There's a Museum in Ireland Dedicated to Butter

(Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)

Ireland takes its butter very seriously. It is with pride that that nation can boast of owning a 3,000-year old barrel of the yellow gold. Ireland is known for its high quality butter, and the city of Cork in particular has a long-established butter trade. Scott Calonico of Vice magazine visited the Cork Butter Museum and talked to its director, Peter Foynes:

VICE: What's the backstory of the museum?

Peter Foynes: The museum was opened in 1997 by a group of local businesspeople. In particular, [they wanted] to mark the old Butter Exchange in the city, that used to be the biggest butter market in the world. But also to commemorate Ireland's dairy history, which is really quite important. So that was the initial idea. The old Butter Exchange became vacant in 1996, so that was the ideal place for it.

Wait, what's a Butter Exchange?

In 1769, there was a group of people in the city called the Committee of Merchants that decided they wanted to take regulation into their own hands. There was butter trading in the city before that, but it was unsatisfactory. So the Merchants introduced a system of quality checking, basically grading the butter themselves. Over time, it also became a system for dealers to go through to get their butter because it would then have the mark of the Butter Exchange of Cork on it and that was a good thing to have. […]

-via Jonah Goldberg

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