#BuzzButteredSteaks: An Appalachian Delight

Photo by John Clise

By John Clise

Growing up in West Virginia one of my favorite things for dinner was a Buzz Buttered Steak. I think it was that delicious pat of butter that came on top of every frozen patty that intrigued me as a kid.

I always asked mom to put a butter pat on hamburgers she made. The answer was always a swift “no.” I think she wanted to keep the joy of Buzz Buttered Steaks alive for me.

We ate them quite a bit over the summers when we were all staying with my great aunt. They always made the house smell delicious.

I hadn’t eaten them in years. After an adult lifetime of moving here, there and yonder, I finally tried them again about five years ago. They were indeed still just as delicious as they had been when I was a kid.

I tried them as a sandwich, something I had not done before. A bun, tomato, lettuce, onion, just a sprinkle of mustard. Makes my mouth matter just thinking about it.

I had no idea, as a kid, these delicious steaks were a creation of my very own Mountain State. They were created in Charleston, West Virginia with the first batch coming out packaged and ready to go 1958 from the company butcher shop.

Beside their great taste they were also fairly inexpensive back in the 1970s making them a favorite choice of many families. They were also a special treat.

They are definitely worth trying.

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According to their website, Buzz Buttered Steaks might be the reason that you stumbled onto this great website in the first place.  Buzz Buttered Steaks are part of our company’s long history, and the first thing that many people in our community think of when they hear mention of Buzz.  We don’t have a problem with that.  To explain, in 1958, on Bullitt Street in Charleston, the first box of Buzz Buttered Steaks came off the production line at Hy-Grade Sales and a legend was born.  A “deliciously different” meal made from pure beef and real butter, Buzz Buttered Steaks quickly gained popularity on family dinner tables and in lunch pails throughout the Appalachian coalfields and beyond.  Easy to prepare, the steaks caught on as fans created their own recipes ranging from sandwiches to center-of-the-plate entrees.  Nearly sixty years later, loyal fans of Buzz Buttered Steaks remember them being “the first thing my mother ever let me cook.”

The legend around Buzz Buttered Steaks grew even wider in 1976 when theives stole a Buzz truck containing more than six tons of the popular product.  By the time a multi-state manhunt ended, more than a dozen well-fed accomplices were charged with distributing stolen goods.  As publicity around the caper grew, Buzz Buttered Steaks experienced record sales and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, you can find Buzz Buttered Steaks for sale in most independent and chain grocery stores in West Virginia (if not, ask the meat manager!).  We receive MANY, almost daily, kind and sentimental comments from Buzz Buttered Steak fans around the country.  Visit the Facebook fan page here.  To date, we have not offered to ship the product out of our market area but keep checking back and we may figure that out one of these days.

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