While studying koumiss
prepared using natural starters in different regions of Kazakhstan, acidophilus were selected.
In a ritual handbook from Ordos, an address called Korku nekeku ondur jalayu contains the following formula to be recited at the consecration of a bowl containing koumiss
for libation: "Once when he [Chinggis Khan] struck the summer camp at the source of the river, at the green pastures, he rounded up his ninety-nine white mares, assembled his great Mongolian people, drove in the great high golden halter-stake, stretched out the long firm halter lines, tied up in them the many foals." (80)
While it was known that koumiss
had been produced for centuries, this study shows the practice dates back to the very earliest horse herders.
Food and agriculture scientists review a range of fermented diary products, among them yoghurt, Nordic and Scandinavian products, and kefir and koumiss
. They discuss processing techniques, microbiology, characteristics, and other matters.
Mare's-milk wine or koumiss
was known to the Chinese as early as the Han, but achieved widespread acceptance only with "the coming of the Mongols and it relapsed into obscurity when they left" (p.
To give the reader a sense of the detailed and fascinating information that Atwood provides, I quote an excerpt from one entry, on koumiss
, usually described elsewhere simply as fermented mare's milk:
In some texts (6) milk and additional powdered malted barley are added each day, resulting in a beverage I could define as a cow-milk based koumiss
. The sura is then filtered through a strainer made of hair, which is sometimes interpreted as using an animal hide.