Tin Star Foods
So I was kinda way excited when I found out that the headquarters for Tin Star Foods was moving to Austin. I mean, come on. They're top-of-the line ghee and it means our paleo community just keeps on a-growing here. We're so lucky to have an environment that supports the seeking of health and wellness!
Which is why, when Alyssa over at Barefoot Provisions introduced me to their national brand manager (Clare), it was kinda friends at first sight. Alyssa and I, along with others of our "girls night out" group just recently got to attend Clare's wedding festivities and had a BALL. That's where I met Hima, the founder of Tin Star. As expected, she's just as awesome. It's basically a huge deal for me that I get to do this review for their company.
So first, just lookie how purty:
That's Texan for "ain't she beautiful?" (Side bar: is this also a Texan way of saying "isn't she lovely?" Responses appreciated).
All the good things I feel about the people in this company had me hesitant about doing this review at first. And, quite honestly, I've tried other ghees before and didn't really notice a flavor difference between their much-pricier version and the one I could've made myself at home. That said, I'll also admit that I have been a vehement supporter of making your own ghee/clarified butter in the past. I'm not going to just ignore these things here. But, I think you need to know why I've backed off of the DIY soapbox to talk instead about the benefits of buying certified ghee from a quality company... and why Tin Star is the brand you should go with.
First off, it's f***ing delicious. The smell alone cues you to know this is another caliber of oil from the get-go. Seriously, the first time I cooked with it, I just wanted to give up on my veggie sauté and drink the ghee for dinner. I resisted, mostly because my roommates were in the kitchen at the time I was cooking. Ugh, social norms.
Second off, making your own ghee is a good option for those who are just trying out the whole paleo-ish thing. Or first-time Whole 30®-ers. Or those who know they don't have a dairy intolerance, but choose to minimize their intake.
But what about those who have a known dairy intolerance?
Without getting too scientific, that intolerance is usually an allergy to a protein in dairy called casein. While butter is mostly fat, there's still about a small amount of protein in it. Rendering your own ghee will decrease this amount substantially, but for those who are casein-sensitive, it's not a dose response. Just ask anyone who suffers from a food allergy. One nibble of a cube is just as bad as eating a pound of cheese.
On a similar note, if you want to test yourself for a dairy allergy, you have to have a complete elimination of the food in order to truly clear your system of it before reincorporating down the road to look for symptoms.
So, where does that leave these crowds?
They need to either cut butter and butter products from their life and use other fat sources (this makes me want to cry) or buy ghee from a certified supplier. This certification basically guarantees there is no dairy protein present in the product.
But again, not all products are created equal.
While a company needs to have the aforementioned certification to label their product as "ghee," good luck finding an organic source. And even if you manage that, good luck finding a certified grass-fed organic source. Food quality matters, and grass-fed sources of animal products are the top of their pyramid in this feat. Tin Star brings this element to the table, completely smoking the rest of the competition.
Oh yeah, speaking of smoking...
Ghee has a "smoke point" 100ºF higher than butter. That basically means it doesn't start to oxidize, AKA form toxins due to heat, until you get it up to 450ºF. Tin Star has tested their own smoke point, which is actually not until 485ºF. When it comes to clean cooking oils, this is one of your best options. Not to mention the fat-burning MCTs and CLA found in greater concentrations in ghee versus butter.
Need more reasons to try this product?
Let's just touch on the people again.
Even if I hadn't met them in real life, I just know this review would have eventually happened. Why? Because Hima has cultivated a business that puts its people first and values customer service over everything. Just look at that note from her on the back of each jar: she wants you to know that this is a project of passion and kindness. Her childhood was filled with health-promoting ghee and she's generous enough to spread this family secret with the world.
I think that's pretty great.
If you would like to purchase some Tin Star Foods ghee, click here.
Brown Butter Ghee
Good lord. The description of this product by Tin Star involves something along the lines of “offering even richer flavor” than their original ghee.
Lemme tell ya: they ain’t lying.
This delicious ghee is more than a cooking fat. It honestly feels like a delicacy each time I dip a spoon in it to throw on the pan, or into my coffee, or whatever. The smell as it heats is a rich aroma that somehow smells like million-dollar movie popcorn.
When you taste it, there truly is a deepness to the flavor. The company describes it as “nutty,” and as I was trying to think of a better way to word it, I simply couldn’t. It’s not like there’s a specific nut that comes to mind. It’s just that there is such a different edge, so to speak, brought about by this product that no other ghee matches.
Don't get me wrong: I LOVE the original ghee just as much as before. But the Brown Butter Ghee will step up your game in any plate that you want to make extra-fancy. Or any coffee you want to make extra-special. Or if you just like to live the high life.
Definitely buy this product to change the game.