More on Butter Process

Back to the butter after a few interruptions.

An inquiring mind asked what happens to the buttermilk once the butter fat fully separates.  First, some clarification.  “Buttermilk” from butter churning is not the same buttermilk on the store shelf.  Commercial buttermilk at the grocery is a cultured milk, meaning bacteria was added to homogenized milk to create the slightly thick, lightly tangy milk.  Makes for very tasty pancakes and biscuits.  Some like it as beverage.

The “buttermilk” that results from butter process is basically a skim milk.  It is sweet, not sour.  Some of it goes toward making other dairy products, like yogurt and cheese.  In the “olden days” when folks churned their own butter, the milk by-product was fed to farm animals.  In fact, the practice continues.  Our very own USDA promoted dehydrated “buttermilk” to feed chickens, hogs and cattle.  Other USDA workers scorn this practice, calling it wasteful.  They argue that the skim milk could go toward cottage cheese production.  With every pound of butter yielding approximately 15 – 20 pounds of skim milk, cheap protein can be used to feed more humans, not critters.

Want to see how this works?  See Chef Butter below. (If you don’t want to wait the full 9 minutes, you can skip to the end when the chef squeezes out excess milk from the butter and ladels out a sip of buttermilk.)

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