The translation for buttermilk is given as babeurre, but this doesn't correspond to anything I can find in grocery stores or cheese shops here. I suspect that the word means something in Quebec but it doesn't ring any bells here.

Does anyone know what I should be asking for and where I can find it?

  • 2
    If you can't find it, there are plenty of substitutions. You can either spike milk with an acid (about 1TB lemon juice or vinegar to 1c. milk (15mL acid to 250mL milk) for use in most baking recipes, or use a mix of yoghurt and milk (between 3:1 to 1:1 depending on the consistency you want, but if you're going to bake with it in something that calls for baking soda, you might need to spike it with a little acid)
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 3:00

3 Answers 3


You'll want to look for one of two products either lait fermenté or lait ribot.

Lait fermenté is a cultured buttermilk. This is homogenized and pasteurized milk which has been cultured with lactic acid bacteria. This is the de facto standard buttermilk in modern times. If you go to an American grocery store and buy buttermilk you are buying cultured buttermilk.

Lait ribot is traditional buttermilk. It is the fermented liquid leftover from churning butter. This is not commonly found in the US and other western countries.

See also: Buttermilk

  • Thanks @hobodave. Do you know what brands it is sold under?
    – Zippy
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 20:03
  • 1
    @Zippy: I'm afraid not. I have Google to thank for this answer. I've never been to France.
    – hobodave
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 22:19
  • @Zippy In Belgium it is sold at Carrefour (a French chain) under the "Luxlait" brand. Perhaps in France as well? Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 10:09

I just bought some lait fermenté to use as buttermilk in a recipe for corn muffins for our Thanksgiving dinner a few days ago. I bought it at the Carrefour supermarket in Ferney-Voltaire, France. It comes in 1 liter Tetrapak "bricks" and is made by Yoplait (well-known primarily for its yoghurt). under the actual name....."Lait Fermenté.

Chuck, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Sorry, my fault. I didn't see the title.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 18:28

buttermilk is a french "petit lait"

AT first time, you should know what is a buttermilk. it is lower in fat than sweet milk. Old-fashioned homemade buttermilk is the slightly sour, residual liquid which remains after butter is churned, ie. milk from the butter or buttermilk.

so, you can obtain your own "petit lait" by yourself..

Buy a brik of "creme liquid entier", let it spins and spins in your kitchenaid. (or with fouet electique) to obtain your own butter and "petit lait"

2 rabbits with one stone. This is a case. lol

  • "2 rabbits with one stone".... The English version of that would be "two birds with one stone." Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 3:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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