Buttermilk - is it available in France

Having looked it up in the dictionary buttermilk was translated as 'babeurre'. Intermarche in Aups had never heard of it, so I suspect this is one onf those odd translations that isn't accurate. Or perhaps it's not used in France? I want to make soda bread, and if it isn't available I'll bring some cream of tartar instead. Suggestions please!

All you need to do is follow these recipes. It's cheaper even if they have buttermilk!


I will be glad to hear the results!

Found loads of Lait Fermente in larger branch of Carrouf today. Have bought a bottle of Lait Leben (Fermente) which I will try out by weekend and will report back on success or otherwise!

Oat and wheat bran available on line at


My husband is from Dublin and we lived there for a while so soda bread was a must. I’m afraid that in the Var, where we live, rich cream, milk and buttermilk are definitely scarce! (Though rosé is plentiful). Thanks for the tip Helen. We only get back to Aups at the weekend but I’ll be baking on Monday - see how it goes.

If you want to use buttermilk for raising something like scones, a few teaspoons of white vinegar in a glass of milk will do the same thing - you need to leave it stand for say 10 mins, and then it is fine to use - it will react to the bicarb/ levure/ cream of tartar or whatever to give the rise required.

Saves having to buy it and use it all up. Much cheaper.

About.com have some good tips on substitutions worth taking a look at. Happy cooking!

or in the Halal section

Here in Brittany it is called "lait ribot". They sell it in the supermarkets next to fresh milk. It is thick and sour. I use it for buttermilk thick pancakes and it is amazing.

Look forward to your results, Caroline. I used to love making brown soda bread back in Ireland and buttermilk was easily available. I used ordinary white flour and a couple of fistfuls of bran but can't find that here either.

Thanks everyone... I shall let you know how it goes.

You are right David, she needs lait fermenté, I have seen some in the past in the brand Candia.

No petit-lait is whey; the lactoserum which drains from coagulated milk as part of cheese making. It can itself be used to produce ricotta and whey cheeses like mysost and gjetost.

Caroline, buttermilk is petit-lait in France.

No it’s different from raw milk - it’s now available in most UK supermarkets, and can be used for soda bread etc.

If you mean untreated non homogenized milk ie straight from the cow then its available in Carrefour as 'lait cru'.

Thanks David I'll try it.

Try lait fermenté which judging by the arab script on most packs is popular with those of N African origin.Usually to be found alongside other fresh milk and cream products in your local large supermarket.