We don't really think about the most common staples that we always have in our kitchens. Foods like bread, milk, eggs and butter. You've probably got butter in your refrigerator right now and use it regularly to make all sorts of goodies. But what is butter?

The first butter recipe comes from 4,500-year-limestone. Since then butter has been used as a cosmetic in Ancient Rome, as a cure for eye disease in Ancient Egypt and as pay in Elizabethan times. Nowadays, however, butter is mostly used for culinary purposes.

How is butter made?

margarine, butter
Hunter Siegrist

Most of the butter that you will find in the grocery store has been mass produced in factories. The milk is delivered to the creamery where the milk and cream are separated. It is then pasteurized to kill any bacteria and help keep it fresh.

The next step is beating the cream until it separates into solids (butter) and liquids (buttermilk). The buttermilk is drained, and the butter is formed, packaged and delivered to your local supermarket.

Can I Make My Own Butter?

Yes, you can, and quite easily as well. It's basically the same process as the commercial method, but a bit smaller. The number one rule according to Rochelle Bilow, a web editor at Bon Appétit, is using fresh cream. This will make your butter more rich and yellow. 

To make butter, simply pour the cream into a food processor and turn it on. Once the cream breaks into solids (butter) and liquids (buttermilk), use a sieve or a cheesecloth to separate the two. There you have it, delicious and homemade butter for all your culinary uses.

#SpoonTip: Save the buttermilk to pancakes or waffles.

The Best Uses for Butter

dairy, spread, cream, cheese, margarine, dairy product, milk, butter
Antonia Drummond

Now that you've made your own butter (or bought from some the supermarket), what should you do with it? According to the Huffington Post, butter is almost always the best for baking due to its high fat content. This is why its perfect for making cakes and cookies. You can also use butter to make a variety of French sauces. A buerre blanc is perfect for a seafood dinner, while a brown butter sauce can be drizzled over pasta or veggies.

So next time, don't just use your butter for plain old toast, think outside the box and do something cool with it. Channel your inner Paula Deen and get cooking.