Innovative New Product Design Makes You the Cheesemonger KefirkoKefirko, the brand who last year brought out the product allowing users to easily cultivate their own Kefir milk drink, has recently expanded their line to include a device for making your own range of probiotic cheeses, alongside other foodstuffs like iced coffee and bean sprouts. Simply add the ingredients to the Kefirko Cheese Maker and the mixture will slowly strain, leaving you with a pot of fresh healthy cheese and a glass of protein-rich whey. Who said eating cheese had to be a ‘guilty’ pleasure? One of the projects of Slovenian creative solutions company Borgla, the DIY kitchen product design is proving to be a runaway crowdfunding success. Available in four colours, it’s made up of as many components: a lid that prevents smells and bits getting into the cheese; a reusable nylon mesh that separates the whey from the cultured dairy; a ring extending the volume of the jar; and the glass jar itself, which gathers the proein-rich whey strained from the cheese. By including a variety of cheese additives, rennets, or ingredients entirely different to the kefir milk, users can make a whole array of different foodstuff too, from mozzarella to marscapone, and from iced coffee to almond milk. The multi-functional home food maker is available for pre-order on Indiegogo until the end of 2017, and after then will be available for purchase at the retail price of $31.59 from their website. We chat to Andrej Glažar, co-founder of Kefirko and product co-designer, alongside Marko Borko, about bringing cheese-making to the kitchen. THE PLUS: How many kinds of cheese can be made with this design? Andrej Glažar: By using cheese additives and rennets you can prepare any cheese dish you want. Our fellows cooks have already created some other cheeses and dishes, and there is still plenty space to experiment (home-made mascarpone, mozzarella, Greek yogurt, curd, almond milk, ice coffee, etc.). The list of dishes is getting larger and larger. TP: So users can experiment with their own recipes too? AG: Yes. To start, you can tailor hardness of the cheese you make, by experimenting with duration of straining. You can also flavour your cheese by adding dry or fresh fruit, nuts, herbs or spices of your choice. TP: How does the cheeses you can make with this machine compare to shop-bought cheese? AG: Making kefir cheese and other cheeses by yourself gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the richness and health benefits of the dish. Since no preservatives are added, you have better control over the quality of your cheese. TP: What inspired the bright colour choices for the cheese maker? AG: With our first product we already had a selection of bright colours, so we continued this way. While the whiteness of freshly made kefir relates to health and inner peace, an active lifestyle is full of dynamism and vivid colours. This goes hand in hand with the preparation of your own kefir cheese. TP: Why do you think a DIY-food product like this has proven so popular in crowdfunding? AG: We believe people are more and more oriented toward a healthy lifestyle. People are looking for ways to have more control over ingredients, and to eat home-grown and local food. TP: What other kinds of food would you like to see people making themselves? AG: I am very into fermented foods. Fermented foods have so many positive effects on human body, so it’s definitely something that should be on our menus daily. TP: Have you always been into going the extra mile with your cooking? AG: I was always very into healthy food. I enjoyed making kefir for quite some time, but was never satisfied with the way the process was so messy and complicated. TP: What kind of chef are you yourself? AG: With this kitchen tool I wanted to simplify food preparation and make it easier, so that everyone can do it. This is my cooking style: practical. Marko Borko and Andrej Glažar: Food photography by Urška Fartelj. Other images courtesty of Kefirko.