What Is Buttermilk?

how is buttermilk made

Many of us have heard of buttermilk, but what is buttermilk? 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 suitable for 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. In modern times or commercially, 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 create the classic buttermilk taste with the traditional creamy tanginess. Technically, store-bought buttermilk is not usually a milk produced from butter, but a sort of copycat version. You may be able to find buttermilk made from real butter in the stores, but you may need 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