Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Kefir: A traditional popular Middle Eastern beverage

The world of kefir is said to have originated from the Turkish word ‘Keyif’ which means ‘good feeling’. It is the product of fermentation of milk with kefir grains and mother cultures prepared from grains.

Households of the Caucasian Mountains and Tibetan region of China produced kefir traditionally using the kefir grains which were inherited from their ancestors for kefir preparation.

It originates in the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Union, in Central Asia and has been consumed for thousands of years. The Caucasian people discovered that the fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage. Owing to this area’s name, more commonly isolated strain of kefir as it is now known as Lactobacillus kefiri, formerly named as Lactobacillus caucasicus.

Kefir grain were passed down from generation to generation among the tribes of Caucasus and considered a source of family wealth.

In the later part of the nineteenth century, the benefit of kefir was highlighted when it helped for effective treatment of tuberculosis, intestinal and chronic diseases in the Caucasus region. The benefits of kefir were first reported by the Russian doctors working in this region.

Although kefir is just being discovered in some areas of the world, it has been very popular in the former Soviet Union, Hungary and Poland for many years.
Kefir: A traditional popular Middle Eastern beverage

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