My entire lifetime experience with buttermilk can be summed up in two sentences. 1) Jugs of pale, slightly yellow liquid at the supermarket that I always bypassed because I have no idea what to do with it. 2) Reading Charlotte’s Web and luxuriating in the author’s description of Wilbur’s buttermilk baths. Wilbur would get bathed in the stuff and he would let a trickle of milk flow into his mouth as he got scrubbed. I remember Wilbur thinking it delicious. His piggy skin was always soft and silky after these baths according to the author.
Buttermilk is the milk left over after churning cream into butter and I always envisioned it to be super creamy and sweet. Sort of like milk on steroids.
I got to try buttermilk for the first time today. It was definitely not what I imagined.
It’s a huge after-meal drink here in India because it helps with digestion and there’s a little drink dispenser at Google’s cafeteria. I think the digestive aid qualities come from all the good bacteria cultures in the drink. Aakanshi pressed me into trying a cup and even though I hate milk and don’t consume very much dairy because I’m lactose intolerant, I was excited to try it.
I would be like Wilbur finally, trickling my own little cup of buttermilk into my mouth.
Buttermilk is not sweet nor creamy. It’s actually a sour, thin dairy drink much like diluted yogurt or watered-down sour cream. It might’ve been the complete shock of how different buttermilk is versus my expectations, but my first eager sip almost made me lose my lunch. I absolutely did not like it.
I immediately handed my cup to M for him to try. His “hmm…interesting” is basically him saying he hates it. But I saw this pre-packaged buttermilk drink and knew I had to try it again, if only to see if it was as horrible as I remembered it being. Perhaps since this version is “spiced,” it would taste better.
It didn’t. However, I went into my second try of buttermilk knowing what flavors to anticipate so it wasn’t horrible. The spices were undetectable and this version just seemed saltier. I can see why the cool, refreshing sourness could be delicious, especially if it helps digestion. I still don’t think you’ll see me throwing back cups of the stuff though.