Unsatisfied with the buttery spreads and other subpar dairy-free alternatives on the market, young entrepreneurs Aidan Altman (25) and Andrew McClure (26) launched Fora, a plant-based food company, in 2017. Their first product, available at Eataly locations nationwide, is FabaButter: a plant-based, dairy-free butter. Aquafaba, the protein- and starch-enriched water that’s left over after cooking chickpeas, acts as an emulsifier and enhances the flavor and mouthfeel of the product.
Fora is on a mission to “provide sustainable, dairy-free products that put flavor and functionality first,” according to a release, and FabaButter is just the beginning. Altman and McClure see various possible applications for super-ingredient aquafaba.
FabaButter distinguishes itself from other dairy-free butter alternatives on the market by mimicking the fattiness, texture and spreadability of butter. It even has a higher smoke point than traditional butter, which makes it great to cook with.
“FabaButter bakes, melts and spreads just like butter and is made entirely from sustainable, non-GMO ingredients including aquafaba and coconut cream,” reads a release. Additionally, it’s allergen friendly: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, lactose-free and does not contain palm oil.
The young company already has chef fans and a sofi Award (new product in the dairy, yogurt and dairy alternative category). The company website features testimonials from notable names in the food industry, including Ravi DeRossi, NYC restaurateur of Avant Garden and Ladybird, who described FabaButter as “by far the best butter on the market.” Chef Brad Farmerie, of Saxon + Parole (previously of the Michelin-starred –– and now-closed –– Public restaurant), said FabaButter was “the best vegan butter I’ve ever tried.” Scott Winegard, executive chef of Matthew Kenney Cuisine, said, “absolutely love what you guys are doing –– really impressive stuff.”
Aside from offering vegans and those with dietary restrictions a quality alternative, developing products like FabaButter falls into a larger trend of plant-based eating stemming from both environmental and health concerns. To this end, the company claims to have four times less the carbon footprint in producing FabaButter compared to dairy butter, stating, “Raising a cow takes massive amounts of land and water, and pollutes our precious air.” As for the product formulation, FabaButter is made with healthy saturated fats like coconut oil and it boats half the salt content of its competitors. The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that while it’s recommended that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, the majority of people consume more than 3,400 milligrams.
The self-proclaimed “superordinary dairy-free butter” has collaborated with NYC-based bakeries Petee's Pie Company and, most recently, maman, on vegan sweets. Petee's Pie uses FabaButter in its double crust vegan fruit pies($40), which come in three flavors: cherry, blueberry and apple. While the pies are vegan and nut-free (except for coconut oil), they are not gluten-free. maman debuted a vegan version of its cult-favorite Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookie earlier this month (available at NYC locations and for nationwide shipping). The vegan cookies are the first vegan offering from the café, restaurant and event space. The cookies are $4 each, and $45 for a dozen cookies packaged in a custom-made box.