Up until about a month ago, I thought that buttermilk was unavailable here in the Philippines, or, at the very least, prohibitively expensive (like some imported creams) or nearly impossible to get unless you bought in bulk. Even if you can “make” your own buttermilk or use sour cream or yogurt instead, I didn’t want to use substitute until I knew what the original was like. So I’ve always skipped over recipes that called for it. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that not only is buttermilk available in Manila, but that it is available from TWO sources and at a reasonable price, too (see note at the end of this post).
A whole world of recipes opened up to me, including the recipe to the best red velvet cupcake I’ve ever had. I have a long list of recipes for cupcakes, cakes and frosting needing buttermilk all lined up, but for the life of me, I can’t believe I didn’t remember to look one up for buttermilk pancakes.
I’ve always wanted to make pancakes from scratch, and I’ve always been particularly curious about buttermilk pancakes. If my friend J didn’t use up her leftover blueberries to make muffins, she never would’ve mentioned to me that they were leftover from pancakes, and I never would’ve remembered to look for a recipe.
So I did. And I made them this morning.
Aaaaaaand after this morning, I may never eat a pancake from a box mix again.
There really is just no substitute for the real thing (and that goes for maple syrup too). And it’s not like the stuff from the box is significantly easier. I think it just takes an additional 10 minutes to measure out the ingredients then mix the dry with the wet, versus pouring stuff out from a box then mixing the dry ingredients with the wet. And those additional 10 minutes are so worth it.
The buttermilk pancakes were fluffy and have a softer bite than instant pancakes that have a tendency to be a little rubbery, especially if you don’t eat them right off the pan. They’re less sweet and are a little tangy from the buttermilk. I guess requires some getting used to, but I think that just highlights the flavor of the butter and syrup you top your pancakes with. I also think that it makes them a better backdrop for any flavorings/toppings/fruit that you want to add on to your pancakes. Bananas, blueberries, chocolate chips, Nutella (!!!!)… the possibilities are endless.
And because I consider it my duty to explore those possibilities, I am making these again tomorrow.
You can get buttermilk at PHP 130 per liter from Rizal Dairy Farms via their Market, Market stall (call 660-2197 or 729-0304 about three days in advance) or from Hacienda Macalauan (call 818-1264 or 811-5656 at least a day in advance). You can pick it up from their Pacific Star office during office hours on weekdays or have it delivered to your home, but there’s a PHP 1,000 minimum order amount (which you can meet by ordering other products like yogurt, fresh milk, sour cream and local mozzarella and ricotta).