I discovered Lait Ribot within a hour of landing at the port in St. Malo. We were looking for some food and water to tide us over until we could get to our destination and there it was in the cooler of a convenience store… Lait Ribot. I saw it again when we went to a grocery store to stock up on supplies… this time there was several brands of Lait Ribot. Curiosity got the better of me, and I ended up buying two different kinds.
According to the internet Lait Ribot is the equivalent of buttermilk, and it is a favourite drink in Brittany. Traditional Lait Ribot was the waste product from making butter, and it became a popular drink because it was cheap and healthy (probiotic and protein rich).
Lait Ribot is still popular as a drink, and in some grocery stores there are more brands of Lait Ribot than milk! However the product being sold today is definitely not traditional buttermilk. It is a cultured whole milk product that has a thick consistency and cheesy flavour. It is also REALLY easy to culture. Both of the brands cultured really well. This was a surprise because buttermilk in my local supermarket has a very tangy flavour but has a relatively thin consistency and week culture. However, the process for culturing both Lait Ribot and buttermilk is the same.
- 1 liter of whole milk
- ¼ cup of cultured buttermilk (lait ribot)
- Mix milk and cultured buttermilk together.
- Leave out on the counter for 12-24 hours. It is finished when it has a slightly sour taste and thicker consistency.
- Refrigerate until ready to drink.
Lait Ribot is typically drunk as a snack or part of a meal. It’s also used for baking (of course) and added into mashed potatoes and soups. We found it to be very drinkable and went through 4 litres of Lait Ribot in a week!