Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product. Traditionally, it was the liquid left over after churning out butter from cultured cream. However, most modern butter in Western countries is made from uncultured sweet cream rather than cultured cream, so most modern buttermilk in Western countries has to be cultured separately. This is common in warm climates, where milk tends to sour quickly without refrigeration. Buttermilk can either be drunk on its own, or used in cooking. For example, in making soda bread, the acidity in buttermilk interacts with the baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, producing carbon dioxide that acts as a leavening agent in the dough. Buttermilk also finds use in marinating meat, especially chicken and pork.

Cultured buttermilk was first commercially introduced in the United States in the 1920s. Cultured buttermilk, which is commercially available, is milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized, then inoculated with a culture of Lactococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus, plus Leuconostoc citrovorum, to simulate the naturally occurring bacteria of the old-fashioned product. The tartness of cultured buttermilk is due primarily to lactic acid produced by lactic acid bacteria during fermentation of lactose, which is the main sugar in milk. As the bacteria produce lactic acid, the pH of the milk decreases, and casein, which is a major milk protein, forms a curd or clabber, causing curdling of milk. This process gives cultured buttermilk a thicker texture than plain milk does. While both traditional and cultured buttermilks contain lactic acid, traditional butter milk tends to have a less viscous texture than cultured butter milk.

When introduced in America, cultured buttermilk became popular among immigrants and was seen as a food that could help slow aging. However, condensed and dried buttermilks remain important in the food industry, with liquid buttermilk primarily used in the commercial production of baked goods and cheeses. Buttermilk solids are also used in ice cream production and are added to pancake mixes for buttermilk pancakes.

We would be happy to fulfill orders placed in our online store, and provide you with excellent quality buttermilk.