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Lait battu


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I picked up what I thought was regular milk in the supermarket and it was described as lait battu. It was in the same sort of bottle and right next to the milk. I realised my mistake when I had my first sip of coffee and it tasted awfully sweet. What is lait battu and what is it used for?

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I picked up what I thought was regular milk in the supermarket and it was described as lait battu. It was in the same sort of bottle and right next to the milk. I realised my mistake when I had my first sip of coffee and it tasted awfully sweet. What is lait battu and what is it used for?

It was most probably lben, North African buttermilk. To be drunk as such or mixed with sugar, honey, syrup, etc., or as a side dish/drink with couscous.

You may also find "lait ribot", very similar but Breton in origin. "Lait battu" on the bottle will most likely refer to the Maghrebi specialty.

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It's all really buttermilk. What is sold as lait battu in Belgium (also called karnemelk in Flemish) is essentially the same as the lait ribot you find in France - this has it origins in the waste product left over after making butter from milk.

The commercial product is probably homogenized as raw butter milk easily separates and looks less attractive.

The Dutch seem to consume a lot of karnemelk - a "working lunch" even in the board room of a large Dutch multinational consists of sandwiches and pitchers of karnemelk with perhaps a few cans of coke for the foreigners if you are lucky.

It seems to be a taste acquired in childhood!

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"Lait ribot", "lait battu" and lben are not buttermilk but a totally different product. Besides I am not sure the lactic ferments are the same for each one, but they are similar to each other.

They are fermented (yogurt-type fermentation), churned skimmed milk. They are often confused with buttermilk- — perhaps because fermented milk is called "buttermilk" in the US?

Lait ribot is one of a few fermented milk products particular to Brittany (there is also gros-lait, a jellied, slightly gooey soured milk).

Buttermilk (babeurre) is stricto sensu the by-product of butter-making and is obtained from cream, not milk. It is a thick, sourish, off-white liquid, absolutely delicious but not commercialized in France (I think it is illegal to sell it). I had the opportunity to taste real buttermilk at a butter farm and I wish it were more readily available.

A recent report of artisanal butter-making in Brittany, with a picture of buttermilk poured into a bottle, may be found here on my blog.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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