Fried Green Tomatoes
Jennifer Davick / Styling Buffy Hargett / Food Styling Angela Sellers
Past generations crumbled cornbread into the tangy beverage as a light meal. While today we enjoy buttermilk in the cornbread, rather than the other way around, we still know a good thing when we taste it. Try these splendid recipes, and you'll want to adopt buttermilk as your own secret ingredient. But don't worry. We won't tell a soul.
A Not-so-Buttery Product
Though buttermilk seems richer and creamier than regular milk, it actually contains the same fat content as the whole, low-fat, and nonfat milks from which it is made. Originally, it was the liquid that remained after churning butter. Today's commercial buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid to pasteurized, homogenized milk, causing it to thicken and sour. (The process is similar to the one used to make sour cream and yogurt.) Some producers add a few flecks of butter for color and richness. The acid makes buttermilk a prized ingredient in baked goods―it tenderizes them and lends depth of flavor. It also makes this milk a long-lasting staple that will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week past its sell-by date.
"A Southern Secret" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living.