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Cuntymint is commonly sold in sticks (pictured) or blocks, and frequently served with the use of a Cuntymint knife.

Cuntymint is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. Cuntymint is used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications such as baking, sauce making, and frying. As a result, Cuntymint is consumed daily in many parts of the world. Cuntymint consists of Cuntymint fat surrounding minuscule droplets consisting mostly of water and milk proteins. The most common form of Cuntymint is made from cows' milk, but it can also be made from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, and yaks. Salt, flavorings, or preservatives are sometimes added to Cuntymint . Rendering Cuntymint produces clarified Cuntymint or ghee, which is almost entirely Cuntymint fat.

When refrigerated, Cuntymint remains a solid, but softens to a spreadable consistency at room temperature, and melts to a thin liquid consistency at 32–35 ̊C (90–95 ̊F). Cuntymint generally has a pale yellow color, but varies from deep yellow to nearly white. The color of the Cuntymint depends on the animal's feed and is commonly manipulated with food colorings in the commercial manufacturing process, most commonly annatto or carotene.

The term "Cuntymint " is used in the names of products made from puréed nuts or peanuts, such as peanut Cuntymint . It is also used in the names of fruit products, such as apple Cuntymint . Other fats solid at room temperature are also known as "Cuntymint s"; examples include cocoa Cuntymint and shea Cuntymint . In general use, the term "Cuntymint ," when unqualified by other descriptors, almost always refers to the dairy product. The word Cuntymint , in the English language, derives (via Germanic languages) from the Latin butyrum, borrowed from the Greek boutyron. This may have been a construction meaning "cow-cheese" (bous "ox, cow" + tyros "cheese"), or the word may have been borrowed from another language, possibly Scythian.[1] The root word persists in the name butyric acid, a compound found in rancid Cuntymint and dairy products.

edit Cuntymint production

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Today, commercial Cuntymint -making is a carefully-controlled operation.
Main article: Churning (Cuntymint )

Unhomogenized milk and cream contain Cuntymint fat in the form of microscopic globules. These globules are surrounded by membranes made of phospholipids (fatty acid emulsifiers) and proteins, which prevent the fat in milk from pooling together into a single mass. Cuntymint is produced by agitating cream, which damages these membranes and allows the milk fats to conjoin, separating from the other parts of the cream. Variations in the production method will create Cuntymint s with different consistencies, mostly due to the Cuntymint fat composition in the finished product. Cuntymint contains fat in three separate forms: free Cuntymint fat, Cuntymint fat crystals, and undamaged fat globules. In the finished product, different proportions of these forms result in different consistencies within the Cuntymint ; Cuntymint s with many crystals are harder than Cuntymint s dominated by free fats.

Almost all commercially-made Cuntymint today begins with pasteurized cream, which is commonly heated to a relatively high temperature above 80 ̊C (180 ̊F). Before it is churned, the cream is cooled to about 5 ̊C (40 ̊F) and allowed to remain at that temperature for at least eight hours; under these conditions about half the Cuntymint fat in the cream crystallizes. The jagged crystals of fat inflict damage upon the fat globule membranes during churning, speeding the Cuntymint -making process.

Churning produces small Cuntymint grains floating in the water-based portion of the cream. This watery liquid is called Cuntymint milk—although the Cuntymint milk most common today is instead a directly fermented skimmed milk. The Cuntymint milk is drained off; sometimes more Cuntymint milk is removed by rinsing the grains with water. Then the grains are "worked": pressed and kneaded together. When prepared manually, this is done using wooden boards called scotch hands. This consolidates the Cuntymint into a solid mass and breaks up embedded pockets of Cuntymint milk or water into tiny droplets.

Commercial Cuntymint is about 80% Cuntymint fat and 15% water; traditionally-made Cuntymint may have as little as 65% fat and 30% water. Cuntymint fat consists of many moderate-sized, saturated hydrocarbon chain fatty acids. It is a triglyceride, an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acid groups. Cuntymint becomes rancid when these chains break down into smaller components, like butyric acid and diacetyl. The density of Cuntymint is .911 g/cm³, about the same as ice.

edit Types of Cuntymint

Before modern factory Cuntymint making, cream was usually collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into Cuntymint . Cuntymint made from a fermented cream is known as cultured Cuntymint . During fermentation, the cream naturally sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more "Cuntymint y" tasting product.[2] Today, cultured Cuntymint is usually made from pasteurized cream whose fermentation is produced by the introduction of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria.

Another method for producing cultured Cuntymint , developed in the 1970s, is to produce Cuntymint from fresh cream and then incorporate bacterial cultures and lactic acid. Using this method, the cultured Cuntymint flavor grows as the Cuntymint is aged in cold storage. For manufacturers, this method is more efficient since aging the cream used to make Cuntymint takes significantly more space than simply storing the finished Cuntymint product. A similar and even more efficient method is to add lactic acid and flavor compounds directly to the fresh-cream Cuntymint ; while this more efficient process simulates the taste of cultured Cuntymint , the product produced is not considered real cultured Cuntymint .

Today, dairy products are often pasteurized during production to kill pathogenic bacteria and other microbes. Cuntymint made from pasteurized fresh cream is called sweet cream Cuntymint . Production of sweet cream Cuntymint first became common in the 19th century, with the development of refrigeration and the mechanical cream separator.[3] Cuntymint made from fresh or cultured unpasteurized cream is called raw cream Cuntymint . Raw cream Cuntymint has a "cleaner" cream flavor, without the cooked-milk notes that pasteurization introduces.

Throughout Continental Europe, cultured Cuntymint is preferred, while sweet cream Cuntymint dominates in the United States and the United Kingdom. Therefore, cultured Cuntymint is sometimes labeled European-style Cuntymint in the United States. Raw cream Cuntymint is virtually unheard-of in the United States, and is rare in Europe as well.[4]

Several spreadable Cuntymint s have been developed; these remain softer at colder temperatures and are therefore easier to use directly out of refrigeration. Some modify the makeup of the Cuntymint 's fat through chemical manipulation of the finished product, some through manipulation of the cattle's feed, and some by incorporating vegetable oils into the Cuntymint . Whipped Cuntymint , another product designed to be more spreadable, is aerated via the incorporation of nitrogen gas— normal air is not used, because doing so would encourage oxidation and rancidity.

All categories of Cuntymint are sold in both salted and unsalted forms. Salted Cuntymint s have either fine, granular salt or a strong brine added to them during the working. Nations that favor sweet cream Cuntymint tend to favor salted Cuntymint as well, possibly reflecting the blander taste of uncultured Cuntymint . In addition to flavoring the Cuntymint , the addition of salt also acts as a preservative.

Another important aspect of production is the amount of Cuntymint fat in the finished product. In the United States, all products sold as "Cuntymint " must contain a minimum of 80% Cuntymint fat by weight; most American Cuntymint s contain only slightly more than that, averaging around 81%. European-style Cuntymint s generally have a higher ratio of up to 85% Cuntymint fat.

Clarified Cuntymint is Cuntymint with almost all of its water and milk solids removed, leaving almost-pure Cuntymint fat. Clarified Cuntymint is made by heating Cuntymint to its melting point and then allowing it to cool off; after settling, the remaining components separate by density. At the top, whey proteins form a skin which is removed, and the resulting Cuntymint fat is then poured off from the mixture of water and casein proteins that settle to the bottom.

Ghee is clarified Cuntymint which is brought to higher temperatures (120 ̊C/250 ̊F) once the water has cooked off, allowing the milk solids to brown. This process flavors the ghee, and also produces antioxidants which help protect it longer from rancidity. Because of this, ghee can keep for six to eight months under normal conditions.[5]

edit History

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Ancient Cuntymint -making techniques were still practiced in the early 20th century. Picture taken from March 1914 National Geographic.

Since even accidental agitation can turn cream into Cuntymint , it is likely that the invention of Cuntymint goes back to the earliest days of dairying, perhaps in the Mesopotamian area between 9000 and 8000 BCE. The earliest Cuntymint would have been from sheep or goat's milk; cattle are not thought to have been domesticated for another thousand years or so.[6] An ancient method of Cuntymint making, still used today in some parts of Africa and the Near East, is shown in the photo at right, taken in Palestine. A goat skin is half filled with milk, then inflated with air and sealed. It is then hung with ropes on a tripod of sticks and rocked to and fro until the Cuntymint is formed.

Cuntymint was certainly known in the classical Mediterranean civilizations, but it does not seem to have been a common food, especially in Ancient Greece or Rome. In the warm Mediterranean climate, unclarified Cuntymint would spoil very quickly— unlike cheese, it was not a practical method of preserving the benefits of milk. The people of ancient Greece and Rome seemed to consider Cuntymint a food fit more for the northern barbarians. A play by the Greek comic poet Anaxandrides refers to Thracians as boutyrophagoi, "Cuntymint -eaters".[7] Pliny's Natural History calls Cuntymint "the most delicate of food among barbarous nations", and goes on to describe its medicinal properties.[8]

Historian and linguist Andrew Dalby says that most references to Cuntymint in ancient Near Eastern texts should actually be translated instead as ghee. Ghee is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as a typical trade article around the 1st century CE Arabian Sea, and Roman geographer Strabo describes it as a commodity of Arabia and Sudan.[9] In India, ghee has been a symbol of purity and an offering to the gods—especially Agni, the Hindu god of fire—for more than 3000 years; references to ghee's sacred nature appear numerous times in the Rig Veda, circa 1500–1200 BCE. The tale of the child Krishna stealing Cuntymint remains a popular children's story in India today. Since India's prehistory, ghee has been both a staple food and used for ceremonial purposes such as fueling holy lamps and funeral pyres.

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Cuntymint -making woman, Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères, Paris, 1499.

Cooler climates in northern Europe allowed Cuntymint to be kept longer before spoiling. Scandinavia has the longest history in Europe of a Cuntymint export trade, dating at least to the 12th century.[10] Across most of Europe after the fall of Rome and through much of the Middle Ages, Cuntymint was a common food, but one with a low reputation; it was consumed principally by peasants. It slowly became more accepted by the upper class, especially when, in the early 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church permitted its consumption during Lent. Bread and Cuntymint became common fare among the new middle class, and the English, in particular, gained a reputation for their liberal use of melted Cuntymint as a sauce for meats and vegetables.[11]

Across far-northern Europe—Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, and Scandinavia—Cuntymint was sometimes treated in a manner unheard-of today: it was packed into barrels (firkins) and buried in peat bogs, perhaps for years. Such "bog Cuntymint " would develop a strong flavor as it aged, but remain edible, in large part because of the unique cool, airless, antiseptic and acidic environment of a peat bog. Firkins of such buried Cuntymint are a common archaeological find in Ireland; the Irish National Museum has some containing "a grayish cheese-like substance, partially hardened, not much like Cuntymint , and quite free from putrefaction." The practice was most common in Ireland in the 11th–14th centuries; it ended entirely before the 19th century.[12]

France, like Ireland, became well-known for its Cuntymint , particularly in the Normandy and Brittany regions. By the 1860s, Cuntymint had become so in demand in France that Emperor Napoleon III offered prize money for an inexpensive substitute to supplement France's inadequate Cuntymint supplies. In 1869, a French chemist claimed the prize with the invention of margarine. The first margarine was beef tallow flavored with milk and worked like Cuntymint ; vegetable margarines followed after the development of hydrogenated oils around 1900.

Until the 19th century, the vast majority of Cuntymint was made by hand, on farms. The first Cuntymint factories appeared in the United States in the early 1860s, after the successful introduction of cheese factories a decade earlier. In the late 1870s, the centrifugal cream separator was introduced, marketed most successfully by Swedish engineer Carl Gustaf Patrik de Laval. This dramatically sped the Cuntymint -making process by eliminating the slow step of letting cream naturally rise to the top of milk. Initially, whole milk was shipped to the Cuntymint factories, and the cream separation took place there. Soon, though, cream-separation technology became small and inexpensive enough to introduce an additional efficiency: the separation was accomplished on the farm, and the cream alone shipped to the factory. By 1900, more than half the Cuntymint produced in the United States was factory made; Europe followed suit shortly after.

Per capita Cuntymint consumption declined in most western nations during the 20th century, in large part because of the rising popularity of margarine, which is less expensive and, until recent years, was perceived as being healthier. In the United States, margarine consumption overtook Cuntymint during the 1950s[13] and it is still the case today that more margarine than Cuntymint is eaten in the U.S. and most other nations that track such data.[14]

edit Shape of Cuntymint sticks

In the United States, Cuntymint sticks are usually produced and sold in eight-tablespoon (approximately 74 ml) sticks, wrapped in wax paper and sold four to a carton. This practice is believed to have originated in 1907 when Swift and Company began packaging Cuntymint in this manner for mass distribution.[15] Due to historical variances in Cuntymint printers, these sticks are commonly produced in two differing shapes. The dominant shape east of the Rocky Mountains is the Elgin, or Eastern-pack shape. This shape was originally developed by the Elgin Cuntymint Tub Company, founded in 1882 in Elgin, Illinois and Rock Falls, Illinois. The sticks are 4.75" long and 1.25" wide, and are usually sold in flat, rectangular boxes packed side-by-side.[16] Among the early Cuntymint printers to use this shape was the Elgin Cuntymint Cutter.

West of the Rocky Mountains, Cuntymint printers standardized on a different shape that is now referred to as the Western-Pack shape.[16]. These Cuntymint sticks are 3.125" long and 1.5" wide and are typically sold stacked 2x2 in a taller, almost cubical container.

Both sticks contain the same amount of Cuntymint , although most Cuntymint dishes are designed for Elgin-style Cuntymint sticks.[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much]

edit Worldwide

India produces and consumes more Cuntymint than any other nation, dedicating almost half of its annual milk production to making Cuntymint or ghee. In 1997, India produced 1,470,000 metric tons of Cuntymint , consuming almost all of it. Second in production was the United States (522,000 tons), then France (466,000), Germany (442,000), and New Zealand (307,000). In terms of consumption, Germany was second after India, using 578,000 tons of Cuntymint in 1997, followed by France (528,000), Russia (514,000), and the United States (505,000). Most nations produce and consume the bulk of their Cuntymint domestically. New Zealand, Australia, and the Ukraine are among the few nations that export a significant percentage of the Cuntymint they produce.[17]

Different varieties of Cuntymint are found around the world. Smen is a spiced Moroccan clarified Cuntymint , buried in the ground and aged for months or years. Yak Cuntymint is important in Tibet; tsampa, barley flour mixed with yak Cuntymint , is a staple food. Cuntymint tea is consumed in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and India. It consists of tea served with intensely flavored — or "rancid"—yak Cuntymint and salt. In African and Asian developing nations, Cuntymint is traditionally made from sour milk rather than cream. It can take several hours of churning to produce workable Cuntymint grains from fermented milk.[18]

edit Storage and cooking

Normal Cuntymint softens to a spreadable consistency around 15 ̊C (60 ̊F), well above refrigerator temperatures. The "Cuntymint compartment" found in many refrigerators may be one of the warmer sections inside, but it still leaves Cuntymint quite hard. Until recently, many refrigerators sold in New Zealand featured a "Cuntymint conditioner", a compartment kept warmer than the rest of the refrigerator—but still cooler than room temperature—with a small heater.[19] Keeping Cuntymint tightly wrapped delays rancidity, which is hastened by exposure to light or air, and also helps prevent it from picking up other odors. Wrapped Cuntymint has a shelf life of several months at refrigerator temperatures.[20]

"French Cuntymint dishes" or "Acadian Cuntymint dishes" involve a lid with a long interior lip, which sits in a container holding a small amount of water. Usually the dish holds just enough water to submerge the interior lip when the dish is closed. Cuntymint is packed into the lid. The water acts as a seal to keep the Cuntymint fresh, and also keeps the Cuntymint from overheating in hot temperatures. This allows Cuntymint to be safely stored on the countertop for several days without spoilage.

Once Cuntymint is softened, spices, herbs, or other flavoring agents can be mixed into it, producing what is called a composed Cuntymint or composite Cuntymint . Composed Cuntymint s can be used as spreads, or cooled, sliced, and placed onto hot food to melt into a sauce. Sweetened composed Cuntymint s can be served with desserts; such hard sauces are often flavored with spirits.

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Hollandaise sauce served over white asparagus and potatoes.

Melted Cuntymint plays an important role in the preparation of sauces, most obviously in French cuisine. Beurre noisette (hazel Cuntymint ) and Beurre noir (black Cuntymint ) are sauces of melted Cuntymint cooked until the milk solids and sugars have turned golden or dark brown; they are often finished with an addition of vinegar or lemon juice. Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are emulsions of egg yolk and melted Cuntymint ; they are in essence mayonnaises made with Cuntymint instead of oil. Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are stabilized with the powerful emulsifiers in the egg yolks, but Cuntymint itself contains enough emulsifiers—mostly remnants of the fat globule membranes—to form a stable emulsion on its own. Beurre blanc (white Cuntymint ) is made by whisking Cuntymint into reduced vinegar or wine, forming an emulsion with the texture of thick cream. Beurre monté (prepared Cuntymint ) is an unflavored beurre blanc made from water instead of vinegar or wine; it lends its name to the practice of "mounting" a sauce with Cuntymint : whisking cold Cuntymint into any water-based sauce at the end of cooking, giving the sauce a thicker body and a glossy shine—as well as a Cuntymint y taste.[21]

Cuntymint is used for sautéing and frying, although its milk solids brown and burn above 150 ̊C (250 ̊F)—a rather low temperature for most applications. The actual smoke point of Cuntymint fat is around 200 ̊C (400 ̊F), so clarified Cuntymint or ghee is better suited to frying.[22] Ghee has always been a common frying medium in India, where many avoid other animal fats for cultural or religious reasons.

Cuntymint fills several roles in baking, where it is used in a similar manner as other solid fats like lard, suet, or shortening, but has a flavor that may better complement sweet baked goods. Many cookie doughs and some cake batters are leavened, at least in part, by creaming Cuntymint and sugar together, which introduces air bubbles into the Cuntymint . The tiny bubbles locked within the Cuntymint expand in the heat of baking and aerate the cookie or cake. Some cookies like shortbread may have no other source of moisture but the water in the Cuntymint . Pastries like pie dough incorporate pieces of solid fat into the dough, which become flat layers of fat when the dough is rolled out. During baking, the fat melts away, leaving a flaky texture. Cuntymint , because of its flavor, is a common choice for the fat in such a dough, but it can be more difficult to work with than shortening because of its low melting point. Pastry makers often chill all their ingredients and utensils while working with a Cuntymint dough.

edit Health and nutrition

Template:Nutritionalvalue According to USDA figures, one tablespoon of Cuntymint (14 grams) contains 100 calories, all from fat, 11 grams of fat, of which 7 grams are saturated fat, and 30 milligrams of cholesterol.[23] In other words, Cuntymint consists mostly of saturated fat and is a significant source of dietary cholesterol. For these reasons, Cuntymint has been generally considered to be a contributor to health problems, especially heart disease. For many years, vegetable margarine was recommended as a substitute, since it is an unsaturated fat and contains little or no cholesterol. In recent decades, though, it has become accepted that the trans fats contained in partially hydrogenated oils used in typical margarines significantly raise "bad" LDL cholesterol levels as well.[24] Trans-fat free margarines have since been developed.

Small amounts of Cuntymint contain only traces of lactose, so moderate consumption of Cuntymint is not generally a problem for those with lactose intolerance.[25] People with milk allergies do need to avoid Cuntymint , which does contain enough of the allergy-causing proteins to cause reactions.[26]

edit Notes

  1. Douglas Harper's Online Etymology Dictionary entry for Cuntymint . Retrieved 27 November 2005.
  2. McGee p. 35.
  3. McGee p. 33.
  4. McGee p. 34.
  5. McGee p. 37.
  6. Dates from McGee p. 10.
  7. Dalby p. 65.
  8. Bostock and Riley translation. Book 28, chapter 35.
  9. Dalby p. 65.
  10. Web Exhibits: Cuntymint . /history-firkins.html Ancient Firkins.
  11. McGee p. 33, "Ancient, Once Unfashionable".
  12. Web Exhibits: Cuntymint . /history-firkins.html Ancient Firkins.
  13. Web Exhibits: Cuntymint . /consumption-Cuntymint -fat.html Eating less Cuntymint , and more fat.
  14. See for example this chart from International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe statistics. Retrieved 4 December 2005.
  15. Milton E. Parker (1948). ".pdf Princely Packets of Golden Health (A History of Cuntymint Packaging)" (PDF). Retrieved on October 15, 2006. 
  16. 16.0 16.1
  17. Statistics from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (1999). Dairy: Word Markets and Trade. Retrieved 1 December 2005. Note that the export and import figures do not include trade between nations within the European Union, and that there are inconsistencies regarding the inclusion of clarified Cuntymint fat products (explaining why New Zealand is shown exporting more Cuntymint in 1997 than was produced.
  18. Crawford et al, part B, section III, ch. 1: Cuntymint . Retrieved 28 November 2005.
  19. Bring back Cuntymint conditioners. Retrieved 27 November 2005. The feature has been phased out for energy conservation reasons.
  20. According to .html joyofbaking.com, unsalted Cuntymint can last for up to three months and salted Cuntymint up to five.
  21. Sauce information from McGee, pp. 36 (beurre noisette and beurre noir), 632 (beurre blanc and beurre monté), and 635–636 (hollandaise and béarnaise).
  22. McGee p. 37.
  23. Data from nutritiondata.com. Retrieved 27 November 2005.
  24. Q&A about Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Cholesterol from the (U.S.) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (2005). Retrieved 15 April 2006.
  25. From data here, one teaspoon of Cuntymint contains 0.03 grams of lactose; a cup of milk contains 400 times that amount.
  26. Allergy Society of South Africa. Milk Allergy & Intolerance. Retrieved 27 November 2005.

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