Why is butter sold in rectangular blocks?


    Why does butter have this oblong shape? We explain why here! Enough to fuel conversations for your next family meal.

    Have you ever wondered why ghee The one you buy at the supermarket is sold as rectangular cobblestones? Funny question for sure, but the answer is not very clear. In fact, butter could have been sold in cubes or cylinders, but history has made it mainly found in sticks. Here is why!

    The evolution of butter in the Nineteenth Century

    The history of making butter goes back thousands of years, but the modern invention of refrigeration is much more recent. Previously, after mixing and kneading, the butter obtained was placed in vats, often ceramic, with a thick layer of salt to preserve it. When needed, all you have to do is take out the required amount and close the cap. And it also happened that each family has its own butter mold of various shapes: circular, oval, grooved, rectangular…

    Then, in the nineteenth century, the centrifugal cream separator was invented. The creaming time becomes very fast (an hour instead of a day), allowing for a larger production of fresh butter. Added to this, the development of railways and the invention of the first refrigerated wagons allowed dairy products to be marketed on a large scale. The butter is then sold in large one-pound blocks. To facilitate marketing and transportation, butter manufacturers decided to divide the block into four pieces. Long, rectangular blocks became the standard size in commerce as we know it today.

    Although they all have the same shape, the weight of butter sticks varies by country. In the United States, butter is measured by stick (one stick contains eight tablespoons) while in France and the United Kingdom, butter is measured by weight. This is why we find them in 500, 250, or 125 grams of butter chips.