Skip to main content

Battle of the Biscuit: Margarine vs. Butter

The great debate as to what you'd rather slather on your hot biscuit - margarine or butter?

Today at lunch a co-worker filled me in on the history of margaine, saying she read that it was originally intended to feed/fatten poultry before its slaughter. When the birds started to die, the makers had a huge supply and somehow marketed it to humans. Apparently if you put a tub of it in your garage and leave it for a few days, it will not lose its shape or texture and no insects like fruit flies or any pests will get into it.

In my childhood I rarely saw sticks of butter except for special dinners or when a cake recipe called for such. It was always Country Crock for "buttering" toast or stirring into oatmeal. My grandmother Carrie, my mom's mom, used the Parkay in a bottle, which we would squeeze onto ears of corn and her to-die-for layered cathead biscuits. (If you don't know what cathead biscuits are, get thee to a southern biscuitry right now.)
Once, my cousins and I were totally grossed out when discovering the Parkay we'd used on our dinner plate back in probably 1991 at Grandma Carrie's had a best-by date from 1989. It didn't taste rancid, but does it really taste like much of anything to begin with?

Here's an opinion from the Mayo Clinic (no relation to mayonaise, which is an entire condiment blog entry until itself, ha ha.) Their vote is on margarine, while the NYT basically says "Eh, nothing's perfect."

Until I started dating Scott, I didn't know you could leave butter sitting out on a counter for hours. The Adams love their butter, and I frankly love them for using it. Especially in those shrimp and grits. Could you ever see Rob Adams wielding a little yellow spray bottle of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" over a hot pan? I think hell would surely freeze over.

I want to reconsider my stance on the butter vs. margarine issue. In moderation, butter seems like the champ, as it's actually made of matter found in nature. I don't use much margarine to begin with, as Weight Watchers (or Dubya-Squared, as I like to call it) has me off of bread for the most part.

(Ego boost altert: 7.6 pounds lost in two weeks. I am fierce!)

And so, I ask, which do you prefer to use? I won't judge you, I promise. Well, maybe a little.


  1. Congrats on the WW loss! Erin does indeed = fierce!

    I'm a butter girl myself. I grew up with the weird margerine/butter-like substances because my mom was always on a diet. But now that I'm an adult and buy my own damn food I buy the real stuff :-D

  2. Hey Erin! Jenne passed me along your blog address...congrats on the loss!

  3. Butter always and forever.....AMEN
    I think "pretend" foods have too many weird chemicals, coloring and are only a distant cousin to the real thing in taste and texture.
    L in Georgia

  4. Margarine is not real in any way or form. In fact, Cooking Light has recently switched to less butter and little or no margarine. It's better for you and you get more taste with just a bit!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

'Party Time, Excellent' Books: The Food Lab, Smitten Kitchen Every Day, Beard on Food, Farmette

One of my favorite pastimes is to visit the library & peruse new and old cookbooks.

I think this is probably most definitely violating copyright law, but when I check out cookbooks and find recipes that I like, I'll copy them and file them in my almighty 3-ring green food binder. This binder holds recipes torn from magazines and newspapers, family recipes emailed and handwritten, takeout menus, and paper menus from restaurants we've visited and enjoyed. It's my big book of food awesomeness, and I'm always in search of items to keep it growing.

When a friend mentioned the Food52 Cookbook Club on Facebook, I figured it would be a fun way to experiment with foods I might not normally cook, and to expand my horizons beyond the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library stacks.

The Best Way to Keep Cannoli Fresh and Other Baltimore Stories

My mom and step-dad were up visiting for Thanksgiving and after gorging ourselves on turkey and the sites of D.C., I took them on a day-trip to Baltimore.

After a visit to my mom's favorite museum (she's a mosaic artist), we aimed for lunch at Rocket to Venus in Hampden. It was closed for lunch, but our trip up Charles St. wasn't for naught - we stumbled onto residents of 34th St. setting up their Christmas displays! This street is Christmas at its best, or worst, depending on your tolerance/interest in all things Christmas. Erin teases me for being a scrooge, but I have to admit, lights and what-not are nice at this cold and dark time of year.

After a brief walk through Hampden, we aimed for lunch at Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point. The tavern was most certainly open, with rowdy sports fans packing the bar and even spilling onto the sidewalk for fresh-shucked oysters. (My friend Gideon would have camped out right there for their Chincoteagues!) After some deliberati…

Oh Hygge Yes: Soups for Making Your 2018 Cozy & Warm

On the first day of 2018, the scene is set. 

The fireplace is blazing. Our dog Loretta is curled up on the love seat next to me. Candles on the mantle are flickering. My small-ish second glass of red wine blooms warmly with each sip.

There's no Netflix on the TV.  No radio blaring the latest news.  

Quiet. Gentle. Cozy. 

I'll have a second and third helping of this in 2018, please and thank you.