Drinkable Yogurt and Why It’s Useful
Scandinavia has a lovely history of cultured foods. From sourdough breads to pickled herring to the drinkable yogurt known as piima.
Piima is a very thin yogurt, so it may be useful to keep it on hand as a drinkable yogurt that is easy to serve from a glass. You could then use other yogurt cultures to make a thicker yogurt that can be eaten with a spoon.
How It Is Cultured
Piima is a thin yogurt that is cultured at room temperature. That means there are no yogurt makers, coolers, or other heating apparatuses required.
Because of its Scandinavian roots (Finnish, to be exact), piima cultures well in colder climates. If you live in a warmer climate, your piima will simply culture faster, moving into the curds-and-whey stage much sooner than other yogurt varieties.
You can also use the culture with cream or half-and-half for a thicker piima cream, which can be used as sour cream or crème fraîche in your cooking or serving.
Flavor and Texture
Piima has a lovely nutty, almost cheese-like flavor. It is also the thinnest of the room-temperature cultured yogurts. Piima is so thin, in fact, that it is more commonly drunk from a glass than eaten with a spoon.
Piima has a smooth texture and can sometimes have a stretchy consistency similar to honey.
How to Eat It
In Finland it is commonly drunk straight from a glass in the summer heat with or without salt. You can pour it over fruit or granola in a bowl, layer it in a parfait, eat it with cereal, dip fruit in it, or strain it through cheesecloth for a thicker consistency, then season and use as a spread or cheese.
You could mix it with juice and drink it from a glass, blend it with frozen fruit for a smoothie, or top your favorite savory dishes with this cultured milk product. You can use it as the base of a salad dressing or vegetable dip.
If you are making piima cream then not only do you have a probiotic-rich cultured cream, you also have the base for some delicious butter. Simply use your cultured piima cream in place of heavy whipping cream to make a nutty, probiotic-rich cultured butter.
How to Make It
Piima yogurt is made similarly to other room-temperature cultured yogurts. Click here for a full video tutorial on making piima.
To make piima cream simply add the piima yogurt to the cream. Mix to combine. Cover the container with a loose lid (a coffee filter or tight-weave towel with a tight rubber band also works well) and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours or until the cream has thickened. Allow the piima cream to sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving to halt the culturing process.
Note: heavy whipping cream will produce thicker piima cream than will half-and-half, raw cream, etc.
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