Kefir. It's kind of dancing around the edges of mainstream.
Still very much cocooned in health food shops and farmer's markets, but it's getting there, out into a wider arena.
Mind you, it's always been 'there' in Eastern Europe. My Mother loved it when she lived in Poland and defines it as the ideal thirst quencher on a hot day, which may seem an odd thing to say as kefir is milk based.
So what exactly is kefir? It's made from kefir grains which resemble a cauliflower floret and these grains when combined with (any kind of) milk begin to ferment it and it starts to make a bacterial culture. The grains are then removed with a strainer and used again to make a new batch of kefir and the process goes on.
Whilst there is no exact definition of when these grains were discovered or how indeed the concept of kefir was produced, it is known that it originated from the Caucasus mountain area which straddles the Eurasian borders so hence why kefir's popularity in Eastern European is so great.
Kefir can have a little sourness to it, so just like you would with ordinary milk, I like to turn it into a smoothie with berries and it becomes a sweeter drink. Classed as a probiotic and because it is a fermented product, it's claimed that it is suitable for those that are lactose intolerant.
With Polish shops on many High Streets selling mass produced kefir in their refrigerators and many farmer's markets selling artisan versions, isn't it time for trying something new and perhaps getting it a step nearer to being mainstream?
To find out more about gastro-health check out fellow blogger's site: A Balanced Belly.
Artisan kefir makers Barrel & Bone and The Happy Gut Hut trade at Farmer's Markets in the Birmingham areas of King's Norton, Moseley, King's Heath to name a few, selling kefir and other fermented goods.
Photos featured were taken at the Barrel & Bone stand at King's Norton Farmer's Market.