Earl Cruze has been on a dairy farm for his entire life, so when he starts talking about milk, we listen. The Cruze family's farm outside Knoxville produces a lot of really special things. Their ice creams are the stuff of local legend. Their food and ice cream truck at the farmer's market has an ever-present line from open to close. But the thing that we have fallen deeply, deeply in love with is Cruze Farm's buttermilk.
About a year ago, I went on and on about how much buttermilk I'd been using in my kitchen. I called it my kitchen's secret weapon. I regret to inform you that until this May in Knoxville, TN, I had never known what real buttermilk actually tastes like. That is until, easily persuaded by a nice lady in a gingham dress, I drank a straight shot of real Cruze buttermilk and my head exploded. It isn't just sour, or tangy, it is also bright, kind of lemony, with a hint of the effervescence that true fermentation brings. Now I have to figure out why I live so far away from Cruze Farm.
In the meantime, we have the below video, "Buttermilk: It Can Help," by Joe York and the awesome team at the Southern Foodways Alliance. In it, Cruze himself explains why his buttermilk is the best, and, because he can't help himself, also includes some of buttermilk's lesser known benefits: smooth complexion, youthful spirit and the ability to put Viagra out of business.