Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kefir Cheese

My new obsession is the making and subsequent texture perfecting of kefir. If you are unfamiliar with kefir let me catch you up.

Kefir (pronounced /kəˈfɪər/ kə-FEER [1]) (alternately kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milk kefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region[citation needed], who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a carbonated beverage. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep's milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.

Making Kefir is really easy...perfecting it is a bit tougher. The nice thing is that the kefir grains are very safe to use, so if you mess up it is really a matter of not getting the taste you want rather than making an inedible product.

Kefir grains

Kefir grains in milk

I have been having a bit of trouble getting the texture I want with my kefir. Generally I am letting it ferment a bit too long. Then the other day I really let it go too long and had a lot of separation. There was only one reasonable thing to do (in my mind) which was to try my hand at making kefir cheese.

Of course I decided I didn't want to follow directions. I would just make it up as I went along.

draining the whey
The resulting "cheese"

Let's try it on a cracker...

How about rolling it in herbs.....
Well the verdict...I thought it was similar to a mild goat cheese.  My husband decreed that it did NOT taste like goat cheese at all but it wasn't terrible.  So perhaps it would be fair to say it fell somewhere between the two.

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