What's the Difference Between East Coast and West Coast Butter?

Like Hardee's and Carl's Jr. or Edy's and Dreyer's ice creams, food brands can look a little different depending on your coastal persuasion. Did you know, butter on the East Coast is a different shape than butter on the West Coast? If you didn't know that, you're not the only one. The shocking news that not all butter is created equally may feel like a bitter betrayal, but if you've only ever seen your coast's butter, you would never know there's a difference. The two butter sticks are equal in quantity. In other words, you get the same amount of butter no matter what coast you're on: 8 tablespoons, or 4 ounces in a stick. However, the difference comes in the shape of the sticks. On the East Coast, sticks of butter are long and skinny. On the West Coast they're short and squatty. In fact, West Coast sticks of butter are sometimes referred to as "stubbies.” Butter used to be sold in one-pound blocks that you would have to hack away at every time you needed it — Irish and European butters are still sold that way today — but in 1906 a New Orleans restaurant requested that dairies divide butter into 4 quarter-pound sticks rather than one big chunk and the butter companies obliged. At that Time, Elgin Butter Company was producing much of the butter in the Midwest and on the East Coast, but in the 1960s California farms and dairies entered the butter game and began producing their own sticks. These new machines produced the short, stout butter that's West Coast butter today. If you're an East Coast or West Coast transplant, the butter sizes don't really make a difference when it comes to cooking or baking. The only time you might notice an issue is if you use a butter dish — but that can easily be solved by purchasing a butter dish that fits both East Coast and West Coast butters.