What is Kaymak?

September 5, 2018

As an indispensable part of the Serbian and Balkan cuisine, there is nothing quite as tasty, sweet and aromatic as kaymak, and while some just like to savor in all its delights, others might wonder what it actually is and how its made? With its velvety texture, rich taste that leaves you wanting more and more, and a smell that will make your mouth water, this creamy delicacy is really something special. Describing kaymak with words is almost impossible, but we are going to try nevertheless. For those of you who want to explore the best parts of Serbia and its food, here’s what you get when you order a side of kaymak.

What is it made of?

Traditionally made for centuries in regions that are rich in pastures and have a history of Animal husbandry, kaymak is made out of milk from various animals that are specific to that region. Animals like cows, goats, and water buffalos can all produce milk that can later be used to make kaymak. The Balkans, Turkey, and some parts of Asia have their own way of serving and eating this self-indulgent pleasure, but the method of making it is pretty much the same.

Since we’re talking about Serbian restaurants and food, in particular, we are going to focus on how the locals make it in Serbia. They mainly use grass-fed cows and the premium quality milk they produce. The quality of the milk is key, together with the skill, knowledge, and patience that local farmers put into the production. Boiled milk is transferred to large, wide but shallow dishes, that are made out of wood, and left to simmer down for at least 10 hours. The creamy residue that accumulates on the top is then collected, salted, and stored. The only extra ingredient you want to put into kaymak is salt. It can enrich its flavor and allow it to mature. Signs that can indicate a good quality product are a yellow tinge and smooth texture.

How To Eat Kaymak

It’s safe to say that there are no strict rules when it comes to eating this creamy, cheesy delicacy. Some enjoy it for breakfast, others like it as an appetizer or a side dish with cevapi or mediterranean pljeskavica. You can even put it on top of meat and let it melt and blend with all the spices and juices. If you ask us, just grab a spoon and dig in.

Regarding its shelf life, if unsalted (soft and young), kaymak can be consumed just a couple of days after it has been made. Adding salt prolongs its shelf life and allows it to mature. During this process, the structure changes from a soft spread to a thicker butter-like texture. The color also changes to a brighter yellow.

So now that you know a bit more about this cheesy Balkan sensation, the only thing left to do is stop by Rakija Lounge and try it. One tablespoon of it and your senses will be blown away. It will be love at first taste. Kaymak does have a high percentage of milk fat so you might want to go easy on it, but who are we to stop you from eating a whole bowl, we know we’ve done it in the past. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some kaymak melting in a warm and crispy bread bun with our name on it.

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