Cultured buttermilk is probably the easiest and most fool proof fermented milk product to make nothing more than the tart liquid left after the butter is churned. Buttermilk is low in fat. It's sometimes tolerated by people with lactose intolerance since some of the lactose is fermented by bacteria. The acidity of buttermilk also explains its long refrigerator shelf life. Slightly sour in taste. It is quite popular as a coolant in India and a variant called lassi is sold commercially. Buttermilk can be found in supermarkets, in the dairy section, and is known as cultured buttermilk, which is made by adding a bacterial culture to low-fat or nonfat milk. For more authentic and tasty, though, there is churned buttermilk, which is the liquid that remains after milk is churned into butter. Buttermilk is used in many recipes to give it a creamy taste or texture. Buttermilk when used to make fried chicken keeps the chicken moist.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Buttermilk is found in any grocery store where regular milk is sold.
Substitutions: 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice + low-fat or fat-free milk to make 1 cup & let stand for 10 minutes = 1 cup low fat or fat-free buttermilk