Syda Productions/ShutterstockIt all depends on how you were raised. Some people grow up as butter-users, some people grow up as Chicago Bulls fans, some people grow up as margarine users. Those are the only three ways that people grow up, but what’s the real difference between the first and third option?
The two popular spreads seem to look similar, their packaging tends to be similar, and depending on the temperature, their very consistency can be similar. But their true differences exist on the production floor (it’s a figure of speech, neither butter nor margarine is made on a floor).
Ingredient wise, butter is made from milk or cream, and commonly comes salted or unsalted (by the way, you need these seven butter hacks in your life). Margarine, however, usually cuts dairy out of the equation entirely, and is composed of vegetable oil, salt, and emulsifiers. When it was originally created as an affordable butter-alternate in the 19th century, it was made with animal fat, but most brands have done away with this ingredient.
In terms of processing, butter is traditionally churned, while margarine is made through the process of hydrogenation. Margarine derives its name from one of its original primary ingredients, a fatty acid called “margaric acid” which is derived from the Greek word margaron, meaning “pearl.” Butter is derived from Greek word boutoron which means “cow cheese.”
Now, what’s the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour?