Disclaimer: I don’t mean to hurt any vegan sentiments by writing this post. All of this is humour. I am aware about the horrible conditions that are prevalent across some/most cattle farms, and how dangerous the milking process is to cows and other cattle. I have begun to read up more on veganism, and perhaps will try the vegan lifestyle some day. For now I am content being a vegetarian. I apologize if I invariably rile up some vegan activists, because I glorify curd. Feel free to rebel in the comments. I assure you, I will read what you post and any links you attach. I am trying to educate myself further.
That’s exactly what I typed while trying to find the URL of my own blog. CurdF. And it led me to new concepts in dairy science. Also known as curd firmness. Which means today’s blog, naturally, is about yoghurt, curd, and other variants of this dairy product.
I’ve loved daily products since I was a child who consumed Al Marai Milk by 2 Litre bottles a week, and buckets of Fresh Marmum Yoghurt. I loved how thick and creamy the curd was, how fresh it tasted, and how it never released any water when you cut into it. I enjoyed having the solid portion of the curd. I didn’t care how it came about, or what processes were followed to get me my curd. All I cared about was the consumption bit.
That was till I learnt about Louis Pasteur in History (would you believe it?) in Grade 2. Then I began asking the real questions: why don’t we boil milk? Is it a special NRI quality we possess? Can I just not boil milk and pray to the Gods that I survive an onslaught of bacteria? (the correct answer is no.)
On my trips to India for summer vacation, I discovered the joys of having my grandfather put milk coupons in a jute bag. The milk coupon always had a photo of God on it, and like an answer to my morning prayers, I always found hot milk available for my BournVita in the mornings (though occassionally my grandparents committed fraud by passing me Horlicks instead – despicable). We boiled milk every night, and my grandmother painstakingly “Set” curd.
After a long process of cooling milk down, while attempting to prevent it from curdling & creating “cream” (to please the NRI child, of course), the lactobacilli were in place to do their thing. Only to be rebuked the next day at lunch. The NRI child would scream, kick out, and lash out at the idea of “adding milk to curd” to take away the sour taste. My one month of surviving home-set curd was my biggest achievement as a child.
My Pune grandparents on the other hand always managed perfect curd. I don’t know how they did it, although I’m certain that at some stage, I did walk to RelianceFresh with my grandmother to buy me some Nestle Dahi.
What was the purpose of this history of curd?
To explain to you that I have now become accustomed to poorly set curd. I still complain, but I eat it anyway.
And to tell you about this horrid conundrum that awaits me when I reach University in what, 18 days or something.
Curd. That tastes amazing. Like nectar from the heavens themselves.
Which tastes disgusting when mixed with rice.