If there’s one thing to be learned from the French, it’s that butter makes things taste sodamngood. But for a long time, the creamy spread has been shunned by the fat-phobes of the world. Though butter’s no health food (cue the sad trombone), it’s also not quite the mortal enemy people make it out to be -- in fact, there are some occasions when butter is best.
Butter vs. margarine
You just can’t talk butter without bringing margarine into the mix. Historically, margarine -- not butter -- was the unwanted stepchild in the U.S.; it was taxed and even straight up banned in a couple states in the 1880s (not for health reasons, just to protect the butter industry).
But by the 1980s, the low-fat mania that swept through the country turned people off of butter, all because of the major amounts of total fat and saturated fat that make it taste so glorious. Health reports warned Americans that dietary fat -- saturated in particular -- was basically sent straight from Satan to destroy their hearts. Enter margarine. The butter wannabe is made from plant-based fats and oils, so it’s obviously a healthier choice, right? Well… not all the time.