Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World. Kiselo mleko (Macedonia)
As anywhere on the Balkans the Yogurt is know here as well under the name ''Kiselo mleko'' or close to the way Bulgarians call it.
Kiselo mleko is sour milk or yogurt as some will call it, in Macedonia. There is also the soleno kiselo mleko, which is the salty version of this fermented milk product. Back in the days, kiselo mleko was mainly made out of sheep’s milk, as there were many herds of sheep on the country’s green pastures, and the product was made in the first half of September, before the lactation period of the animals ended. This way, kiselo mleko represented the ideal alternative to cheese and fresh milk that was destined to be consumed during the cold season. These days, cow’s milk is used for kiselo mleko and it can be prepared any time of the year.
It is very easy to make kiselo mleko at home, with any kind of milk you have in handy. Just do know that whole milk is the best for making this product, as the fat contained in the milk makes the product thicker and sweeter. Start by heating up the milk until it froths. Then remove the milk from the heat source and allow it to cool down. A layer of thin skin will form on the surface of the milk as it cools down, which you will have to remove. Also, don’t forget to monitor the temperature of the milk, as you should not allow it to cool too much, the ideal temperature being of 40 degrees Celsius. When this temperature is reached, it is time to culture the milk. You can use special bacterial cultures you can find on the market or yogurt, store-bought or homemade. A tablespoon or two will do for one liter of milk. Whisk the milk well, making sure that the starter culture is properly dissolved, and pour the milk into mason jars. Put the lids on the mason jars and place them in a warm spot. You can use thick towels wrapped around the jars, a mini-cooler filled with hot water, or anything you can think of that will allow the jars to be surrounded by heat so that the bacteria in the milk will thrive. Leave the jars this way overnight, or for 8 to 10 hours, depending on the starter used for making kiselo mleko and the surrounding temperature. It will be easy to see when it is ready, as the content in the jar will have a consistent, jelly-like texture. If you want your kiselo mleko to be even thicker, you can strain the resulted liquid. Serve right away with any kind of topping you like or store in the fridge and consume in the following days. You can save a small batch to culture your future kiselo mleko.