"Good" Butter

Ina Garten always asks her viewers to use "good" products, without specifying the brand she uses. I've heard her say use good: mayo, butter, olive oil, chocolate, etc., etc., but what is good?

After reading a comment left by a Serious Eater on the Christmas cookie post, I'm especially anxious to hear what "good butter" is.

I buy all of my produce at the farmer's market and purchase the rest of my staples and big, evil, scary Walmart because it's all I can afford at the moment. When I have some extra dough I go to Trader Joe's or local ethnic markets to mix it up, but for the most part it's Walmart because let's face it: it's cheap and I'm on a super tight budget.

When buying butter I usually just get the store/generic brand unsalted sweetcream butter, but now I'm wondering if I'm missing out and have no idea what real butter actually tastes like. I'd be willing to spend more money on "good butter" if it really makes a difference.

So Serious Eaters, what is good butter? Don't be vague like Ina, either. Tell me the brand names of some of your favorite butters. Also, can anyone tell me if brands really make a difference? Is my generic butter the same as your pricy butter? At least I'm not using "vegetable spread" or margarine, right?


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