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Kaffir the dairy product--info please??

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  • illy May 17, 2007 07:55 AM
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Could someone please tell me about Kaffir the dairy product? Is it like a yogurt in flavour and texture? is it made from cow's milk?
Any info would be great!
Thanks!!

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  1. I guess it must be a lime taste because kaffir are lime leaves. Never seen the dairy product so would be interested in seeing this myself. Tks Linda

    1. I think you are referring to KEFIR. It is a dairy product that is basically fermented milk. As far as I know, it's usually made from cows milk. It's flavour and texture varies by brand/manufacturer. I prefer the yogurt flavoured and textured type. Costco sells a bucket - 1 litre possibly - for about $5, and European delis and some supermarkets will usually carry 500 ml containers of Huslanka for $2-$3. However, there are other varieties that are more drink like at the supermarkets. I, for one, can't stand those.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Davedigger

        thanks davedigger!
        Is Huslanka a brand name or a type of kefir?

        1. re: illy

          Huslanka is a brand name, and they call their yogurt type "maslanka" rather than kefir.

          1. re: Davedigger

            Oh - this is so interesting to me - my FIL was Slovakian (east Carpathians) and I was basing my response on what I learned from him, which is that huslanka = kefir [or, more generically, "yogourt drink"] made with buttermilk. He was a total buttermilk hound, though.

        2. re: Davedigger

          Huslanka is buttermilk kefir.

          I buy kefir at the No Frills on Carlaw. Smaller No Frills etc. don't seem to have it. I use it for smoothies. Way more active culture than plain yogourt and a similar taste, if that helps.

        3. Much like yogurt, you can make your own kefir and it's great and a fraction of the price of what you get at the store. It is much runnier than yogurt. Unfortunately, I killed my last culture years ago and never got another one. If I recall, it looked like a little beige fungus that you simply dropped into milk and left to sit at room temperature and then reused for the next batch. I received mine from a personal friend in Oakville, but I am sure you can find one if you do some searching around.

          1. Kefir is similar to yogurt but is cultured with yeast, so it has a bit of a bread dough smell and a bit of fizz, and it's thinner than most yogurts, more like a drink than a pudding.

            Liberte (I think) makes a nice fruit-flavoured kefir that you can find in a lot of grocery stores--I like the peach flavour myself. The foil cap under the lid will be all puffed up, but as it explains, that's the effect of the fermentation and the gasses it produces; it's not because the kefir has gone off.

            1. Everything you've always wanted to know about kefir

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir

              I've also seen it at Longo's and at a bakery across the North Queensway from Sam's Club in Etobicoke.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Scary Bill

                I just found a site that indicated you can add the kefir culture to fresh coconut milk and make coconut kefir. Sounds very interesting, especially if it has the same benefits.

                http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.c...

                1. re: dinin and dishin

                  The coconut milk kefir also comes out a lot thicker than the regular milk kefir. I started making it since my husband is lactose intolerant, etc. . . I also didn't want to take probiotic pills since I'm pregnant, so I thought this would be a good substitute.

                  It actually does look like créme fraiche (the straight coconut milk kefir, not the regular milk kefir - that's much thinner). I have read that the coconut milk kefir doesn't cook up too well (seperates), although works as a substitute for yogurt or buttermilk in baked goods. I ended up using my first batch to make a sorbet with some plums, nectarines and the yogurt (using ice and a vita mix).

                  I got grains from here:

                  http://happyherbalist.com

                  It was one of the cheaper sites I found, but I'm not sure this was the best place to get them. Supposedly there are groups on the internet that will send you grains for the cost of shipping. Using the grains is much cheaper than buying the powdered culture, which you will need to repurchase every seven batches or so.

                  They seem to be working pretty well so far (I did throw out the first few batches (using regular milk as a refresher) and ended up rinsing the grains, which you're not really supposed to do, as I think they soured a little bit in the mail. It is supposed to be sour, but the first few batches were undrinkable.

                  It is also a little easier to make than yogurt because you just have to make sure the room is warm enough. You don't have to heat the milk (or whatever you're using) to a certain temperature first. You can just pour cold milk straight from the refrigerator onto the culture, cover with a napkin and rubberband around jar neck, (tightly covered will cause a higher alcohol content and fizz due to the yeast, which I don't want - although some people might!) let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, and it should be done.