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Arrera- Traditional defatted buttermilk from Ethiopia

Arrera is a by-product of the formation of kibe and ergo. Fermented milk is used as a raw material and its production and handling are similar to those of ergo, as it was described in a previous post. Fresh leaves of Ruta chalepensis var. tenuifolia and O. hadiense are commonly added for flavoring, followed by mashed green Caps. annuum and A. sativum.

Arrera has a pleasant odor and taste and a similar color to ergo with a slightly smoother appearance and a thinner consistency. Its consistency is though thicker than that of fresh milk. It has also a much shorter shelf life compared to all other fermented milk products (only 24-48 h), even when smoke is applied to the equipment used for its storage.

This fermented milk product is consumed in all parts of the country as a beverage either plain or spiced. It is preferred by women for consumption as a side dish or as a drink. Being rich in several nutrients, it serves to enrich the diet. It is given to weaning aged children and elderly and is especially considered as food of children and women in rural areas. Surpluses are given to calves, lactating cows and dogs. It may indirectly serve as additional income for the women by its use as raw material for cottage cheese production, which may be sold in the market. Due to its relatively short shelf life and some traditional taboos or beliefs, Aarea is not sold in the market for direct consumption.

This information is shared by;

Junior Product Manager at Chr. Hansen A/S

This fermented milk product is consumed in all parts of the country as a beverage either plain or spiced. It is preferred by women for consumption as a side dish or as a drink. Being rich in several nutrients, it serves to enrich the diet. It is given to weaning aged children and elderly and is especially considered as food of children and women in rural areas. Surpluses are given to calves, lactating cows and dogs. It may indirectly serve as additional income for the women by its use as raw material for cottage cheese production, which may be sold in the market. Due to its relatively short shelf life and some traditional taboos or beliefs, Arrera is not sold in the market for direct consumption.

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Author:

Currently working as Technical Manager Al Ain Dairy Camel Farm, UAE. Before, worked as Prof & Dean Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences Pakistan. My thematic areas are; research policy, Turning camel from a beast of burden to a sustainable farm animal, extensive livestock production systems. Author is the founder and head of the Society of Animal, Veterinary and Animal Scientists (SAVES) Founder of the Camel Association‚Äč of Pakistan Organizer of the Group Camel4Life. As a freelance scientist working (as a member of steering committee) for Desert Net International (DNI). My focused area of research is the characterization, documentation, and reporting of the indigenous livestock breeds (AnGR) and effort for recognition of the native genetic resources at policy levels. Thinking of natural resources especially, biodiversity and efforts for their judicial use and conservation in the context of climate change and food security is my dream.

4 thoughts on “Arrera- Traditional defatted buttermilk from Ethiopia

  1. Another Camel Milk Product from Ethiopia.
    “Ititu: Distinctively concentrated fermented milk

    Marina Z.
    Junior Product Manager at Chr. Hansen A/S
    Ituti is a staple food in some parts of Ethiopia. It has a white color and a very solid appearance that resembles that of a traditional white cheese. Apart from the good taste and the pleasant odor it remains in an acceptable quality for about two months at ambient temperature, so it is preferred by the local people.

    Ititu consumed as side dish with traditional porridge or thin-baked cereal chips. It can also be consumed as food or drink alone. It is considered as one of the special foods and served to much respected guests as well as to weaning-age children and the elderly.

    During the traditional production of ituti, fresh milk is collected into a well-smoked fermented vessel, called gorfa. Gorfa is woven from fibers of selected plants into a lidded container with a capacity up to three liters. A new gorfa is washed with hot water, air dried; and just prior to use it is rinsed with fresh milk and then smoked for a few minutes with pieces of burning Acacia nilotica (or other plants) placed inside. The lid of gorfa is treated with leaves of Ocimum basilicum for cleaning and imparting desirable flavor to the product. A small volume of milk (up to 300 ml) is added to the gorfa and is allowed to ferment naturally.

    When the milk coagulates, whey is removed daily by wooden pipette after which an additional volume of fresh milk is added. The process of whey removal and addition of fresh milk is repeated several times until the product is concentrated enough and is ready for consumption. The curd and the lids are occasionally checked visually for mold and any mold growth on the surface of the curd is removed. The lid is also washed with hot water and smoke is applied to it before replacing it.

    If the product is stored for a long time without refrigeration this can lead to over-souring and risk of spoilage, due to the high growth of surface mould. This can be controlled by adding an amount of roasted Trigonella foenumgraceum powder that is pre-mixed with fresh raw milk and/or melted ghee, prior to serving.

    The milk is allowed to ferment for a long time of up to 14 days and can be stored after from about two months to three months.”

    We (the Pashtun Camel Pastoralists) make the same hard cheese from all types of milk including camel milk. It is hard white product, called Qourath.

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  2. Anne B.
    Director, Oleleshwa Enterprises Ltd

    The Rendille and Somali of Kenya have a product also called ititu, though mainly made from goat milk, it sounds very similar to the ititu described above including the process. However I have not heard of the addition of wild basil but that sounds like a wonderful idea. Pastoralists are full of great ideas just like every one else.

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  3. Aguat: Amharic name for whey

    Marina Zande
    Junior Product Manager at Chr. Hansen A/S
    Aguat is the liquid that remains after most of the fat and protein in the milk removed during cheese making. More specifically, it can be either the liquid part of arrera after the ayib is removed or the liquid part (top layer) extracted from Ergo and Ititu.

    Whey should be fed to animals; calves, cows and dogs or consumed by humans. Aguat contains valuable nutrients, i.e. whey proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and free amino acids. Its protein content is estimated at about 0.75%. The whey from cheese making vary according to the type of cheese made and, therefore, the content of protein, salts and lactose also vary.

    There are many uses for whey and its constituents. Where cheese is made on a small or farmhouse scale the quantity of whey available does not justify the manufacture of the more sophisticated products where large quantities of whey are required along with expensive, large scale equipment. For example, whey proteins extracted from whey by ultrafiltration have also found many uses in the food industry.

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