Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World • Kefir (Poland)
Kefir is an extremely popular fermented milk product in Poland(yes it is here also) as the country is the second largest producer of kefir, after Russia. Kefir is made with skimmed and pasteurized milk and a starter culture, composed out of kefir grains, which contain lactic acid bacteria and yeasts alike. Coming in a light and liquid form, with just a slightly sour taste, kefir is a probiotic drink, ideal for those that suffer from digestive issues or have trouble tolerating lactose. It is even believed that kefir can treat a hangover, by refreshing and hydrating your body. It is a product that often accompanies potato dishes or meals made out of veggies, although it can be easily enjoyed with muesli or bread for breakfast. And, it is also an important ingredient in a specific cold coup prepared in Poland, called chłodnik, which is made with cucumber, beet leaves, and a generous quantity of kefir.
In Poland, kefir is mostly present in people’s diet during the warm summer months, as it is a great way to keep the stomach away from any food poisoning while offering the body a great alternative to staying properly hydrated. You can easily make kefir at home if you have fresh milk, whole milk preferably, a batch of good quality kefir or kefir grains, and a pot or container made out of glass, ceramic, stone, or wood. Do not use metal containers as they can affect the taste and flavor of the final product. The milk mixed with the kefir grain should be left in a warm spot, for 1 to 3 days, depending on temperature, until your kefir batch is ready. Before finishing the entire batch up by serving it as you like, you can save a small quantity to prepare the next batch of kefir, and so on, so you will always have fresh kefir at your disposal at all times. Just don’t forget to place and store the finished kefir in the fridge, so that it won’t get spoiled.