Buttermilk was traditionally a by product of homemade hand churned butter. Buttermilk was the liquid that remained after the butter had been made. The liquid contained small particles of floating butter and some traces of butterfat. This gave the buttermilk a rich sweet flavor and made the drink very refreshing.
It was also commonly used in homemade biscuits, salad dressings such as ranch and as the dipping liquid for fried chicken. Today buttermilk is mass produced and has only a trace resemblance to the original form of buttermilk. In today's dairy processing facilities a lactic acid bacteria is added to non-fat milk and allowed to ferment.
This modern version of buttermilk contains calcium, protein, and vitamin B2 which make it a healthier alternative to traditional buttermilk. Today's buttermilk is lower in fat than traditional buttermilk due to the lack to butter particles and the base being a non-fat milk. It is also thicker and tangier than traditional hand churned buttermilk. A homemade version of buttermilk can be easily made with a buttermilk starter.
Simply heat a scant 4 cups of non-fat milk until it is slightly warm. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil. Next add ¾ cup of store bought buttermilk. Allow the milk to stand overnight. After resting for at least 12 hours you will have thick tasty ready to use buttermilk. .
By: Shauna Hanus