Fermenting has been around for thousands of years, and traditional cultures, including some in Russia and Europe, still rely on it heavily.
Once Americans enthusiastically embraced pasteurized dairy products over raw or fermented forms during the early 20th century, we lost a lot of powerful, immunizing probiotics and enzymes along with any potential pathogens.
Which is a bummer since fermentation can make food that was once inedible or even dangerous edible and nutritious.
Among the most popular fermented foods are dairy, sometimes referred to as cultured dairy. Fermentation increases the shelf life of dairy products, making them far tastier and a whole lot easier to digest.
Raw milk is fermented either by allowing it to sour naturally or by adding the milk-loving bacteria lactobacillus to it. Lactobacilli, generally benign and occurring naturally in small amounts in our gut, feed on the sugar and starch in the milk, creating lactic acid and preserving the milk in the process. They also zap bad bacteria and release beneﬁcial enzymes, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of fabulous probiotics. Here are a few more benefits to fermented dairy: