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Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World. Rūgušpiens (Latvia)

Rūgušpiens is something similar to the kefir you can find in most countries, as it has a sour, soft, and rather liquid consistency. This fermented milk product from Latvia has quite a story around its appearance. Glass jars weren’t always available, so, back in the days, people in Latvia used leather bags to prepare rūgušpiens. They used to place the fresh milk in such a bag and leave it to sour naturally, by hanging it on a door. Why on a door? Well, each time someone was opening and closing the door, the content inside the bag got mixed well. After the fermentation process was complete, the fresh milk was transformed into a yogurt-like drink, sour, sparkly, and even with a slight amount of alcohol in its composition. Nowadays it tends to have a rather thicker consistency and it can be found in a wide range of varieties, like with fruits, sugar, or lemon juice. You can also prepare Rūgušpiens with ease at home if you have kefir grains to start the fermentation process. You can use any kind of milk you like, cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk to prepare this product. All you need to do is to pour the milk into a glass jar and add the kefir grains to it, cover the jar, and leave it to rest until ready. You will see the solids in the milk solidifying and forming jelly-like clusters. You can drain the liquid that gets separated during the process for a thicker rūgušpiens.

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