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One of my disappointments when I moved back to North Carolina from California was the poor quality of dairy products in this region of the country. I very rarely drink milk, but I do use butter and a bit of cheese, and I like having buttermilk in the refrigerator. It was almost impossible to find buttermilk that wasn’t somehow adulterated — thickened with tapioca or emulsified with diglycerides. Not only that, but finding milk here from cows that are not given hormones is almost impossible, unless you go to Whole Foods, which is a 50-mile roundtrip for me. In San Francisco, there were fantastic boutique dairies nearby, such as the Strauss Family Creamery in Marin County, north of San Francisco.

But last week, at the Ingle’s grocery store at Walnut Cove, I stopped at the dairy case (I usually speed by) and found proper buttermilk. It has the no-hormones label, and it contains nothing but milk, salt, vitamin A and vitamin D.

My favorite way to use buttermilk is to just drink it. The bacteria that is used to culture buttermilk is different from the bacteria used to culture yogurt, but, like yogurt, buttermilk is good for the digestive system. Buttermilk also is easier to digest than regular milk, because the bacteria break down the lactose and turn it into lactic acid.

The label on this milk even says where it came from — Asheville, North Carolina. That’s good cow country.

One Comment

  1. jamesgregg76 wrote:

    Hi David,

    I’m so glad that local stores in your neck of the woods are finally starting to wisen up regarding their choice to carry No-Hormone dairy products. In fact, I think as a happy customer, you should write a letter in praise of this recent experience so as to positively reinforce their good behavior. You can also make suggestions for other kinds of products you would like to see them carry. ~James-Michael in California

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 3:37 am | Permalink

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