No buts, it's Rucava butter!

The European Commission has approved the inclusion of Rucava white butter (Rucavas baltais sviests), made in the Rucava area in western Latvia, in the EU scheme of Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs), the LETA newswire was told at the European Commission’s Representation in Latvia.

Rucava white butter is made by hand, using a very specific churning method which makes this butter particularly viscous and aromatic.

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Rucava white butter has been made in local homes since the early 20th century. The recipes are handed down from generation to generation, and today almost every household in the Rucava area still makes Rucava white butter, officials said.

Several other Latvian products, for example, the traditional Jaņi cheese of midsummer and Carnikava lampreys have already been included in the EU registers of PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed).

According to the official description (see attached document): "The product ‘Rucavas baltais sviests’ is a butter which is half fat and has a uniform, soft and elastic consistency. Physical and chemical characteristics: Taste of the product: slightly acidic and light, with the flavor and aroma of freshly churned butter. Aroma: clean, typical aroma of milk fats, without extraneous aromas or flavours. Colour: from white to yellow, some unevenness in the colour may be observed owing to uneven distribution of plasma droplets. Texture: soft, fluffy, with visible droplets of plasma of various sizes that come out if the product is pressed mechanically. Fat content: 39-41 %"

"Traditionally, white butter was eaten immediately after churning — with boiled potatoes or spread on rye bread. Only then is the butter of the required consistency, elastic and spongy. When putting the butter up for sale, it is packaged straight away into little boxes and wrapped in foil (to preserve the temperature and characteristics of the butter just after it is ready, and to ensure the product's consistent quality and organoleptic properties)," the official documentation adds.

"While on a tour of regional army camps in October 1935, President Alberts Kviesis, Prime Minister Dr Kārlis Ulmanis, Deputy Prime Minister Marģers Skujenieks, Minister for War Jānis Balodis, Minister for Agriculture Jānis Birznieks and Commander-in-Chief of the Army, General Krišjānis Berķis, made a stop at the camp in Kurzeme where, at the entry to the camp, they were presented with ‘a loaf of rye bread and a wooden tub containing white Kurzeme butter," the document further explains.

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