About Kumiss Edit
Kumis (see other transliterations and cognate words below under terminology and etymology) is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk. The drink remains important to the people of the Central Asian steppes, including the Turks, Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Mongols, Yakuts and Uzbeks. It was also consumed by Hungarian tribes.
Kumis is a dairy product similar to kefir, but is produced from a liquid starter culture, in contrast to the solid kefir "grains". Because mare's milk contains more sugars than the cow's or goat's milk fermented into kefir, kumis has a higher, though still mild, alcohol content.
Even in the areas of the world where kumis is popular today, mare's milk remains a very limited commodity. Industrial-scale production of kumis therefore generally uses cow's milk, which is richer in fat and protein but lower in lactose than the milk from a horse. Before fermentation, the cow's milk is fortified in one of several ways. Sucrose may be added, to allow a comparable fermentation. Another technique adds modified whey in order to better approximate the composition of mare's milk.