Useful and sharable resources for animal-based foods... that aren't scary. LEARN MORE.

Is raw butter supposed to smell cheesy?

written by

Marie Reedell

posted on

December 8, 2023

raw-butter.jpg

If you make raw butter at home or buy OUR RAW BUTTER to feed to your cats & dogs, you may have experienced a slight cheesy smell that's similar to parmesan cheese. 

Why would this happen? Is it normal? Does it mean the butter is bad? I know I've asked these questions in my head before. Have you? 

Please don't worry. Raw butter with a cheesy smell is normal. And that smell usually does not transfer to the taste.

Raw butter will become more rich, bold, and flavorful over time... and yes may smell cheesy. It's fermentation!

Raw butter is a living food. It innately has diverse microorganisms within. You can't see them or smell them, but they're there. This is one reason that raw butter is said to be superior; it's probiotic!

What's happening is that the bacteria are consuming the lactose (milk sugar) from the cream, converting it into lactic acid. This is what makes raw milk sour, and similarly is what makes raw butter get "cheesy".

Now, you can't stop this fermentation from happening, but you can slow it down. The freezer will almost completely stop it. You can keep butter frozen for up to 1 year. The fridge slows fermentation down a lot. You can keep butter in the fridge for up to 3 months. But on the counter at room temp, fermentation is in full force. Butter will only last 1-3 days on the counter.

On the flip side, our minimally PASTEURIZED BUTTER is a (mostly) dead food and will not have this happen... at least not nearly as fast. Almost all living microorganisms are destroyed when heated above 145F for 30 minutes.

Have you made raw butter at home? Have you noticed a cheesy smell? What do you look for when shopping for butter? 

I'd love to hear from you. Comment below (no account required - start typing for the guest option to appear) or contact us.

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