Fermentation Update–Filmjölk

Survive LA declares Fermentation Month a success!

During the month of March the Homegrown Revolution kitchens were full of strange jars full of burbling mixtures. We are pleased to report that none of these experiments have failed, and that we have not yet succeeded in contracting food poisoning.

One of our most successful ferments was a Swedish milk product called filmjölk. This starter came to us as an unexpected gift. We’d never been filmjölk drinkers before, but were willing to give it a go. There are three ways to get the culture you need to produce this beverage: live in Sweden and buy a carton of it in the store, order the culture from a supplier such as G.E.M. Cultures, or what we did–meet someone who smuggled it back from Sweden.

Like sourdough you must keep your filmjölk milk starter alive: we made more filmjölk with the small amount we were given by putting 2 teaspoons of the culture in a quart of milk and leaving it out on our counter top overnight. Filmjölk culture, by the way, is not something special–it is just filmjölk, the same as you drink–you just use one week’s filmjölk to make the next week’s, and so on and so on.

Now, as a thoroughly industrialized people, it does go against the grain to leave dairy products just sitting around at room temperature. But power to the people, it works! The next day we had a jar full of kind of chunky, yogurty stuff, which was not rancid, but really quiet tasty. We shook it up to remove the lumps before drinking it.

We must confess that only one of us partook of that first glass, since our other Homegrown Revolution compound comrade is a bit of a, dare we say it, pussy when it comes to drinking questionable milk products.

As of now we’re treating the stuff like a salty lassi –meaning we pimp it out with a little salt, fresh cracked pepper and crushed fresh mint.

Leave a comment


  1. Swedes love to break a slice of Wasa crips bread into small pieces and put on top. You should try it!

  2. Been playing with Filmjolk for the past month and totally agree it is quite interesting. I enjoy it especially with granola for breakfast. Sometimes pimping it up with some honey.

  3. When I lived in Sweden, we mixed sugar (according to personal taste) into filmjölk and sprinkled cinnamon over the top (for breakfast). It is also great when poured over a fresh fruit bowl. These are a must try, I believe you will love both.
    Var så god (bon appetite)
    Tony (Aussie/Swede)

  4. I was recently in Sweden and ate filmjölk every morning. My host broke knackebrot into it and added sugar, whereas I added uncooked oats and sprinkled it w brown sugar. I am continuing the same at home. Continuing the filmjölk w 2% milk has produced a delicious, but thinner liquid.

  5. Hi there, it may be too late for this fermentation question, but I would like to know if Lactaid would work for this? Or does the fermentation break down the lactic acid?

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