Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for some buttermilk starter, which I know I can buy online, but I wanted to shop locally first. The two local health food stores don't carry it, so I checked one of the local supermarkets, and came across some Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend, which is a dry powder. I'm curious if this can possibly contain live cultures, though. One forum post I found claims it does not:

Because the SACO buttermilk is dried, it contains no live cultures and will not be a good buttermilk starter culture.

However, many other living organisms, (such as dry yeast, and the freeze-dried Kéfir starter I found in the store today) come in dry form, so I'm not convinced that a dried product cannot contain live cultures, but maybe dried buttermilk is different. So is it true that this type of product does not contain live cultures, or will it work as a buttermilk starter culture?

share|improve this question
I don't really think that any of us are in a position to make undocumented claims about a commercial product (and even if someone did make such claims, they'd be very difficult to verify). Have you tried asking the company? – Aaronut Mar 4 '12 at 3:38
@Aaronut: Perhaps you're right. I figured someone may at least be able to answer whether that class of product never contains live cultures. I've edited the question to be a bit broader than that particular brand. I did try calling them, but they aren't open on weekends. I'll try again on Monday. – Flimzy Mar 4 '12 at 5:59
up vote 10 down vote accepted

It is true that Saco Buttermilk Blend contains no live cultures. If you can have any further questions, please feel free to call our consumer line at 1-800-373-7226. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our product! Amy Verheyden Director of Consumer Affairs Saco Foods, Inc.

share|improve this answer
Well, can't ask for a better source than that. – rfusca Mar 19 '12 at 14:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.