasants”. It took several more centuries for butter to become more accepted by the middle and upper class. Butter was more popular in northern Europe because the cooler climate allowed to store it longer without spoiling.

Butter was a rare ingredient in American cuisine during the colonial era, as cattle were not yet plentiful in the Thirteen Colonies. The situation began to change after the American Revolution. Until the mid-19th century, the majority of butter in the United States was made on farms, where women were responsible for churning it.

The first butter factories in the United States began to open in the early 1860s. As the availability of butter increased, it became a key ingredient in classic American baking. Today, the United States is one of the world’s biggest producers of cow’s milk butter. According to statistics, the average American consumers 25 sticks, or 6.3 pounds, of cow’s milk butter every year.

National Butter Day was established in 2021 by Dinner Bell Creamery, a cooperative of family-owned dairy farms of AMPI (Associated Milk Producers Inc.). The holiday aims to appreciate the long history of butter, celebrate butter as a food, and honor the long-standing tradition of butter-making in the United States, especially in the American Midwest (by the way, did you know that Elgin, Illinois with its famous Elgin Butter Company used to be known as the Butter Capital of the World?).

It was decided to celebrate National Butter Day on November 17 because the holiday cooking and baking season kicks off in mid-November, and butter is a key ingredient in many holiday dishes and desserts ranging from mashed potatoes to pies. To celebrate the holiday, Dinner Bell Creamery organizes giveaways and other events and activities to promote its products and encourage Americans to consume more butter.

There are many ways to celebrate National Butter Day. You can test out new recipes that call for butter, support your local dairy farmer by purchasing their butter, watch a documentary about the history of butter-making, and, of course, spread the word about the holiday and share your favorite recipes on social media using the hashtag #NationalButterDay.

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National Butter Day, observances in the United States, food days, food holidays, unofficial holidays