Alternative namesStewler, simmeler
Place of originRussia
Main ingredientsMilk

Varenets (Russian: варенец, lit.'the stewed one'), sometimes anglicised as stewler or simmeler, is a fermented milk product that is popular in Russia.[1][2] Similar to ryazhenka, it is made by adding sour cream (smetana) to baked milk.[2]


Varenets is a fermented dairy drink with a caramel taste and creamy color. Varenets was traditionally produced by baking milk in a Russian oven and fermenting it with sour cream.[3]

Commercially available cultured varenets is milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized (with 0.5% to 8.9% fat), and then inoculated with a culture of Streptococcus thermophilus to simulate the naturally occurring bacteria in the old-fashioned product.[4][5]

Similar dairy products

Ryazhenka is the Russian word for a very similar fermented dairy product. While some dictionaries treat these two words as synonyms,[6] the industry standard GOST distinguishes between the two products, specifying somewhat different production processes.[4]

Also similar are qatiq and kaymak, commonly found in Turkic countries.[7] The milk should be heated to a high temperature before fermentation. This is the main similarity of ryazhenka, varenets, qatiq, and kaymak that distinct it from other yogurt-based products, although kaymak and qatiq are thicker in consistency.

See also


  1. ^ Goldstein, Darra (1999). A taste of Russia : a cookbook of Russian hospitality (2nd ed.). Montpelier, VT: Russian Life Books. ISBN 9781880100424. varenets.
  2. ^ a b translated; introduced; Toomre, annotated by Joyce (1998). Classic Russian cooking : Elena Molokhovets' A gift to young housewives (1st pbk. ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21210-8.
  3. ^ Molokhovets, Elena (1998) [1861]. Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives. Translated by Toomre, Joyce Stetson. Indiana University Press. p. 369. ISBN 9780253212108.
  4. ^ a b ГОСТ Р 53508-2009. Варенец. Технические условия (International State Standard GOST 53508-2009. Varenets. Specifications; in Russian)
  5. ^ ГОСТ 31455-2012. Ряженка. Технические условия (International State Standard GOST 31455-2012. Ryazhenka. Specifications; in Russian)
  6. ^ С. И. Ожегов; Н. Ю. Шведова (1999). "Ряженка". Толковый словарь русского языка. Москва: Российская академия наук. Институт русского языка им. В. В. Виноградова. ISBN 5-89285-003-X. [Sergey Ozhegov; Natalia Shvedova (1999). "Ryazhenka". Dictionary of the Russian Language (in Russian). Moscow: V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.]
  7. ^ А. Сальникова; А. Толиверова (1880). Поваренная книга для молодых хозяек. [A. Salnikova; A. Toliverova (1880). A Cookbook for Young Housewives (in Russian).] Reprinted in Пасхальный домашний стол. Блюда к Великому посту и Пасхе. Litres. 2015. p. 105. ISBN 9785457836976.