Pronounced “KEF-FEAR”, Kefir is actually created from kefir grains, a type of bacterial culture.
Kefir cheese, then, is actually created from these kefir grains, and is separated into curds and whey. The curds, or what remains after separating these, can be made into soft kefir or firm kefir.
The cheese, which originates from Turkey, is called Kefir, which translates to “good feeling” in Turkish.
The feel-good cheese has been around for hundreds of years and continues to be popular.
If you’ve never had kefir cheese before, it may be a good time to try your hand at making it.
What is Kefir cheese?
Kefir cheese is made with yeast and a bacterial culture called “kefir.” The whey is squeezed out using cheesecloth, and the remaining thick consistency is known as the Kefir cheese.
The consistency of the whey is very similar to yogurt.
It was made in the 19th century in Eastern Europe by sheepherders when they accidentally fermented milk in their leather flasks.
There are multiple ways to eat Kefir cheese. You can eat it on its own or spread it on top of bread or biscuits.
You can also eat Kefir cheese after mixing in herbs, cereal, or fruits.
What does Kefir cheese taste like?
The Kefir cheese flavor is tangy, rich, and creamy all at the same time.
And because it has a thick texture, it has a mouthfeel similar to ricotta. The taste can also be starkly compared to yogurt. Though Kefir cheese is thicker in lactic acid, the flavor of kefir cheese is slightly sour.
The Kefir cheese’s flavor also depends on how long it’s been fermented. If it’s fermented for a long time, it will be sharper in taste; otherwise, it will be mild.
Types of Kefir cheese
There are two types of Kefir cheese— one type is soft, and the other is hard. Hard kefir cheese is made with over fermented Kefir. Its consistency is harder and more crumbly, akin to feta cheese, and it tastes tangy.
The soft kefir cheese is made at home by mixing milk with kefir grains and letting the mixture sit to culture.
This type of kefir cheese has a runny consistency and has the same kefir cheese flavor as the hard one.
How to use Kefir cheese
Kefir cheese is quite versatile. You can use soft Kefir cheese:
- As a spread on toast, bagels, or biscuits
- To make cream cheese frosting
- For salads, fruits, and cereals
- For lasagna and pasta
Because of how easily it can be made at home, it serves as an alternative to ricotta and feta cheese.
How to store Kefir cheese
It is essential to know how to store Kefir cheese properly because it separates in a few hours.
Store soft or firm kefir cheese in an airtight container with a lid, beeswax wrap, or cheesecloth, and keep it chilled.
How long does Kefir cheese last?
This largely depends on where you store the Kefir cheese. If you keep it at room temperature, it’s likely to separate in a couple of hours.
If it’s stored in the fridge, it can last for a few days. If you keep the Kefir cheese in the freezer, it will last you a few weeks.
Therefore, the colder the temperature, the longer the cheese will last, so ensure that it is in your fridge or freezer at all times.
The bottom line
Now that you know about the kefir cheese flavor, where to store it, and how long it lasts, you might be tempted to eat kefir cheese and make it yourself.
Here’s a highly rated recipe from Live Eat Learn for making your own Kefir cheese at home. Enjoy!