Fontaine des Veuves, our raw milk butter 

The dairy Cooperative of Pamplie is one of the last dairy company producing a raw milk butter, under the label : Fontaine des Veuves. Exceptional butter, it has a very aromatic nutty taste. As such it is beloved by the purists, available in unsalted, salted and with salt crystals. 

How is it made ? What is the common history between the dairy Cooperative of Pamplie and the Cooperative of Fontaine des Veuves ? Where Fontaine des Veuves’s name does come from ? In this article, we tell you all about our raw milk butter. 

Discover our range of raw milk butter

How is made our raw milk butter ?

Like the pasteurized butter, the raw milk butter is made in traditional churn. The cream is not heated, the milk after the milking is only cooled, for its preservation. 

After the milk’s collection from the farmers located in a radius of 80 km around Pamplie, bacteriological analysis are made as soon as the milk comes at the factory. After a quick storage in the tank, new bacteriological analysis are made, before the milk’s skimming. The cream obtained is used for the production of butter. A key step is the maturation of the cream for long hours, during selected lactic ferments are added for the development of the flavors of the butter. Then, the cream is churned to be processed in butter. For the items with salt crystals and salt, the salt is added at that moment. After the butter is packed. 

Even it can be used in some recipes, mainly for pastry, the raw milk butter is consumed fresh, without cooking, to appreciate its delicious flavors, for example on a piece of fresh and crispy bread. But against its authentic taste and unique quality, its shelf life is shorter. 

What is the common history of the dairy Cooperative of Pamplie and the Cooperative of Fontaine des Veuves ?

Created in 1889, with the booming of the Charentes cooperative movement, the dairy Cooperative of Fontaine des Veuves starts its activity only in 1905, in the eponymous village of the Saint-Pierre de l’Ile commune, in Charente-Maritime.

In 1997, the Cooperative stops a part of its productions, because of the crisis of the milk’s powder.  The cooperation with Pamplie at the beginning of the years 2000, allows  the farmers of the Cooperative to continue their activity and to save the tradition of the butter. 

With Pamplie, we defended the principles of cooperation. The buttermaking, the way of working were similar : a butter in churn, a high quality product for a niche market. 

Bruno Pommier, President of  Fontaine des Veuves, from 1989 to 2008

In 2003, Fontaine des Veuves becomes a collection’s cooperative of Pamplie. The total merger took place in 2008. The 16 members farmers of the Cooperative of Fontaine des Veuves become members farmers of the dairy Cooperative of Pamplie. 

Thus, our Cooperative manufactured raw milk butter again, under Fontaine des Veuves label, reviving its tradition during 50 years before the pasteurization.

Michel DROCHON, General Manager of Pamplie from 1996 to 2013

The legend of « Fontaine des Veuves » (Fountain of the Widows) 

During the One Hundred years war,  opposing the French and English,  6 gentlemen farmers, 

 passed away in the castle of Mornay.   Bertrand Du Guesclin the Constable of France,  informed about the violent battles, came to help the local troops.    

When coming to the castle, he discovered a very  sad situation,  the widows of the gentlemen farmers had been killed near the fountain by the English soldiers when  they were praying for the victory of the French troops.  From this day, this place is called  ‘’Fontaine des Veuves’’ by the population and the river ‘’the King’s creek’’by an edict of Charles V King of France

Our range of raw milk butters is composed of a soft butter,
a semi-salted butter and a butter with salt crystals.