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IN THE KITCHEN

AROUND HOME : Notes on a Butter Substitute, and Garden and Animal Events : Better Than Butter

June 18, 1989|RUTH REICHL

OK, IT'S NOT BUTTER. But if butter is something you're avoiding for health reasons, Le Slim Cow, a butter substitute imported from France, tastes a lot better than any other substitute. It looks a lot like butter and tastes quite a bit like the real thing. It's got half the fat that margarine has, it has less cholesterol, and it's low in sodium.

Here are the vital statistics. Ten grams contains 40.1 calories, 0.1 gram of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fat, 6.8 milligrams of cholesterol and .015 milligrams of salt. Put another way, butter and margarine are about 80% fat; Le Slim Cow contains 41% fat.

The main ingredients are buttermilk (59%), milk fat (20.9%) and vegetable oil (19.1%). A "new emulsion technology" makes Le Slim Cow easily spreadable. You can't cook with the stuff (the attractive package clearly tells you not to heat it up), but spread on a piece of toast in the morning, Le Slim Cow almost makes watching calories fun.

Le Slim Cow costs about $3 for an 8-ounce tub and is available at most gourmet stores, including The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills; Wally's Liquor in Westwood; Gelson's; Hughes; Irvine Ranch Market in the Beverly Center; Bristol Farms in South Pasadena and Rolling Hills; Ranch Meat in Newport Beach; Harvest Ranch Market in Encinitas, and Jonathan's in Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla.

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