Viili - starter culture


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Meet Viili - a beautiful living culture from Scandinavia - namely - Finland. Sorry yoghurt but this is my new love.  For one thing - it is so much easier that I wonder why we’d even bother making yoghurt again - not to be rude to yoghurt - but Villi is just so simple and so, so delicious that we can’t stop marvelling at it. 

You don't need much to start with - it is a 'back slop' culture, so no SCOBY to feed,  it is mesophilic, (meaning it will ferment at room temperature and doesn't need heating first), it also ferments very quickly - sometimes within 4-6 hours! Viili - who are you?!!

We received this from our dear friend Paul Ward a couple of months ago and have agreed immediately we needed to get to know it - and introduce/provide it to our people. He had received it from a Finish friend who’d brought it back here from a trip home a long time ago, just the way cultures have always been shared.  With no mother to feed this is purely a back slop situation with a mild flavour and pudding-like texture. (It reminds me of something from my childhood called Junket….but better). 

All you need to do is pop a couple of spoonfuls into a jar and pour over some milk and sit it out - perhaps overnight.  It ferments and turns all jelly and quite stringy - not even sour just.....not sweet. Also a weird thing happens - when you put the spoon in and out - it comes off clean. It seems to want to follow itself onto the spoon and into your mouth. Like the blob. 

For breakfast, I love to move that blob into a bowl, enjoy it's wobble, slide fresh sliced figs on the side (abundant here right now in Vic.) and top with a handful of add my own sprouted buckwheat cinnamony thing called Buckini/Kasha to it… which as well as being delicious, happens to be great for high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Straining Viili with cheesecloth like labhe will likely give you a sublime soft cheese akin to something I had in San Sebastian that I can’t remember/never learnt the name of. Will Studd importss a gorgeous Greek cheese similar to it in his range called Galotyri - and I think perhaps straining Villi and then hanging in a 5% brine in the fridge for a week or two may bring you some satisfaction.

You don't need a lot to make it. In fact - I think the more you put in the faster it works but if you leave it too long then yeasts may become stronger and make it fizzy and sourer and it leaves quite an aroma of Sake Kasu or alchohol. So as soon as it's ready - pop it into the fridge. I guess this IS from a cool climate so we should forgive it.  If your kitchen is very warm you may want to ferment this in a fridge. 


The Villi culture comes in a little jar with enough starter to make your first 500mls. There is an instruction card.  As with all our living cultures we only dispatch on Mondays and Tuesdays. The price reflects express/overnight post and the packaging to get it safely to you. We have a group on FB called Ferm Fam you can join to boast/ask for support if you come across any challenges with your Viili. x


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