Ayran, katyk and tarak https://greenelly.com/ are three different names for the same fermented milk drink, which is popular among the Turkic, Balkan, North Caucasian and South Caucasian peoples. This drink has many beneficial properties, such as quenching thirst, improving digestion, maintaining immunity and fighting infections. But what is the difference between these three types of sour milk? Let’s figure it out.
Ayran is the most common and famous type of sour milk. It is made by mixing katyk (fermented milk) with cold water and salt. Sometimes ice or herbs (such as basil or mint) are added to ayran for refreshment. Ayran has a liquid consistency and is drunk from glasses or mugs. Ayran has low calorie content (25-60 kcal per 100 g) and high protein content (1.7 g per 100 g).
Katyk is a thicker and sour type of sour milk, which is obtained by fermenting milk with a special starter containing Bulgarian bacillus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Katyk is usually not diluted with water, but is consumed in its pure form or with the addition of sugar, honey, jam or fruit. Katyk can also be the basis for making yogurt with various flavorings. Katyk has higher acidity (up to 1.16%) and fat content (1.2-1.5%).
Tarak is another name for sour milk, which is used by some peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Tarak usually has a thick consistency, similar to sour cream or cottage cheese. Tarak is not diluted with water, but eaten with a spoon or bread. Tarak can also be used to prepare various dishes such as soups, sauces or casseroles. Tarak has a high fat content (up to 6%) and protein (up to 3%).
Tarak is quite close in its properties to katyk (yogurt), but it is not the Bulgarian bacterium that participates in its formation, but “Lactobacterium helveticum” – the Swiss bacillus.
Tarak is made from three types of milk – cow, goat and sheep. Sometimes camel milk is added. Historians believe that such a diverse mixture arose due to the low milk yields that were given by animals in the mountains under conditions of extensive cattle breeding. To prepare tarak for a large family, it was necessary to collect all the milk that was available.
Over time, people noticed that it was this mixture that gave tarak a unique taste, making it more attractive and high-quality than a drink made from milk alone.
The milk used for tarak is never boiled the same way as for katyk. According to the recipe, milk must be heated to a temperature that precedes boiling. Then it cools to 23°C, and the starter is introduced.
Then the cockroach needs to be well closed. The usual recipe for preparing this drink looks like this: add preheated milk to a container (barrel or leather bucket) with old cockroach or what is left, which is fermented after a few hours. The milk mixture is then mixed to form a tarak.
Tarak can be prepared using the Turkic method, similar to katyk. The starter is added to the heated milk. The proportion of the starter is as follows: 100 grams per 1 liter, and sometimes a little more – 150 grams of old cockroach per liter of milk.
We hope that our article shed light on the question of how tarak differs from katyk and ayran. If possible, be sure to make these drinks at home!