Fermented Milk Products From All Over the World • Mursik (Kenya)
In Kenya, mursik represents a staple food and it is made out of fermented cow’s milk. But, it can also be made out of goat’s milk as well, if this is the kind of milk available. The milk is placed in a special gourd, made out of a particular species of melon, which is emptied of its pulp and allowed to dry, turning into a great container. Before placing the milk in this natural container, the inside of the gourd is usually treated with the ash of certain trees, for added flavour. The milk is also heat-treated first, being boiled first, before being poured into the gourd. The fermentation process, which takes place in a cool enclosure, lasts anywhere between 3 to 5 days. A combination of bacteria, yeast, and mold contribute to the making of mursik. During fermentation, the gourd is often shaken so that the content turns our uniform and homogenous. It is considered to be a very healthy drink, which is capable of boosting the immune system and strengthen the body, so it is highly appreciated. Concerning the bacteria that is found in mursik, Lactobacillus Plantarum is the most frequently met species. But, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Geotrichum candidum, and Enterococcus faecium. Saccharomyces sp. were also found in this fermented product.