I know that what is sold in stores now as buttermilk is really cultured skim (or 2%, etc.) milk, not traditional farmhouse buttermilk made as a by-product of churning butter. But what I want to know is: has anyone here had the real stuff? Is it so much better?? Or more precisely, how is it different? (Cookbook writers often wax poetic about it, but are fairly imprecise about what made it different from today's product.) Was it always cultured? And was it ever sold as a commercial product or was it solely a farmhouse product?
And, 2nd, are there any sources to get it today? Does anyone know if some of the dairy farms that produce butter and cream for local markets (like Ronnybrook or Vermont Butter and Cheese -- in the Northeast) also sell buttermilk?
Thought I'd start here before I go on a full-blown butter-making project. Many thanks for any responses.