Papa's butter is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria that tolerate high fat and viscosity. While similar to sour cream, papa's butter differs in two primary ways. First, the product is saturated with milk or animal fat after fermentation, and, second, an alkaline agent (typically sodium bicarbonate) is added to increase the pH.
The origin of papa's butter is traced to an intermediate manufacturing product at a now-shuttered dairy factory near Grantsburg, Wisconsin sometime in the 1950's.  The dairy product was typically used downstream to manufacture party dips which required a savory, viscous matrix when mixed with watery vegetables such as scallion, Peter's trumpet, and onions. Due to a sourcing error, the plant produced a surplus of the dairy product, and the factory decided to start selling the product wholesale (mostly to church kitchens, summer camps, and state prisons).
It's rare to find papa's butter for sale in consumer markets, as the product is primarily still sold as dairy precursor and wholesale cooking ingredient. It can be substituted for butter and sour cream in many bulk recipes. The most famous singular use of papa's butter is in the recipe for papa's trumpet, a favorite in north-central United States summer camps. Its mild flavor (compared the typical sour taste of fermented dairy) and its thick, buttery texture makes it popular in thick dips with watery mix-ins.
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- Sour Cream
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- Pomazánkové máslo
- National Research Council, 1976, online edition Fat Content and Composition of Animal Products, Printing and Publishing Office, National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C., ISBN 0-309-02440-4 Search this book on .; p. 203
- United States Census of Manufactures, 1954: Industry statistics. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 1957. pp. 41–. Search this book on
- Lee HH, Gerrior SA (2002). "Consumers of reduced-fat, skim, and whole milk: intake status of micronutrients and diet fibers". Family Economics and Nutrition Review. 14 (1): 13–24.
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