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Thread: Smetana!

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    Smetana!

    Please, пожалуйста, Я должен знать о российской пище! Particularly, smetana -

    I am an American and slowly I am re-learning Russian roots that my family threw off so callously when they came here. (I have asked about our Russian ancestors and the grandparents say they do not remember. A shame..) So I endeavor now to study everything Russian along with learning the language.

    I learned щи not long ago and am getting better making it.. Learned also much to my chagrin that Russian сметана is *NOT* the same thing as American "sour cream..." From what I can tell, not only is smetana better for a body and keeps longer, but it doesn't curdle and is way more complementing to sauerkraut soup..

    Here's the problem, and I'm sure it's common knowledge - in America, I can't find a place to get сметана! I live in Arizona, in Phoenix, and there is a Chinese Cultural Center that carries some brands of квас but apparently no сметана..

    So - as I have done with everything else that I can't readily get - I want to make my own.

    Trouble is, I *really* don't know how to get it done. I found something written in Russian a while back online, that said that combining creme fraiche with lemon juice and giving it time to sour, that this method will get the job done... and also another document, that said to combine sour cream with a portion of yogurt... but honestly both of these methods seem like they are inauthentic.

    Does anyone know? In trade for the answer I will promise you a bowl of soup at my house, if any of you should ever come to Phoenix...
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Re: Smetana!

    You can make a homemade smetana. Usually in the villages make the smetana, but it is very thick and strong, but sooo tasty!
    I shall ask my grandmother how to make sometana (sour cream) and I'll write later.
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    Re: Smetana!

    Homemade and industrial smetana are enough different.
    It is really rather complicated to do it at home. What you need is the really fat milk cream (fool of cholesterol ). Nowadays a separator is used for it normally. Some sour thing is needed as the starter ferment (usually some old smetana). Then there is a complicated procedure including complicated temperature regime... I did not really do it myself.

    If the homemade smetana is kept for a few days in a cool place it became something very much like butter.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Smetana!

    You can make smetana at home, but... BUT!
    The bacteria that cause milk to go sour are different in different parts of the world so they produce different products. If you use original ferments - you'll get what you want, but if you just let the milk ferment itself the results would be unpredictable.
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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Homemade and industrial smetana are [s:kx73j5hy]enough[/s:kx73j5hy] different enough.

    It caught my eyes you do that often enough. It should be the other way around.

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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    I learned щи not long ago and am getting better making it..
    I ate щи today (with sauerkraut, not with fresh cabbage). Yum.

    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    Here's the problem, and I'm sure it's common knowledge - in America, I can't find a place to get сметана! I live in Arizona, in Phoenix, and there is a Chinese Cultural Center that carries some brands of квас but apparently no сметана..
    That's why I could never relocate to the US... Сметана is a staple! I put it virtually everywhere -- on mashed potatoes with salt (curisouly, they go very well together and compliment each other), in simple tomato/cucumber/leek salads in summer (vegetables aren't very tasty during winter), as a dressing for the Olivier salad (half mayonnaise, half сметана), sometimes in borsch; on pelmeni -- with vinegar, salt and pepper -- when I happen to eat those (as it is, I don't like pelmeni all that much), in all kinds of cakes and so on.

    I've no idea how you can make it at home but I have heard that сметана is sold abroad in the guise of "simple yoghurt."
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Re: Smetana!

    it-ogo wrote:
    Homemade and industrial smetana are enough different enough.

    It caught my eyes you do that often enough. It should be the other way around.
    You could also say "... are sufficiently different." (Word order is so much better imo in Rus than Eng)
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by alexB
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Homemade and industrial smetana are [s:1bp5zmx2]enough[/s:1bp5zmx2] different enough.

    It caught my eyes you do that often enough. It should be the other way around.
    Well... my overall English is International rather then British or American... And once habit is got it is difficult to get rid of it.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    I learned щи not long ago and am getting better making it..
    I ate щи today (with sauerkraut, not with fresh cabbage). Yum.

    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    Here's the problem, and I'm sure it's common knowledge - in America, I can't find a place to get сметана! I live in Arizona, in Phoenix, and there is a Chinese Cultural Center that carries some brands of квас but apparently no сметана..
    That's why I could never relocate to the US... Сметана is a staple! I put it virtually everywhere -- on mashed potatoes with salt (curisouly, they go very well together and compliment each other), in simple tomato/cucumber/leek salads in summer (vegetables aren't very tasty during winter), as a dressing for the Olivier salad (half mayonnaise, half сметана), sometimes in borsch; on pelmeni -- with vinegar, salt and pepper -- when I happen to eat those (as it is, I don't like pelmeni all that much), in all kinds of cakes and so on.

    I've no idea how you can make it at home but I have heard that сметана is sold abroad in the guise of "simple yoghurt."
    Cметана in Chicago tastes the same to me.
    There are many brands here and it called sour cream. I do not buy low fat stuff though.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Re: Smetana!

    спасибо, I respect your knowledge. I'll try looking for these brands.

    I've read that сметана is really high in fat percentage, high enough that it won't curdle and won't fall apart in soups... Even the fattest sour cream at my local places melts to nothing in soup... shrug
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    спасибо, I respect your knowledge. I'll try looking for these brands.

    I've read that сметана is really high in fat percentage, high enough that it won't curdle and won't fall apart in soups... Even the fattest sour cream at my local places melts to nothing in soup... shrug
    The physics of smetana's dissolution in soup is rather complicated. Basically smetana is separated into soup-soluble and soup-unsoluble fractions, the letter consists of suspension fraction, which saturates the soup, and white protein-fat flakes (PFF) of 0.1 to 1 mm in diameter, swimming on the surface. BTW butter with the same fat percentage is melted in the soup almost completely with no detectable suspension and PFF fractions, so the fatness is not only factor.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Smetana!

    Good answer my man, thank you..

    I am still experimenting, will get it right one day.. or poison myself. We shall see which one happens first.
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Re: Smetana!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada
    Cметана in Chicago tastes the same to me. There are many brands here and it called sour cream. I do not buy low fat stuff though.
    Good news, that. So you can get smetana in the US after all. I usually buy the 15% smetana. It seems just right.
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Personally, I have been unable to replicate the taste of real smetana, or the Polish smetanka. In Michigan, I had many places I could find it, but here in Southern Illinois, I have had to endure years of going without. I have tried various recipes for making it, but with no success. The heavy cream here is ultra pasteurized and spoils and molds. The smetana I am accustomed to has a shelf life of...infinity (lol). One time I had some on hand that was at least 6 months past expiration date, which smelled and tasted as good as the day we brought it home from the store (other than dried residue around cap) Christian Brothers in Chicago area makes excellent commercial "smetanka" which taste just like the smetana I had in Russia. We love borscht, and make it at home. I know a couple places in Michigan, but 9 hour drive one-way. I would love to find a surefire way to make good smetana on a consistent basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom View Post
    Please, пожалуйста, Я должен знать о российской пище! Particularly, smetana -

    I am an American and slowly I am re-learning Russian roots that my family threw off so callously when they came here. (I have asked about our Russian ancestors and the grandparents say they do not remember. A shame..) So I endeavor now to study everything Russian along with learning the language.

    I learned щи not long ago and am getting better making it.. Learned also much to my chagrin that Russian сметана is *NOT* the same thing as American "sour cream..." From what I can tell, not only is smetana better for a body and keeps longer, but it doesn't curdle and is way more complementing to sauerkraut soup..

    Here's the problem, and I'm sure it's common knowledge - in America, I can't find a place to get сметана! I live in Arizona, in Phoenix, and there is a Chinese Cultural Center that carries some brands of квас but apparently no сметана..

    So - as I have done with everything else that I can't readily get - I want to make my own.

    Trouble is, I *really* don't know how to get it done. I found something written in Russian a while back online, that said that combining creme fraiche with lemon juice and giving it time to sour, that this method will get the job done... and also another document, that said to combine sour cream with a portion of yogurt... but honestly both of these methods seem like they are inauthentic.

    Does anyone know? In trade for the answer I will promise you a bowl of soup at my house, if any of you should ever come to Phoenix...
    I have tried the sour cream and yogurt method, and there is no comparison to the real thing. It works in a pinch, but agree as to its inauthenticity. If you have a Polish store nearby, you may want to look for smetanka. The taste is identical, with the same long shelf life. Would love to learn how to make successfully...

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    The way with lemon juice is wrong - it's not smetana, it's mayonaise.

    You could do a smetana with separator, but, as I understood, you don't have one.
    You could try find fat not-pasterised milk (you won't find it in supermarkets, only on farm - fortunately, in Russia it's not a problem) and leave it in a bottle in your refrigerator for a night or a day. You'll see thin layer of a little bit dense white liquid - it's smetana. Collect it with a spoon and put in some crock. It can taste a little bit sour. You can whip it - then it'll become denser.
    My granny do a smetana that way, because she lives in the city and has no possibility to use separator.

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    I grew up in Minnesota, to which our family moved from Pereyaslav, Ukraine. There, we had Smetana, made by Oriental Dairy, which also made ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. It closed some years ago when the children did not want to take over the business. I never understood why it was so far superior to other sour creams, because I thought it's saying "smetana" on the top just meant sour cream in Yiddish. I now find out that smetana is a certain kind of sour cream. This smetana was thick, grainy, very rich in flavor. It may have been less fat than sour cream, but he also made a sour half-and-half as well. I don't know how it was made. If one of you who knows smetana could read "Joy of Cooking" and use one of their recipes as a base, and tell us how to adapt it to make a good smetana, that would help. It matters what you start with: heavy cream, light cream, and what you sour it with, and how much you stir it, how long you age it, etc. I would love to make my own. Breakstone's sour cream, while originally a Jewish company, makes a very plain cream that is barely sour. Yogurt is not at all the same. The closest is Greek yogurt, so far, that I have tasted.

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    Here is a source: Dairy Science Abstracts, 1981, 43. Also, Romanskaya, N.N.; Dyment, Bashirova et al. 1980 USSR patent.
    Smetanka is made from cream with 10% fat (sounds like rich whole milk). Acetobacter lactis, acidophilus or casei, leuconstoc lactis and mesonteroides dextranicum and streptococcus lactis remoris are added. Cream should be at 79-82 degrees fahrenheit, and ferment 6-8 hours. Periodic mixing in first two hours (this probably determines the texture), then cooled to 60 degrees. 10-15 grams of powdered skim milk is added per liter before pasteurization. The result is cream that is 70 percent acid.
    The cultures described may likely be found in probiotic yogurts or kefirs, or perhaps in capsules. I have acidophilus in capsules.
    Now, can someone turn this into a recipe? Such as, add 1 cup of many-cultured yogurt to half-gallon of whole milk or cream that is 80 degrees, and let sit, stirring, then cooling gradually, perhaps in a cold-water bath, followed by ice water, followed by ice? Refrigerate after 8 hours?

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    I am American living in Ukraine, and I am not sure about how to change the keyboard to Russian on this Mac, so pardon an answer that is all in English.

    I just prepared dinner, with mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream. It is a normal staple in America.

    If you go to the supermarket here. there will be several kinds of sour cream, all commercial. If you go to the bazaar, there will be several dairy booths, and many different thicknesses and taste of sour cream. And cirok. Sour cream is common in America, cirok does not exist in America.

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