The purpose of this review article on the lactic acid bacteria grew from an early curiosity and a desire to convey and impart the broad scope of literary information on their functions as starter cultures, in the manufacture of fermentation products such as dairy products and alcoholic beverages, as well as their contribution to better health. This review article is an attempt to empower the reader and to circumvent the difficult task in acquiring and elucidating a large body of information. The intent is to familiarize the reader with the various lactic species, their habitat or source, associated food, physiological characteristics, colonial morphology, biochemical characteristics, culture media (enrichment, nonselective, and selective), classic description, and taxonomy. This review provides information on Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, Carnobacterium, and Enterococcus. Trends are presented, such as the use of nisin to extend food shelf-life and the current research premise that Probiotic strains may alter the intestinal flora and thus prevent intestinal wall penetration by pathogens.