Food Science: What is Buttermilk?
What, exactly, is buttermilk?!
Traditionally, buttermilk is the liquid that is leftover after churning butter. It’s low in fat and contains most of the protein originally in the milk. True buttermilk ferments naturally into a thick, tangy cream.
These days, buttermilk is usually made by introducing a bacteria culture to low-fat milk and then heating the mixture. We’ve never had naturally fermented buttermilk, but we hear that commercially-made buttermilk is thicker and tastes more tart than the traditional stuff.
Can anyone who’s had “real” buttermilk confirm?
(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)