History of Kefir

 A brief history of Kefir:

An exceptional healthy ancient drink that existed long before you were born – thought to originate roughly 2000 years ago amongst the nomadic shepherds in the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Russia – often referred to as ‘a wonder beverage from the ancient world’

The stuff of legend: ‘manna from heaven’ – originally a closely guarded secret in every home that had a bag of it, made of animal hide, hanging outside fermenting in the sun during the day, and hanging by the door at night - as more kefir was taken out to drink, more milk would be added.  Anyone coming in or going out of the home was expected to mix the kefir by giving this bag a gentle kick. A great way of preserving milk (no fridges back then!), families passed different strains down from generation to generation and became fierce guardians of their methods of producing kefir – understandable as kefir was considered a source of wealth. Well-guarded as a gut-fortifying and health-giving treasure for nearly 2,000 years (it is thought that many centenarians in the Caucasus Mountains on the borders of Iran, owed their longevity to Kefir). Any news of it was very slow to trickle out to the rest of the world. Marco Polo mentions in his book “The Travels of Marco Polo the Venetian”, a mare’s milk drink made by Tartar women, “with the qualities and flavour of white wine”… he called the beverage kemurs. Around the 19th Century news of its alleged magical properties were catching the attention of the All Russian Physicians’ Society, who ruled that all Russians should benefit from Kefir. However, people in the Caucasus Mountains refused to budge, so the Society commissioned two brothers by the name of Blandov, who owned a cheese-making factory, to track down some kefir grain for them. The people refused to sell, so the brothers came up with a cunning plan, involving a beautiful woman named Sakharov, an ensuing kidnap, and a demand from the Czar to rescue her for 10 pounds of kefir grains. In 1908, the Blandovs sold the first commercially produced kefir in Russia using the grains procured by Sakharov. These grains were used to treat tuberculosis, digestive orders, atherosclerosis and even cancer, with apparent success. By 1930, the grains were being widely produced all over Russia. No longer a secret, it continues to trickle out to the rest of the world, bringing its unique health benefits to the likes of you and me;