BUTTER

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BUTTER; an oily substance, produced from the milk of kine. Cream is composed of an oily substance, a caseous matter, and serum or whey. If it be agitated about an hour in a churn, a separation of these parts takes place, and a solid, called butter, and a liquid, called buttermilk, consisting of the whey and the caseous matter, are the products. The proportionsof these products, in 100 parts of cream, are, Butter,.................4.5 Cheese,................3.5 Whey,................92.0 100.0 Chemical analysis gives stearine, elaine, and a small quantity of acid and coloring matter, as the component parts of butter. Beckmann (History of Inventions, 372) comes to the conclusion that butter is not of Grecian nor of Roman invention; but that the Greeks received it from the Scythians, Thracians and Phrygians, and that the Romans derived it from the people of Germany, and used it as a medicine, rather than as a culinary luxury. In warm countries, the place of butter is still, for the most part, supplied by oil. In Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the south of France, it is to be purchased in the apothecaries' shops. The difficulty of keeping it any length of time is, indeed, an effectual barrier to its general use. The ancients appear to have been wholly deficient in the art of giving it consistency. The European countries, in which oil or butter is used, says MalteBrun (Geog., liv. xcv), may be separated by a line extending along the Pyrenees, the Cevennes, the Alps and mount Hsemus. To the north, the pasturage is better; cattle abound, and the food is chiefly derived from them. The olivegroves to the south supersede the use of butter by that of oil. The butter, beer, and animal food, of the north of Europe, give way to oil, wine and bread, in the warmer regions. The word chameahf translated butter, in the English version of the Bible, means some liquid preparation of milk or cream. It was in general use among the Celts:Spuma id est lactis, concretiorque quam quod serum vocatur, barbararum gentium lautissimus eibus. [Pliny, ix, 41, and xxviii, 9.) The Hindoos make use of ghee, which means butter clarified by boiling. They boil the milk two or three hours, which, when cool, is fermented with curdled milk, left to sour, churned, and, when it is sufficiently rancid, is boiled, and mixed with salt, or betelleaf, and ruddle, to improve its taste and color.