I've written about lait ribot before, but just felt like writing about it again.
If you are Breton drinking lait ribot is a traditional alternative to cider with your galettes. It's a product that has a myriad of modern uses in the kitchen as well.
When you make butter by churning cream, a whitish liquid appears. This is called buttermilk in English, petit-lait in French and lait ribot in Breton.
Nowadays real buttermilk, with its slightly lumpy consistency, isn't available. Instead what you get is skim milk fermented with certain bacteria (different to those in regular yoghurt). Essentially it's a drinking yoghurt, more liquid and more acidic that regular yoghurt. In French supermarkets it's always sold fresh, in tetrapaks or plastic bottles, in the refrigerated dairy section. It lasts for weeks in the fridge (much longer than yoghurt, even after you've opened it). Shake it before pouring as it tends to separate a bit.
Generally it is used cold, although you can use it in baked goods. Here are some great uses for it:
- pour a little over your galettes (Breton buckwheat pancakes) or boiled potatoes (a Breton tradition).
- use it instead of milk in muffins, scones or pancakes. It will make them more moist and aerated.
- use it instead of cream in a cold soup (zucchini, pea...).
- make a marinade for chicken, with curry powder and coriander leaf. Brush the chicken pieces with the marinade and barbecue or grill. It will tenderise and flavour the chicken.
- use it to make low fat versions of desserts such as clafoutis or panna cotta.
- make Indian style fruit milkshakes (lassis) by blending with peaches, raspberries or mangoes.