'The kind of fat people can feel good about consuming'
What could be better than butter? High Lawn Farm can clarify: It's ghee.
The Lee dairy farm known for its Jersey cows recently added ghee to its product roster — an addition that farm-to-table and healthy food fans seem to be appreciating so far. Ghee, a clarified butter often associated with Indian cuisine, is made by heating butter so that the liquid fats and milk solids separate. The milk solids are removed; once the rest solidifies, what's left is a butter product that's low in cholesterol and almost lactose-free.
"I put it on everything," said Rachel Toczko, who's in charge of making the ghee at High Lawn, as well as packaging it and labeling it. (She also does some marketing work for the farm.) Ghee has a high smoke point — higher even than grapeseed oil — which makes it excellent for frying. It's also an excellent substitute for butter, of course.
And, stay with us: You can also put it in your coffee.
"It sustains the caffeine boost from the coffee so you don't get that jolt and crash — the fat makes it easier on your stomach and allows the caffeine to be absorbed more slowly," Toczko said.
In moderation, "this is the kind of fat people can feel good about consuming," she said. "It's packed with fat-soluble vitamins — essential vitamins that need fat to be fully absorbed by the body. It's also an essential acid for detoxification."
Ghee also contains fatty acids CLA and butyric acid, which fight heart disease and reduce inflammation, respectively.
The ghee is currently only available at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington (regular price $15.99), but High Lawn plans to expand availability soon, Toczko said, including direct orders via the farm's website. New locations will be shared via the farm's social media outlets. "We're excited to get our ghee in as many people's hands as possible," she said.
Though High Lawn has a sophisticated milking system for its cows and a relatively new processing facility (upgrades were made within the last few years), Toczko makes the ghee.
"The whole operation is very handmade," she said. Using the farm's facilities, she makes batches on an induction stove with large, stainless steel pots and superfine mesh strainers. She also does the labeling and packaging, including tying a rustic piece of twine around each jar.
Toczko loves being the master of ghee: "It's so close to my heart," she said.
It's important for any business to push new products and follow food trends, Toczko said. And so far, with the farm's 100th anniversary approaching, there's been plenty of interest in this new product.
"Ghee got brought up a few times and finally we decided to go forward with it," she said. "We have so many amazing followers and people who like to keep up with us. They know our milk and their family has been drinking it for decades. So the response has been great — I think people are excited."
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