Pronunciation: [keh-FEER]

Originally made from camel's milk, kefir comes from high in the Caucasus—a 750-mile-long mountain range between the Caspian and Black seas. Today, however, it's more commonly produced from cow's milk. It's a slightly sour brew of fermented milk, most of which contains about 2½ percent alcohol. Kefir is reminiscent in both taste and texture of a liquid yogurt. It's available in cartons or bottles in natural food stores. See also kumiss.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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