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Got buttermilk?

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Yesterday we worked on a recipe for salad dressing which called for Bulgarian buttermilk.  None of us had heard of it before, so we sent out our test kitchen assistant in hopes that she’d return with a pint or two. No such luck.  This piqued my curiosity even more, and after a few moments on Google, I found  the California milk advisory board, where I found a rundown of the differences between regular buttermilk and Bulgarian.  Apparently, Bulgarian-style is thicker and tangier. Bulgarian buttermilk is to regular buttermilk as Greek yogurt is to regular yogurt.

It was actually not so surprising that this info came from California: the recipe’s author also hails from California. So I’m curious—is this something that all you Californians see on a daily basis? Can you pick it up in your supermarket? And, more importantly, has anyone outside of California heard of, tasted or bought Bulgarian buttermilk, and if so, can you recommend where to get it in our neck of the woods (Connecticut)?


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  • JudyMaloney | 11/04/2015

    I have lived in Fort Worth, Texas for 8 years and am from Louisiana. I've drank buttermilk all my life. Specifically buttermilk poured over crumbled cornbread in a bowl. It's one of my favorite foods and I eat it too often. I discovered Bulgarian Buttermilk probably 10-15 years ago and now it's all I drink. Brookshires Grocery carries a Low Fat Buttermilk that is usually as good as any Bulgarian, but half the calories. This is important when you have as much as I do. Recently my Bulgarian and Brookshires brand low fat milk are watery instead of thick. I don't know why and am really upset about it. I'm trying to figure out how to thicken these when I buy them and find that they are watery. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate the info.

  • veronica_bug | 12/01/2010

    I live in CA. One company in particular, Berkeley Farms, LLC, a dairy product company sold at my local market, (SAVEMART) as well as Smart & Final offers both styles of buttermilk.


    I have fibromyalgia and suffer bouts of thrush and yeast infections. The difference as far as a probiotic aspect between the 2 styles of buttermilk cultures is bulgarian style has a better and higher amount of good bacteria. Bulgarian style is also a higher fat or a full fat buttermilk (around 3%) vs. cultured style (1 1/2% fat). Pancakes or any other recipe with buttermilk will be creamier and thicker with the bulgarian style due to the yogurt that is added to the watery style (cultured) during the culture process.

    If you want your final product to be thick and you can't find the real bulgarian style, try to find powder buttermilk


    Saco is not the only type of dry available.

  • tshores | 06/17/2009

    Bulgarian buttermilk is all I buy because it tastes better. I don't like the regular watery sour-tasting lowfat buttermilk with no substance. Bulgarian is thicker and richer-tasting; made from cultured whole milk. Try it, you'll like it better, too. I'm in Arkansas and we can buy it at WalMart or Brookshires or just about any food store in 2 or 3 different brands. The brand may be Coleman and it says Bulgarian Style on it. I use it in anything calling for buttermilk in cooking and baking, including salad dressings.

  • jahr4sps | 06/11/2009

    I live in the state of Washington and you can get the bulgarian buttermilk at "Winco" foods. You can buy it off the shelf they also have regular buttermilk. I did try it and used it only in pancakes and the batter was a bit thicker but it didn't change the taste of the pancakes.

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