Wow. In an unsuccessful, rabid quest to find one of my favorite perverse bagged snacks, Gladcorn, I happened upon a tub of Noris organic butter at the Market of Choice on Franklin. Noris is a dairy farm in Crabtree, Oregon, outside of Salem, and it’s the only local, independent farm that provides organic butter to markets. Noris was suggested to me by helpful Ms. Tami at the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project when I was looking for premium butter a couple of weeks ago to make the ultimate butter cookies. I had found Vermont Butter and Cheese cultured butter and Isigny butter from Normandy, plus the supermarket import standards Plugra and Kerrygold, but nothing that looked like small batch butter from anywhere on the West Coast, much less Oregon. So when I saw the Noris butter, it almost made the Gladcorn craving go away, and I raced home to try it.
Oh. My. God. It was as if I had never eaten butter in my life. I grew up eating margarine, most specifically that brown-tubbed horror they call Country Crock. Crock, yes, a crock of something. I remember going over to my grandma’s house and eating her butter and asking my mom why it tasted so good. She tried to keep it from me, but the secret was there on my tongue: because it was real butter.
This revelation, the Blessed, Sainted Noris, made that first revelation a mere umbra, a shadow, preliminary, opening act, John the Baptist revelation. Light, smooth, sweet, grassy, springlike, a hint of salt, clear, lovely creamy fat. One can imagine Noris’ happy dairy cows, munching away on wildflowers on a breezy prairie. Oh how I love thee, Noris butter!
The Noris website seems to be down, or at least I have only been able to access the cached version in the past day, but I see that Noris delivers up to PDX, and since it delivers to markets down here, they likely do home delivery, too. I’ll report back once I know. I do know from other blogs that they deliver fresh milk (with cream on top), half-and-half, cheese, butter, yogurt and eggs. Incredible.
Edited to add: Turns out that the Friendly Street Market, at which I usually don’t shop because they are not very friendly, carries a full line of Noris products, including several cheeses, cream, unsalted and salted butter, and several kinds of milk. I felt very friendly buying my cheese today, and they responded in kind. It’s not you; it’s me!
I’m taking a chunk of Noris Organic Farmhouse Hard cheese and a compound Noris butter to the party tonight as my contribution to the snack table. Bread, butter, and cheese, all local, all beautiful. To make the compound butter, I chopped up a handful of herbs that had overwintered in my garden (lemon thyme, french thyme, rosemary, mint and oregano) and mashed them into the butter. I’ll serve the butter alongside some of my tender, young daikon radish that came in our weekly CSA delivery. Yummay.