All Challenge Butter like most of the butter produced commercially in the United States is sweet cream butter, butter produced from fresh sweet cream as opposed to butter made from cultured or soured cream. Both Challenge regular and Challenge Unsalted are sweet cream butters. To complicate matters however, many consumers and cookbook writers use the rather misleading term “Sweet Butter” to refer to unsalted butter. To add to the confusion the term “Sweet Cream Butter” more often refers to salted butter; but could refer to any butter that is made from sweet cream.
The choice of unsalted (“Sweet Butter”) or lightly salted regular butter is largely a matter of personal taste. Unsalted (“Sweet Butter”) is often preferred in cooking because it gives more precise control of the amount of salt added to a recipe. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary by manufacturer but a helpful rule with Challenge Butter is to figure there is about ¼ teaspoon of salt per 1 stick (¼ lb or ½ cup) of butter.
Salt acts as a preservative so salted butter has a slightly longer shelf life, but the “sell by” dates on Challenge products automatically reflect this difference. The “sell by” date on the regular lightly salted Challenge Butter is 6 mos. beyond the manufacture date and the date on Challenge Unsalted Butter is 5 months.