Fermented Dairy of Central Asia

ISBN-13 (Hardback) 9781000000000
Price (Hardback) £60.00 / $75.00
ISBN-13 (Paperback) 9781000000000
Price (Paperback) £20.00 / $30.00
ISBN (eBook) 9781000000000
Price (eBook) Individual: £20.00 / $30.00; Institutional: £60.00 / $75.00
Publication: 01/10/2025
Pages: 200
Format: 234 x 156mm
Readership: scholars and general readers
Illustration:  colour illustrations


If you are fascinated by fermented dairy products – the history and cooking techniques – then this is the book for you. Born on the Silk Route in Tabriz in the Azerbaijan region of Iran, the author gives a local Turkic perspective on the food of her heritage, setting it in the Central Asian culture from which these products originated.

The book covers the origins of well known dairy ferments such as yoghurt and less well known such as qurut – said to have fuelled the mogul conquest and enjoyed in outer space. Using the latest archaeological and scientific findings it discusses the first records of dairying in the region and the health benefits of these foods.

White goods, as they are locally known, were essential to survival. They were enjoyed fresh during spring gluts of milk and then preserved as nourishment for times of scarcity or when on the move. The books uncovers their symbolic meanings and describes their cultural significance when used in rituals and ceremonies.

There are easy to follow recipes for making the ferments, suggestions of how to enjoy them as well as explanations of how to use them as an ingredient in food, drinks and desserts. Alternatives for vegans or those with allergies are also given. This book is an essential resource for those who are interested in adding new nutritious gut healthy foods to their culinary repertoire using frugal, low waste foods and who enjoy learning about the history and provenance of food.

About the Author

Simi Rezai-Ghassemi
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Simi Rezai-Ghassemi is a cookery teacher, writer, food researcher, organic gardener, and Iran food tour guide. She was born in the Azerbaijan region of Iran. Simi is a self-taught cook, coming to gardening and cooking later in life. When her friend’s children were diagnosed with coeliac disease and couldn’t eat dairy either, Simi shared a few Iranian recipes, the start of Simi’s Kitchen in Bath. Somerset. She is a specialist in the food of the Silk Route and allergen-free cooking. She is a regular at the Oxford Symposium on Food. Simi travels regularly to Iran to visit family, research recipes and ingredients which she hares in her classes and writing. Simi’s Kitchen has been featured in The Guardian, The Foodie Bugle, Kinfolk and Bath Life magazines.