7.4.10

Viili

The most discussed cook book over the last few years has most certainly been Natural Harvest - quite an interesting phenomena to anyone even slightly interested in cultural taboos. Semen and this viili I just made have at least two things in common. The oblivious one is the way they look. The second one is that strictly speaking, neither one is a vegan ingredient. But as I found out, viili could be.

Viili is a fermented milk product popular around Scandinavia and probably my personal favourite. Compared to yogurt it's rather sour and has a structure much more ropy (here's a demonstration). It can be eaten as such or with jam, talkkuna or ryecrisp pieces. I've never seen it sold vegan but it turned out just as easy to prepare with vegetable milks as it is with cow milk. Micro organisms usually aren't too picky.

You need couple of spoonfuls from an older viili batch to get the bacteria. This is most easily done by buying a jar of non-vegan viili, unless you have a chance to come and get some straight from me. Then you just need to fill the cup with milk, mix it a bit and leave uncovered on some warm place overnight. Next day you can refrigerate the cup. It takes a few more days for the taste to evolve right. Check now and then to find your preferred intensity.

The front cup in the photo with the velvety fungus surface is made out of soy milk. I used a sweetened brand but the basic taste was quickly run over by the characteristic taste of viili. The oat version didn't look as adorable but I actually preferred its taste. Oat milk is usually much thinner, forms some watery spots and takes longer to mature so I used a dollop of oat cream in it as well. The result can be seen in the background.

10 comments:

  1. I have used the same method with soy youghurt,as we don't have here any decent soy based non sweetened youghurt.Your viili looks great;I wish we had viili here too so I could get the first "juuri".

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  2. Whoa, I've never heard of this Natural Harvest - thing before.. whole idea sort of makes you smile, but isn't semen basically protein? Could work as an egg replacer.. I also remember a discussion from the Vegaia - magazine years ago claiming that a breastfed baby is not actually vegan :)

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  3. Well, judging by Natural Harvest's table of contents it does have a lot of recipes traditionally using eggs like Hollandaise and panna cotta. Yet somehow I have this feeling I'd be eating them alone. And I'm probably not winning any new friends for viili either with this post. ;)

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. You are hilarious! I have been laughing for five minutes! your descriptions are great and the photos excellent!

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  6. Glad to hear I at least made some people happy. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I'm a vegan from France! I make vegan soy-kefir and I have been searching for a source of viili so I can culture it myself. Would you happen to know if they sell a lyophilized culture starter in Finland? Of the ropey stuff, just like the viili in your pictures, i'm dying to try this stuff...
      Also congratulations on your hemp curdles, I make them too only I don't make them more often as dehulled hemp seeds here are so expensive...
      Thanks in advance and great blog.

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  7. Hi! I'm a vegan from France! I make vegan soy-kefir and I have been searching for a source of viili so I can culture it myself. Would you happen to know if they sell a lyophilized culture starter in Finland? Of the ropey stuff, just like the viili in your pictures, i'm dying to try this stuff...
    Also congratulations on your hemp curdles, I make them too only I don't make them more often as dehulled hemp seeds here are so expensive...
    Thanks in advance and great blog.

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  8. At least I've never heard that separate starters would be sold, since viili itself works as a starter and you can get it from even the smallest food stores. But it might be worth asking around if there exists starters meant for industrial use.

    Interesting to hear about the hemp seeds. The general price level in Finland is quite high, but luckily different seeds sold in hippie stores are in the most affordable end.

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