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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Frozen Kefir

Frozen yogurt's hot, hot, hot, if I say so myself.

So with a gourmet frogurt store coming to every corner near you, what niche will be next to open?

How about frozen kefir?

I've quoted kefir talk before, too.

Kefir, another fermented milk product, particular to Turkey and other Central Asian countries, is gaining popularity for the same gastrointestinal reasons. As with yoghurt, the Turkish language has provided the world with the name for this tart, sometimes effervescent and thick liquid. Keyif, the Turkish word for "good feeling" has lent itself to the ever-increasingly popular drink.

Commercially produced kefir can be found in specialty shops, as can the starter culture for home cooks. A small jar of what seems to be a slightly lumpy, milky liquid is all that is needed to start a continuous supply of friendly bacteria and yeasts. Kefir aficionados tell of the superior health benefits of this cultured milk over yoghurt. The variety of bugs work to actively colonize the gut; taking over the space in the mucosal wall that are usually crawling with destructive yeasts and bacteria.

But a frozen kefir store?

There's one coming to Chicago, according to the press release:
Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: LWAY), the country's leading manufacturer of kefir and a provider of other natural and organic dairy products, is opening its first "kefir boutique" café with the April launch of Starfruit in Chicago. The shop will offer several flavors of frozen kefir with over 20 toppings as well as customized kefir parfaits, and smoothie-style kefir drinks.

More about all things kefir at the Lifeway Foods website.

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