Ancestral drink, known under different names and variations, fermented milk is very popular in recent years thanks to its health benefits. In this article we present you the most important facts you need to know.
Fermented milk has been around for millennia
Around the world there are multiple dairy species depending on the region of origin: cow, ewe, goat, camel, mare, yak, buffalo, zebu, donkey . The appellations also vary: milk ribot (Gallic origin), buttermilk, buttermilk, lben, beaten milk, kefir, aïran (Russia), shubat in Kazakhstan, chal and dorian in Turkmenistan, khoormog in Mongolia, lassi in India, kourout in Kyrgyzstan or still ergo, fermented traditional milk in Ethiopia.
According to historical sources, fermented milks appeared in Central Asia around 6,000 BC. The nomadic tribes carried the milk in skins of animals. "Wild" bacteria have multiplied and, in combination with the mild climate, a fermentation has been caused. Before the onset of cold storage, it was a very effective means of storing milk and this technique spread throughout the world.
Fermented milk can be found in many parts of the world
What is that ?
The most famous fermented milk is the yogurt . By cons, all fermented milks are not yogurt. It is indeed a milk supplemented with lactic ferments that convert a portion of lactose lactic acid. This normally results in a change of taste and texture.
The type of fermented milk that is obtained depends on the living bacteria used. In yogurt there are for example Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The fermentation parameters are also important: the seeding rate, the duration, the temperature. In fact, the famous probiotics simply represent lactic acid bacteria.
What is the difference with milk?
Fermented is distinguished from conventional milk especially because of its taste and creaminess. On the other hand, nutritionally, he is very close to him. Today, most fermented milks are made with skimmed or partly skimmed milk.
The fermentation of milk is indeed a natural phenomenon. Its transformation into various dairy products consists in adding lactic acid-producing microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that ingest lactose, or milk sugar, and release lactic acid in the form of waste. The fermentation can be controlled: the milk is seeded with strains of lactic ferments previously selected.
The most famous fermented milk is yogurt
What are the health benefits?
The consumption of fermented milks can have a favorable effect on health. The probiotics it contains, have a beneficial role in the digestion of lactose, the prevention of diarrhea and the strengthening of immunity. They fight "bad bacteria" in the intestines, and contribute to the multiplication of "good bacteria", that is to say, they improve the intestinal flora.
Fermented milk is in fact an excellent source of calcium and in addition, the slight acidity favors its assimilation. It is also well supported by people who do not digest conventional milk. According to studies, it protects against osteoporosis, certain food allergies and certain types of cancer. Its consumption could also be effective in decreasing the level of "bad" cholesterol.
Fermented milk is recognizable by its taste and creaminess
How to prepare fermented milk at home?
To prepare this milk at home, you will need organic milk: pasteurized, sterilized or raw. Live lactic ferments can be found in organic stores. Just follow the instructions. If the drink seems too thick, you can add a little water. You can also add sugar (1 or 2 tablespoons per liter).
Caution: When preparing, it is desirable to use utensils and glass containers.
France is one of the biggest consumers of fermented milk products
How to consume?
It is better to consume the fermented milk quickly because the good bacteria do not live very long. Avoid heating because the high temperature destroys them. Its consumption in the evening helps fight against osteoporosis.
You can use milk to prepare different recipes. For example, in pastry, it replaces classic milk (pancakes, muffins, clafoutis, panna cotta etc.) It is also eaten in cocktails and shakes. Finally, it can be consumed in the form of sauces, soups, marinades, breaded, ice cream or pasta delicacies.
Pancakes prepared with fermented milk
Chicken curry with a fermented milk marinade
Roasted potatoes with a fermented milk sauce
Breakfast or dessert, as you prefer
Kefir with maple syrup
Yoghurt combined with fresh fruits
Fermented milk is very close to a conventional milk
Do you know ribot milk?
All yogurts are not made with the same lactic ferments