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Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World • Kivuguto (Rwanda)


Kivuguto is a fermented milk product that is highly appreciated in Rwanda. Made out of cow’s milk, which was just milked, so it is fresh and raw, this product is actually soured milk. The making process of kivuguto is extremely simple and can be made with or without heating the milk previous to preparing kivuguto. Thus, the raw fresh milk is poured into a recipient made out of wood, which resembles a jar in a great deal. Then this wooden jar is placed in a warm and clean room and left to ferment for the following 2 to 3 days. The result is a slightly tangy and thick liquid, which has a sweet and pleasant flavor at the same time. The other method assumes bringing the fresh milk to the boiling point, just to be then placed in the jar and, as well, left at room temperature to ferment and coagulate. In the case of this milk, it is enough to allow it to ferment for 24 to 36 hours, so the process is quicker.

The bacteria present in kivuguto may differ depending on the environment where it is made, Lactococcus Lactis and Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides are two of the ones met in the composition of this product. The ideal fermentation temperature is 19 to 20 degrees Celsius, a condition that will make kivuguto ready in less than 20 hours if the milk is heated previously, as mentioned earlier. Probably the factor that makes this product, obtained through the spontaneous fermentation of milk, so special, is the wooden containers used during its making.

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