East Coast vs West Coast Butter

Generally, we think of coastal rivalries involving sports teams or rappers, but in a twist, there is also a difference in the world of butter. That's right, butter, which I have never thought about in any way except when I need to use it or buy more, has a whole different look on depending on where you live in the US.

Luckily, the butter itself is basically the same. The biggest difference is whether you want salted or unsalted, which is the same choice in New York and California. The size, weight, and shape are what sets it all apart. Lindsay D. Mattison at Taste of Home has more.

It turns out that the East Coast and West Coast have different sticks of butter. It’s not something most people would notice unless they’ve moved cross-country! West of the Rockies, butter is short and stubby while East Coast butter is longer and skinnier.

Why the difference? Butter was originally sold in one-pound bricks until a dairy in Elgin, Illinois, started dividing it into four pieces. All the Midwest dairies used this “Elgin” mold to form butter. In the mid-1900s, the West Coast started producing butter, but they didn’t have access to the same mold. So they created their own press with a unique shape that’s now known as Western “stubbies.”

Taste of Home

It's a weird relic of the Illinois dairy deciding to do things its own way over fifty years ago and basically nobody caring or seeing a need to standardize. I mean, it's butter. As long as it cooks as expected and spreads great on breads, you're basically good. But what an odd difference to even exist these days.