One of my favorite simple pleasures in the morning (or any time, really) is a warm piece of toast slathered with butter. I love it — like, really love it — so it breaks my heart just a little when I find myself with a pat of too-cold butter that's simply incapable of being spread. The kind of cold butter that requires force; the kind of force that smashes down a once-soft-in-the-middle piece of toast.
A simple solution would be to keep my covered butter dish out on the counter or in a cupboard, where the butter stays room temperature and perfectly spreadable at all times. But for some reason I just haven't been able to do it, which makes me wonder: Does butter really need to be refrigerated?