Mrs. Sell's Blog of Household Management

THAT’S why the butter changed shape!

I just found out something that has been bugging me for a few years now: why did they change the shape of a stick of butter?

When I was growing up, we got butter or margarine in long, thin sticks; the shape that most butter dishes are made in. But starting a few years ago, I could only find these shorter, fatter sticks of butter. They are the same weight, but the shape is different. These short, fat sticks don’t fit in ‘normal’ butter dishes.

Turns out that it’s an East-West thing: dairy companies actually make different shapes of butter for the regions east and west of the Rocky Mountains. My confusion began the same time I moved from east of the Continental Divide to the west.

While I have a utilitarian butter keeper for the butter I use for cooking, I’ve been stuck looking for a pretty one to use for the table. The eastern styles are too short for my western butter, so now I have to hunt for a western-style one. Anthropologie sells a short butter dish, but I don’t know if it’s fat and tall enough. I may have to pick one up and try it; I’ll let you know how it turns out. Either that, or I’ll transition to a butter bell, which is something that I just recently learned existed. Basically, you pack softened butter into a hollow dome, which then rests inside a cup which you fill with water. It keeps the butter soft and airtight at room temperature for easier spreading. I don’t know if I use enough butter to justify one of those, though, because being at room temp does shorten the life of the butter…

I feel better, though, knowing that I’m not going crazy and imagining butter in a different shape. 🙂 Thank you, internet, for being there to answer my abstruse questions in the middle of the night.


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