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Kefir drink in Poland



ilikedairy 1 | 1    
10 Aug 2012  #1

Hello all,

I would like to know how you generally consume it? I tried it once as a drink, but it turned out to be too sour for me.

Also, the packaging is all in Polish and I don't understand it.I read about it on the Internet and apparently, it contains some ethanol (alcohol). Is it true?

Oh and one more question, how do you know if a drink is real kefir or not? Do you have some brands to suggest? Apparently, the method of production differs, but I would want the most authentic.

Cheers!


teflcat 5 | 1,035    
10 Aug 2012  #2

I would like to know how you generally consume it

Open your mouth and pour it in. Don't breathe at the same time.

sour

That's the stuff. I think it's one of those things you have to have grown up with. My Polish in-laws think I'm crazy because I like Marmite.

ethanol (alcohol). Is it true?

No. Not the stuff in shops, anyway.

Do you have some brands to suggest?

If you didn't like it before, the brand isn't going to matter. Mlekovita, Danone, they're all much of a muchness.
OP ilikedairy 1 | 1    
10 Aug 2012  #3

I meant, do you drink it or pour it on your food?

I drank something similar in Turkey and liked it (I think it is called Ayran).

We have fermented milk in my country (it looks like this : croquecamille.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/exploring-france-bretagne-lait- ribot/) , but we either add sugar and drink it like it is, or use it in our pancake mix or pour it over food.

I do like the product, but I was wondering how you could drink it directly and not use it with something else (but I think you answered this one).
teflcat 5 | 1,035    
10 Aug 2012  #4

I drank something similar in Turkey and liked it (I think it is called Ayran).

If you liked ayran, you should like kefir. Perhaps your tastebuds were shocked because you expected something else. My wife tells me that you can add things to it to make dips, and that it's also good for putting on sunburn, but she couldn't think of any other culinary uses for it.
boletus 30 | 1,367    
10 Aug 2012  #5

or pour it over food.

You may try pouring it over lettuce leaves and sprinkle it with sugar, pour some honey or ladle some jam. Of course, it is easier to combine the ingredients beforehand and pour the resulting sauce. Applies to yogurt too.

The idea might sound shocking to a French but I have to admit that this is how I was raised. Lettuce leaves used to be served in a bath of creme, with sugar and local herbs and a bit of lemon perhaps. It was much later when I was introduced to olive oil and Mediterranean cuisine.

Mizeria - thinly sliced cucumbers served in a very similar sauce - is another typical Polish side dish.
[Poznanians used to pour hot lard with cracklings over lettuce leaves - horror, oh horror!]
elysiann 2 | 5    
16 Jan 2013  #6

Merged: Buying kefir grains in Poland

Hello,

While I lived in the US I liked to make my own kefir. When I came to Poland I couldn't exactly carry live cultures in my carry-on, and obviously wanted to avoid any potential nightmares at customs. I realize that kefir is quite common here, and I was wondering if anyone made their own kefir, and if so, where I could go to purchase kefir grains. (I am currently in Warsaw.)

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
gumishu 10 | 4,483    
16 Jan 2013  #7

bogutynmlyn.pl/go/_info/?id=2987 live kefir cultures in sachets enough for 20 litre of kefir

I have done my own yoghurt which is simple - self made stuff is also tastes much better than the ready-made stuff from shop - all it takes is to buy natural yoghurt once - you need to boil milk let it cool down a bit and then add natural youghurt (half of the cup per litre of milk) and keep the mixture in a warm place (like on the radiator in your home in winter)

if that fails ask around about 'ziarna kefiru' which is the same as kefir grains (use iwona.com to hear how 'ziarna kefiru' is pronounced)
IloveKefir    
9 Feb 2017  #8

Krasnystaw is my favorite brand. I LOVE kefir, and happily drink it on its own, but I also add it to soups like tomato soup (in place or cream or yogurt), or to country cheese in place of cream or yogurt (country cheese: farmer's cheese (the white soft cheese), finely chopped tomatos, chives, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, dill, salt and pepper, and kefir. Mix it all up and serve on freshly baked bread or toast. Delicious!). I also like to pour it over my buckwheat, or skillet-fried potatoes.
IloveKefir    
9 Feb 2017  #9

And I've never heard of it containing alcohol.
pukpuk    
9 Feb 2017  #10

You can try sour milk (zsiadle mleko), it is sweeter.
The difference is zsiadle mleko is make from raw milk and is naturally fermented; kefir has bacteria added to it. Personally I prefer zsiadle mleko much better, and it is healthier. I don't remember the best brand but ask people, they will know. I tried 4-5 brands before I asked and the recommended one was delicious.
DominicB - | 2,036    
9 Feb 2017  #11

And I've never heard of it containing alcohol.

Real kefir, made with kefir grains, is fizzy and tart and does indeed contain alcohol. The stuff you buy in the store is a yoghurt-like product that does not resemble real kefir in the slightest. I used to have kefir grains when I lived in Germany and made kefir every day. They look like pieces of cauliflower, and you fish them out of the kefir to add to a new batch of milk. If you really love kefir, you should hunt down some kefir grains. You won't find real kefir in stores.

Likewise, the zsiadle mleko you buy in the store is not produced from unpasteurized milk. It is also made from a culture, and, judging from the consistency, rennet. No commercial dairy products in any civilized country can ever be made of unpasteurized milk for public health and safety reasons.
Atch 9 | 1,702    
9 Feb 2017  #12

You can buy unpasteurized milk and make authentic zsialdłe mleko at home. You can get it at the targowisko/bazarek type places. Just put the milk in a bowl, cover it with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place for a couple of days and Bob's you Uncle. You get a few spoons of thick, rich cream on the top and then the other nauseating stuff beneath! I don't like it all but my husband loves it.
NoToForeigners 6 | 894    
9 Feb 2017  #13

@Atch
I don't like kefir. Bleh. What I like is maślanka but not plain. Only with fruits :)

mniam

Yummy
johnny reb 13 | 2,581    
9 Feb 2017  #14

I don't like it all but my husband loves it.

Have you ever tried "Kisiel" instead ?
Cardno85 31 | 971    
10 Feb 2017  #15

I always thought Kisiel was that stuff which was kind of like Jelly (Jello for friends across the pond) but with a texture more akin to Angel Delight? Is there something else with the same name?
IloveKefir    
12 Feb 2017  #16

DominicB:

The stuff you buy in the store is a yoghurt-like product that does not resemble real kefir in the slightest.

Thanks, I didn't know that, but it makes sense. I acutally started looking into buying kefir grains, because I don't lik the kefir in the US (and it's more expensive). I've only have store-bought kefir in Poland, and it's been brands like Krasnystaw, Danon, and a couple other Polish brands, so I assumed it was the real thing.

On another note, what is the difference between sziadle mleko and maslanka?
DominicB - | 2,036    
12 Feb 2017  #17

On another note, what is the difference between sziadle mleko and maslanka?

Real zsiadle mleko is fresh raw unpasturized milk that has been allowed to sit out at room temperature overnight until it gels from natural bacterial action. The cream floats to the top and hardens into a chewy layer that sits on top of the gelled milk. The stuff you get in the store is pasteurized milk to which a bacterial culture is added, and perhaps also rennet. It resembles rennet custard in texture. The texture is uniform without the cream layer on top.

Real maślanka is what is left in the churn after you make (sour) butter. The milk used is unhomogenized and left to ferment slightly so that the cream can separate out and form the butter. After you scoop the butter out, you're left with maślanka. The stuff you get in the store is made with a bacterial culture.

Good luck finding live kefer grains. Don't get the dehydrated ones, and make sure they are for milk kefir, and not something called "water kefir".

Real kefir is fun to make and a thousand times better than storebought. It's nice and refreshingly tart, and fizzy with a little alcohol in it, but not enough to get you drunk. It has a pleasant yeasty flavor that the storebought does not have. The kefir grains are a symbiotic clump of various bacteria and yeasts. It looks like a piece of cauliflower, and it grows every time you use it, so you can share it with your friends when your piece becomes unmanageably large.

Also, if you're ever back in Poland, the best commercial dairy products are made by Piątnica. MUCH better than other brands like the ones you mentioned.
NoToForeigners 6 | 894    
12 Feb 2017  #18

he best commercial dairy products are made by Piątnica

That's just your opinion.
mafketis 16 | 4,680    
12 Feb 2017  #19

Real maślanka

Okay, maybe you can answer a question. The buttermilk I remember from the US was very thick and fatty (and maybe slightly yellow tinted) I never much liked drinking it but I cooked with it all the time. The buttermilk (maślanka) in Poland is very watery and crappy to cook with (in similar recipes that I'd use in the states).

What is buttermilk in the states (I'm from below the mason dixon line) and Poland?
NoToForeigners 6 | 894    
12 Feb 2017  #20

The buttermilk (maślanka) in Poland is very watery and crappy

As is your Polish lol. Think you should focus on very different things
Atch 9 | 1,702    
12 Feb 2017  #21

what is the difference between sziadle mleko and maslanka?

Zsiadłe mleko is what we used to call curds and whey in the British Isles, remember the nursery rhyme? Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Maślanka is buttermilk.

the best commercial dairy products are made by Piątnica.

Would have to say that's debatable. They're good certainly but I think they're pretty zwykłe, nothing special, just the best of a bad lot. Dairy produce in Poland is disappointing. Krasnystaw seems better. My husband drinks their kefir, we have a few bottles in the fridge and I checked the ingredients, it does actually contain kefir grains, BUT, also bacterial cultures and wait for this, powdered milk!! How could they!
Polonius3 1,022 | 13,067    
12 Feb 2017  #22

What is buttermilk in the states

ALso in Poland and elsewhere these days -- a lab-designed chemically enhanced concoction. Buttermilk used to be the byproduct of butter-making. After the butter appeared in the extensivley churned cream, the left over liquid was buttermilk. Today's commercial buttermilk is powdered milk, water and lab-produced cultures and enzymes that cause the fermentation. All the processed food sold today is highly "chemicalised". (Dunno if there's such a word in English but there shoild be -- the Polish is schemizować, pp schemizowany.)
mafketis 16 | 4,680    
12 Feb 2017  #23

ALso in Poland and elsewhere these days

This doesn't explain the very different consistencies in the US and Poland....
Polonius3 1,022 | 13,067    
12 Feb 2017  #24

different consistencies

Very simple: more water or less will change the consistency. Remember -- this is nto the rela thing. Commercial buttermilk hasn't been within 1,000 miles of a liump of butter. Also the yellow flecks in some American buttermilk is probably just a food-colouring gimmick to create the impression of butteriness.
mafketis 16 | 4,680    
12 Feb 2017  #25

emember -- this is nto the rela thing. Commercial buttermilk hasn't been within 1,000 miles of a liump of butter

Economies of scale. "Real" buttermilk would be too expensive to produce on an industrial scale.

Longing for "real" foods produced in the old ways is not too far removed from wanting millions of people to starve to death....
IloveKefir    
13 Feb 2017  #26

Thanks for the answers. I've always wondered about the differences in the various fermented dairy products. I only recall buttermilk in the states, whereas in Poland, I regularly heard of kefir, maszlanka, zsiadle mleko, etc. The buttermilk in the US IS very different from what I've had in Poland, although it now appears that what I had in Poland hardly was authentic maszlanka, zsiadle mleko, or kefir... :( I feel like I've been living a lie lol! At least the kefir I've had was a little frothy and fizzy.

DominicB - Piatnica is one of the brands I like as well. :) Thanks for the tips re the kefir grains. My parents had some a few years ago from a friend, but I don't suppose I'll get as lucky this time.

Atch - I never knew that's what curds and and whey were!
Atch 9 | 1,702    
13 Feb 2017  #27

I just came across this very interesting explanation of fermented milk products.
milkingredients.ca/index-eng.php?id=180
Ziemowit 8 | 2,576    
13 Feb 2017  #28

Dairy produce in Poland is disappointing. Krasnystaw seems better.

The best ones are those made by Klimeko (joghurt, kefir, śmietana 12%, 18%,30%, don't know about the milk) which in Warsaw are available in the "Organic Market" stores (at Złote Tarasy, CH Reduta, CH Wola Park and some other CH's). They are more expensive, but definitely better.
Polonius3 1,022 | 13,067    
15 Feb 2017  #29

Longing for "real" foods

Indeed, we are mostly doomed to today's fake foods. However, if someone really feels strongly about it, there's nothing stopping them buying a cow and making their own cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, etc. the traditonal way with no preservatives, stabilisers, acidity regulators, gum arabic, flavour enhancers, artificial thickeners and God knows what all. In fact, such home-made dairy products could probably find a loyal niche clientele and be the source of lucrative profits.
Atch 9 | 1,702    
15 Feb 2017  #30

In fact, such home-made dairy products could probably find a loyal niche clientele and be the source of lucrative profits.

You're absolutely right that there is a market for such products and EU regulations regarding unpasteurized products permit their sale as long they're clearly marked as such. We do it in Ireland. You can get 'real' buttermilk in any supermarket there:

ireland-guide.com/article/cuinneog.9273.html
You can buy 'real' dairy produce in Warsaw from what Mr Atch calls 'villagers' ie street sellers but of course you don't know in what conditions it's been produced, levels of hygiene etc and it's often transported to town in un-refridgerated vans, not to mention during the summer, sitting all day on the street in the sun! Probably still ok for healthy adults but a bit risky for kids and older people.




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