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In which I Confess to a Butter Addiction

butter writing

All I can think of these days is butter. Cheesy as it sounds, it makes everything better.

(Did I just write those awful, punny lines? Yes, good people, I did.)

My ongoing love affair with butter is unlikely to end well, but you know how it is with addictions. There’s the initial honeymoon phase, and then there’s the I-shouldn’t-be-doing-this-but-what-the-heck-phase. There are other phases, of course, but I’m focusing on the ‘what-the-heck’ phase because that’s where I’m at, you understand.

Maybe my body feels it is under threat and has gone into its most atavistic response: fattening up in anticipation of a drought?

Or it could be I have this dread disease, or maybe even fat-gorging worms (yuck!) ?

It could also be that I’m shopping for groceries online, and since they limit purchases to two, something in me always wants to hit the limit. I Always buy two large slabs of butter.

Whatever the reason, my addiction shows no signs of abating. I haven’t been able to guilt myself with health consequences, nor, (to my shame) the starvation of others that I see regularly on the media.

The thing is once I snack on butter, my writing flows well. My column for the Sunday Standard of the New Indian Express (you can read it here), for instance, was fueled completely by butter. I’m unable to go out much (obviously), I don’t store unhealthy snacks at home, and am generally pretty frugal ( no shopping binges, ever). So butter seems to have become my only escape, reward, and refuge.

I’ve told myself this can’t go on, but each time I’m writing, or on a call, my body goes on autopilot. Even now as I type this, I have butter shavings on a tiny plate beside me, their pale, melty-soft, salty goodness a constant temptation.

Someone (me?) needs to intervene. I’ve re-read this post, and it reads like a (half) humorous call for help. I’ll possibly need to discover a seaweed/sunflower-seed /dried fruit variety of addiction or an unimpeachably sound meditation technique in order to get me out of this one.

Until that happens though, I’ll be here. Eating healthy breakfasts of nuts and cereals, vegetables with every meal, working out the best I can. (And stealing butter off the slab. I guess this my version of a meltdown?)

Have you ever had an addiction you’re comfortable speaking about? What has been your relationship with butter? What’s your advice for my de-addiction and rehabilitation?


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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Geri Lawhon says:

    Butter is great, especially on steak. Thanks for re-enforcing my love for butter.

  • I love butter too. 😍😍😍😍
    Interesting post ♥️

  • No Need for help. I like butter too. I don’t feel gross after I eat it, so it must be good for me. Haha.

  • writershilpa says:

    I remember reading about your butter addiction on FB days ago. Are you still addicted to it?

    I am not addicted to anything–or so I tell myself–but I could gobble a cheese cube, or two, to feel good. Or drink my extra sweet, extra cold coffee more than once a day. Hey, now that I wrote this down, it does feel good to see I really am not addicted to any foodstuffs! Wow! Good girl, me! 😛

  • aj vosse says:

    Good – better, BUTTER!!
    Great, healthy food… no need to feel guilty – it is real food – good for real people!!

  • macjam47 says:

    I love butter and if I didn’t have such a guilty conscience when I go off my normally healthy diet, I’d eat it all the time. I guess I’m no help to you. 😂

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Hahhaahah you are a help–you make me feel less alone. Just had a slab of homebaked bread with a slab of butter 🙂

  • inkspeare says:

    I love butter. I consider it a simple little pleasure in life, and I welcome it. Sorry for what I am about to say, but if you have not tried Irish butter, you either must do yourself a favor and stay away from it, or you should try it at least once in your life, but I must warn you – you might get hook on it. Best butter ever! In my home, butter is a staple; I used it for everything when cooking meals. I am a lover of coffee as well. I would not want to stop having those. These make me happy.

  • soniadogra says:

    This side of you is a surprise. But then I’ve only guessed the person you are.
    Coffee addiction this side. Real bad one. It’s the every excuse I have for my broken heart or a celebration. I don’t even plan to get over it😁😁

  • Parul Thakur says:

    That’s an interesting one. I like butter on my toast but otherwise, I won’t think of it. 😉
    Because hey! there are cookies and other junk snacks. I also never bought junk but this lockdown, i am with you in what-the-heck phase.
    I get the NIE at home so I actually read your article in the newspaper. It was so good! 🙂

  • Meltdown it is, Damayanti. I have had a similar meltdown with Oregano. It ended when i tried to eat Oregano Curd Rice. My current obsession is fruits. Thankfully, my husband keeps a close weight watch for me, so keeping fat-rich stuff in fridge is impossible.

  • Pam says:

    So you eat it just by itself, Damyanti? I think that’s not something I could do, but my younger sis unused to do it all the time when we were little. She’d eat hunks of it! Maybe it’s a phase and you’ll put it aside once the lockdown is over. 😂🤣

  • A life-long addiction to chocolate and butter. Both of which I now eat in extreme moderation. However, my comfort food in this pandemic is croissants; which are made with butter. And I occasionally melt some dark chocolate on top. 😀

  • Oh dear!I feel ya. Nothing is better than a slice of warm, fresh bread with butter. I suppose that is not helping but you got me thinking about butter. On a side note, I know a couple cats that like butter.

  • jlcanfield says:

    I grew up in the southern US. Butter is a staple here. Every meal must have a stick or two of butter on the table. We believe it aint good if you didnt use butter. Here butter can be classified as part of the comfort food group. Fresh hot bisquits, butter and homemade jelly chase away any troubles. So do meatloaf and mashed potatoes which have butter in them. I have to also mention homemade pies or cakes in this group. Yes they too have been kissed with lots of butter. So I’m not sure if you have an adiction or not. I know when I was sick as a child, my great aunt would give me hot tea and plain crackers with butter. I always felt better afterward.
    We all have coping mechanisms and for some of us it’s food, usually flavors we deny ourselves when things are going well in life. For me, it is chocolate. I am a diabetic so I have switched from milk chocolate to dark. indulging in just one ounce of that delectable forbidden treat is my reward for surviving another day and gives me hope and courage to face another.
    Some writers turn to strong drink, like whiskey, to get them through writing. If butter is letting your words flow, then I say imbibe. I’ve not heard of anyone being arrested for butter intoxication, and believe me in the south US, a lot of us would be time in jail for it.

  • pythoroshan says:

    I am the absolute last person to offer advice on de-addiction of tasty food… I usually replace one unhealthy food with another !

  • toconnell88 says:

    Butter on toast, English muffins or crumpets. That’s a god-tier breakfast for me. I say enjoy your butter a little while longer. It’s a crappy year so far, so if a bit’a butter brings you happiness then I’d say that’s a good thing. There are certainly worse things you could be addicted to! 🙂 Maybe you could make it a conditional snack? Like you have to X amount of kilometres/miles for each buttery snack?

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I’m not a great fan of butter, except in something, and for the moment I can’t remember what that is. It makes things too rich for me, and brings me out in spots. Cheese, on the other hand… Cheese I can’t live without. It’s the only thing that stops me going vegan. Artisan cheese especially. Cheese on toast or any variety of that, I can live on. In fact, that is why I am the size I am… too much cheese and bread combo. Not giving it up, though. 😀

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Cheeese. Yep, now that I think of it, I eat a fair bit of that, too!

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I’ve always loved butter and cheese … and can understand your ‘addiction’ … I’d love to be able to go out and get away from the fridge!! I’m hoping that asparagus will appear in the shops – so I can have some butter. Take care and perhaps more stair walking up and down for no reason whatever, except to get away from the butter!! Stay safe – Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      We have asparagus here–but we have them in Singapore most of the year because they either come fro Australia or elsewhere–apparently they’re in season in some part of the world all the time. I’ve set alarms on my fit-bit to make up for all this butteriness, and doing the chores keeps me okayish–miss my walks outdoors though.

  • I use up my butter only when I’m making butter paneer, butter chicken, etc or when I’m baking. So mine tends to stay in my refrigerator for a while. 😅

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I’ve never made butter paneer nor butter chicken–do they need a lot of butter?

  • Debbie D. says:

    There certainly are worse addictions! 🙂 Growing up German meant that butter was used for cooking and also spread on the morning “brötchen” (bread rolls), so I love it, too. Now, it’s more of an occasional treat, but there’s always some in the freezer. If it helps your creativity, why not? And if you’re still exercising and keeping fit, where’s the harm? The old mantra “all things in moderation” should prevent too much damage. Enjoy!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Debbie! yep–the ‘all things in moderation’ is what I have to master.

  • Silk Cords says:

    The sensible answer to your question is “All things in moderation”. 😉 Butter is certainly healthier than margarine and other processed spreads after all.

    Me: Sugar and caffeine. I’m working on cutting back both a little at a time. The stress level in my life seems to have other ideas though, lol

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Haha, yep, that’s indeed the sensible answer, as I’ve told myself often. But it is early yet and find myself straying towards the refrigerator even before breakfast!

      Yes, sugar can be a hard habit to kick–so is caffeine. The stress is real though, and I guess it is ok to let go in bits. At least that’s what seems true to me right now.

      Thanks for dropping by, and hope to see you often :).

  • Lynda Dietz says:

    I was reading this to my husband just now, because we only buy butter and never any butter-type substitutes (YUCK). He said he likes to snack on butter occasionally, too. I don’t snack on it, but I will heartily agree with you that it makes everything better. Enjoy your indulgence! Especially if it helps you to write like you do.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Hey Lynda, lovely to see you after a while.

      Yep, no substitutes in my kitchen either. We tried Stevia for a while, but now we’ve just learned to do without a lot of sugar in our lives.

      I tend to agree with your husband. Snacking on butter is a thing, and I’m sticking by that, lol.

      • cleemckenzie says:

        I can’t seem to leave a comment unless I piggyback onto someone else’s

        You and Julia Child are a pair when it comes to butter addiction. Not a bad habit to cultivate, and it’s so delicious on hot toast.

  • Love butter, never give it up…my weakness, since childhood, has been potato chips. Lay’s brand are my favorite and like their tagline, I can’t eat just one. I’ve taken on a stressful job and I’m eating more chips with my lunches to satisfy my salt craving.

    Butter slathered on hot toasty bread is the remedy for all things rotten in the day. Enjoy your butter for as long as you need. When you no longer need it, you’ll know.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      So good to see you after a while, Denise!

      I’m not a potato chips addict, but understand the addiction for sure.

      After your last sentence, I feel understood. Thanks for saying that :).

  • I love butter! I eat butter on anything on which I can spread it or glop it. 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      So good to know i’m not alone in my love for butter :). Thanks for stopping by, and would love to exchange notes on our feelings on butter!

  • Sha'Tara says:

    I never give advice but if I did 😉 I’d say a serious fast is fast approaching. Warning: fasts are never fast.

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