ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Buttermilk? About Buttermilk and Its Uses

Updated on November 29, 2009
buttermilk pancake
buttermilk pancake

"Oooh. Buttermilk. Let's get it and make buttermilk pancakes!" We were at the farmer's market down the road, and my husband was looking at the milk that they sell from a local farm. All organic, and they even sell raw (not pasteurized) milk too, which is really hard to find.

I had never had buttermilk pancakes before, so I was curious. "I just saw a delicious-looking buttermilk pancake recipe on a blog the other day. Let's try it."

The buttermilk went into the basket, and we made the pancakes the next morning. They were wonderful--light and fluffy and far better than any mix. (It was this buttermilk pancake recipe, without the added wheat germ)

It wasn't until I was placing it in our refrigerator when we got home, though, that I noticed that it wasn't true buttermilk, as we had expected from a farm that sold raw milk as well. It was artificially cultured buttermilk. We weren't terribly surprised; true buttermilk is very hard to come by. It made me curious enough to do a little research about buttermilk, though, because I wasn't completely clear on the distinction.

Traditional buttermilk (true buttermilk) was a kitchen staple back before refrigeration (and pasteurization), because it would keep much longer than sweet milk, especially in warmer climates like the Southern United States where milk would sour even faster. When combined with baking soda, it is a very effective leavener, making items cooked with it very light and fluffy.

Don't let the name fool you, buttermilk is not full of butter, nor is it high in fat. When whole cream is churned, butter develops and separates. The butter is skimmed off, and the liquid that is left over is sort of like skim milk, but still full of enzymes and bacteria because it has not been pasteurized. If this liquid is allowed to ferment, the bacteria turns the lactose into lactic acid, and the milk becomes buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is thin and slightly acidic, with a slightly sour taste. It is similar to plain, unsweetened yogurt in taste.

Artificial buttermilk is the result of intentionally adding good bacteria to milk that has already been pasteurized. Artificial buttermilk has a similar taste, but is much thicker because of the curdling that happens in the artificial fermentation process. It doesn't produce quite the same effect when using it in baking. Artificial buttermilk has become the standard because pasteurization is required for commercially sold dairy products in most areas.

When natural, traditional buttermilk is not available, artificial buttermilk is still a good substitute. Our pancakes the other morning made with cultured buttermilk were perfectly fluffy and delicious.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      shamshul Hasan 

      7 years ago

      I want to know whether butter milk is useful for the person having triglicrides on high side. If it is not useful atleast itshould not be harmful for the persons having cholestral on high side.

    • profile image

      Mustafa 

      7 years ago

      In Pakistan (Asia) traditional Butter is churrned out of Yogurt, in a clay churrn.

      Some water is added with little salt (i.e. 1 cup curd + 2 cups of water + 1 tsp of salt) to yogurt to obtained butter, whatever is left behind is called "Buttermilk"... i think.

      People in USA don’t buy your buttermilk from store, just add 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of organic yogurt and blend with hand beater. here is your buttermilk.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilri/5002686783/

    • profile image

      Ruth 

      8 years ago

      I read on another site that traditional buttermilk and cultured buttermilk cannot be used interchangeably. Is this true? I had some buttermilk from making butter the other day and used it in my pancakes this morning and they were DIVINE! They also smelled divine... different from my usual pancakes made with cultured buttermilk. So I'm not sure about not being able to use the traditional kind instead of the cultured.

    • profile image

      selena gomez 

      8 years ago

      anazinggggggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Melissa Ray Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Ray Davis 

      8 years ago from Swannanoa, NC

      Steve ~ I found the new address; the link works now!

    • profile image

      Steve 

      8 years ago

      The link here now is unavailable :(

    • Melissa Ray Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Ray Davis 

      10 years ago from Swannanoa, NC

      DaddyCakes ~ Yes, they were delicious! :-)

    • DaddyCakes profile image

      DaddyCakes 

      10 years ago from Newport Beach, CA

      Is that a picture of your homemade Buttermilk Pancake? It is beautiful!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)