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What is buttermilk

23 mayo, 2021

The other day preparing a recipe that I will bring you soon, I found that among its ingredients was buttermilk. So I wanted to know something more about this buttermilk because now, that it is becoming more and more frequent to translate American and North European books, it is typical to see it being part of any recipe, especially in pastries and cakes. The concept we have here of buttermilk is to mix milk to which we have added a few tablespoons of lemon juice and, as it is still difficult to find it regularly in our stores, we almost always have to settle for this homemade version to go out. of the step, but what is actually buttermilk?

Originally it is the liquid that it is obtained by beating the cream to transform it into butter. Its appearance is similar to that of skimmed milk but its flavor is slightly bitter as a consequence of the maturation of the cream in said transformation process. This whey was commonly drunk as early as the Middle Ages, being in Great Britain the drink of shepherds and milkmaids for hundreds of years. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries it became a fashionable drink in large cities. Spread throughout the world, it became part of traditional preparations such as curds in the Middle East or preparations such as hangop typical of the Netherlands.

After a few years of decline and where it was included almost exclusively in the manufacture of food products but not to be consumed as such, it re-emerged as a healthy alternative to whole milk because it had much less amount of fat, being its flavor a little bitter, less cloying and more interesting than skimmed cow’s milk. Currently what is sold by buttermilk is actually skimmed milk fermented with a type of bacteria called streptococci that produce a transformation of lactose into lactic acid, later going to be treated with heat to stop the bacterial action and slow down the fermentation.

In confectionery it is frequently used to increase fluffiness and improve flavor in preparations such as pastries or cakes and although it is not easy to find it, more and more establishments already have it on their shelves.

Image | Grongar on Flickr
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