Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Kumiss - fermented drink made from mare’s milk

Kumiss is ancient Turkic word, which means fermented drink made from mare’s milk by special acidification. Milk can be fermented by inoculating fresh milk with the appropriate bacteria and incubating it at a temperature that favors their growth.

Kumiss, prepared in dry inland Asia, is a traditional milk beverage containing about 2% alcohol, prepared by fermenting raw mare’s milk with lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Kumiss is also known by other names like koumiss, kumis, kymis, kymmyz.

For thousands of years, kumis perfectly fit the nomadic, horse-centric life of the steppes. It is an ancient beverage which Scythian tribes (Central Asia Steppes) used to drink some 25 centuries ago is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented mare's milk. This product is unique compared to other dairy foods, due to its mare's milk origin.

The characteristic feature of Kumiss is the fermentation of raw milk, involving the processing of only horse milk. The drink is similar to kefir, but is traditionally produced from mare’s raw milk, which contains more sugar than goat’s or cow’s milk, and it is also rich in proteins and vitamin C. Kumiss is prepared by a liquid starter culture in contrast to the solid kefir grains used in kefir production.

Kumiss is made by fermenting mare's milk while stirring or churning. It is a dairy product involving lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation, which implies that during the fermentation, Lactobacillus bulgaricus acidifies the milk, and Saccharomyces lactis turns it into a carbonated and mildly alcoholic drink.

Because mare's milk contains more sugars than cow's or goat's milk, when fermented, kumis has a higher, though still mild, alcohol content compared to kefir.

Kumis is white in color and it has a foamy sour alcoholic flavor taste, which is the result of the natural sugars in horse milk.It is a beverage which does not contain curd particles in it. It has a unique taste, odor and aroma. No foreign odor is available in kumiss other than alcohol odor.

The quality of Kumiss is markedly influenced by factors affecting the quality of horse milk: grass eaten by horses, habitat and microclimate conditions of the herders’ home (temperature).

Kumiss possesses diuretic properties and helps in preventing intestinal putrefaction. The vitamin C level in Kumiss was 8-11 mg/100 ml. Kumiss was a valuable source of vitamin C supply for herders who did not ingest vegetables or fruit.

Kumis is drunk before eating so the full healing effects can kick into the body before the consumption and processing of foods begins. Kumis is served cold or chilled: it is drank from small, handle-less, bowl-shaped cups called piyala.
Kumiss - fermented drink made from mare’s milk

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