Unless you've got an in with some hands-on artisanal dairy producer in one grassy corner of the world or another, about the best butter you can expect to find is probably Kerrygold, which is made in Ireland from the milk of grass-fed cows and readily available at supermarkets and specialty food shops all over America. Well, it was readily available, but Kerrygold seems to have disappeared from many stores across the Northeast in recent weeks.
Was this, we wondered, fallout from the bizarre incident in early February when razor blades were found inside two bars of Kerrygold butter sold at a Best Market outlet in Holmdel, NJ? Although the butter was temporarily removed from shelves throughout the area as a precaution, a Best Market employee was subsequently charged with tampering, Kerrygold was clearly identified as a victim in the affair, and the butter went back on sale with no further incidents.
Why, then, the missing butter now?
"There has been a shortage since the end of last year due to increased global demand for butter from grass-fed cows,” a Kerrygold spokesperson told us. “It has taxed the inventory of Kerrygold and the supplies are expected to be strained through Q1. Since Kerrygold farmers don’t artificially increase milk production, but instead follow the natural lactation cycle of the cows, the new production can’t begin until the spring, when cows calve and start producing milk."
By the time the butter is churned, packed, and shipped, it will likely be April before Kerrygold appears in profusion again. We can't wait.