What Is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a dairy product used in many recipes. But, what is it?

If you have ever sipped buttermilk straight from the container, you may know that its taste is not the ideal beverage, to say the least.

Buttermilk has a sour or tangy taste that many people do not care to drink on its own. However, it is tasty inside many recipes like pancakes, dressings, and fried chicken.

Traditionally, buttermilk is the liquid portion of butter that remains after its formation into a solid. It is essentially the whey (liquid) byproduct of butter. While its texture is thinner than yogurt, it can often be used as a substitute for yogurt in recipes.

In modern commercial settings, it is more cost effective to take shortcuts to produce buttermilk. The buttermilk you consume from the grocery store is manufactured differently from the old days.

Store bought buttermilk is actually cultured and pasteurized milk. It has had a non-harmful bacteria (usually Streptococcus lactis) introduced into it to sour it and create the classic buttermilk taste.

In short, store-bought buttermilk is a sort of copycat version of the real deal. You may be able to find buttermilk made from real butter in the stores, but you may have to really hunt for it.

See video below which explains “What is buttermilk?”

Buttermilk Nutrition Facts

Buttermilk TypeServing SizeCalories Total FatSaturated Fat CholesterolSodiumCarbohydratesDietary FiberSugars ProteinCalcium
Lowfat1 Cup (245g)982.16g1.35g10mg466
Whole1 Cup (245g)1528.11g4.65g27mg257mg11.96g0g11.96g7.86g282mg
Source: USDA Nutritient Database