It’s Official: Ina Garten’s Favorite Butter Is the Best in the World

And the good news is it's affordable and easy to find.

<p>Getty Images / Adobe</p>

Getty Images / Adobe

The “Ask Ina” section on celebrity cookbook author and TV personality Ina Garten’s website is a treasure trove filled with questions from Barefoot Contessa fans from around the world — and, of course, Garten has diligently responded to a slew of them. If you’re curious about what size Le Creuset Dutch oven she uses most frequently or how to keep a frozen key lime pie crust from sticking to a glass pie pan or a “delicious and unpretentious” restaurant in Paris suitable for a milestone birthday celebration, she’s got you covered. For the record: She recommended the Le Creuset Dutch oven #26, letting the pie defrost for at least 15 minutes before serving, and Le Bistrot Paul Bert on the 11th Arrondissement.

So when a man from Enterprise, Alabama wrote Garten to ask what brand of butter she used for cooking, she responded with great intel all of us could use: She often goes with Cabot Creamery’s butter — before diplomatically adding that “there are many good brands of butters available.”

And apparently, the Barefoot Contessa was not the only one Cabot impressed. The butter also wowed the judges at the 35th biennial World Championship Cheese Contest, which, as the name implies, attempts to identify the world’s best cheeses, butters, yogurts, and other dairy products. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA)  has hosted the contest every other year since 1957, and the 2024 competition featured more than 3,300 different products from 400 manufacturers representing 25 countries and 32 U.S. states.

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“In the U.S. and around the world, the contest’s gold medal seal on the labels of award-winning products drives consumer purchases and boosts sales. Our Contest offers entrants the chance at a coveted title, as well as valuable impartial technical feedback from a team of internationally renowned judges.” WCMA contest director Kirsten Strohmenger said in a statement. “It’s a truly global competition, with the best makers entering their best products — so a win at our contest means the world.”

The competition, which was held in the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin, evaluated the best butters in three different categories: unsalted, salted, and flavored. And Vermont’s Cabot Creamery took the Best of Class award in the salted category, with its 83% Butter Fat Sea Salted Butter Quarters. (Cabot’s own packaging labels this butter as Extra Creamy Sea Salted Premium Butter, if you want to ensure you’ve put the big winner in your shopping cart.)

The winner in the unsalted category was Western-Star Cultured Butter, produced by Australia’s Fonterra Brands, but second place went to Vermont Creamery’s Unsalted Cultured Butter. Finally, Wisconsin’s Nordic Creamery swept all three top spots in the flavored butter category, with its red pepper butter, garlic butter, and honey butter.

Related: 10 Classic Ina Garten Recipes to Make All the Time

As for the cheeses, the 2024 World Champion Cheese was a Hornbacher made by Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus in Bern, Switzerland; while the first runner-up was an extra-aged Gouda produced by Dutch Cheese Makers in Friesland, Netherlands, followed by “a surface-ripened mixed milk cheese” made by Pennsylvanian cheesemaker The Farm at Doe Run.

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