Buttermilk: What Is It and Why Should I Use It?

ReMix waffles taste great when you use any type of milk, but they really shine when you use buttermilk. So...what is buttermilk and why does it make waffles and other foods taste so good?

What is buttermilk?

Contrary to popular belief, buttermilk is not milk with butter in it. Instead, buttermilk comes in two varieties: traditional and cultured.

Traditional buttermilk consists of the liquid left behind when churning cream into butter.

Cultured buttermilk is when a specific bacteria is added to milk to carefully ferment it (similar to yogurt).

In both cases, the end product is a thicker more acidic type of milk that has a very distinct, somewhat sour taste.

Most buttermilk that you'd find in the supermarket is of the cultured variety. Additionally, you can make your own buttermilk with buttermilk powder, or by adding an acid like lemon juice to regular milk.

What makes buttermilk so special?

Buttermilk's acidity makes it somewhat unpleasant to drink, but creates the kind of environment that is perfect for cooking. When making baked goods, the acidity helps to add a distinct flavor to the food, as well as activate the leaving products. This means a tastier, fluffier waffle.

Where can I buy buttermilk?

Since buttermilk is not only used in baking, but also for soaking food like chicken before frying, it's fairly common in the dairy section of major supermarkets. Small shops also sometimes carry buttermilk from local dairy farms.

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