You’ll find smen used in all manner of dishes in Morocco and the rest of the Maghreb region: in couscous, tagine recipes and even as a spread. Preparation: Allow the butter to soften by bringing to room temperature. I have never heard of this and I am so glad to have found your blog, there’s so much information here, not to mention all the delicious recipes! It only filled the jar half way and I topped it with a small circle of parchment paper before screwing on the lid. Smen, for instance, is a type of fermented, salted clarified butter used in Middle Eastern cooking. Water is required for fermentation so if the butter was truly clarified it would not ferment. Hey folks, I’m Azlin Bloor; former chef, culinary instructor and mum of 4. If you like really strong bleu cheese, you might like smen. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within a month. Click here to read more about me! LinsFood contains affiliate links. To make it, sheep, cow, or goat’s milk butter is heated and strained to become clarified butter. Mix the salt thoroughly with the butter. But as it is with our sourdough, so it is with fermented butter. ... سمن or سمنة‎ also called sman, semn, semneh, or sminn) is salted fermented butter, an important cooking ingredient widely used in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisine and most common in other North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. One of my favourites is the smen made with khlie, a type of preserved Moroccan meat. However, smen is also an important ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and North African cooking. Before the days of refrigeration, butter needed a way to stay preserved, so a heavy amount of salt was added to melted and skimmed butter, kneaded together, and stored in an air-tight container. No cooking, but you do have to let it ferment, like sauerkraut and kimchi. How awesome is that? What's New On Serious Eats In lower temperatures, one month is considered an acceptable time to start using the smen in cooking, although its flavour will not be strong. Smen is salted fermented butter that hails from Morocco. (And so is eating locusts!) Azlin, I’m new to Moroccan flavors and wanted to try this. Matured smen is very similar in taste to blue cheese as it is a high-fat form of cheese. Smen (from Arabic: سمن or سمنة‎ also called sman, semn, semneh, or sminn) is a salted, fermented butter, and a traditional Yemeni dish. Smen or Dhan is a traditional fermented butter which is made from raw milk, cream or butter originating from If using oregano tea, add it now, and knead the butter until it’s all mixed in. 1 lb (454 grams) butter 30 grams Kosher salt 1/4 cup dried Greek oregano 1 1/2 cups of water. That should be fine, as long as it’s sealed tight. I am giving you the simplest version. There are some really old smen here and surprisingly, the aroma and flavour isn’t as off putting as the slightly younger versions. The result is then aged, often in sealed containers. Of course, butter that hasn't fermented at all is smooth, but the old smen had a sophisticated, stinky smoothness. If you are new to North African cuisine, it may take some getting used to, with its pungent, rancid smell, very similar to smelly cheese! Copyright Azlin Bloor | LinsFood.com 2011-2021. Smen (from Arabic: سمن or سمنة‎ also called sman, semn, semneh, or sminn) is salted fermented butter, an important cooking ingredient widely used in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisine and most common in other North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. Smen (from Arabic: سمن or سمنة‎ also called sman, semn, semneh, or sminn) is a salted, fermented butter, and a traditional Yemeni dish. Potent odorants in "Smen", a traditional fermented butter product Potent odorants in "Smen", a traditional fermented butter product Triqui, R.; Guth, Helmut 2001-02-16 00:00:00 Eur Food Res Technol (2001) 212 : 292–295 Q Springer-Verlag 2001 ORIGINAL P APER Réda Triqui 7 Helmut Guth Received: 24 January 2000 / Revised: 8 June 2000 Abstract Potent odorants in a sample of … Smen, made from goat butter, is becoming rare in Moroccan kitchens. Morocco doesn't have much of a dairy tradition, but there's one exception that dates back centuries: It's called smen, and it's a stinky, fermented butter made from sheep, goat or cow milk. It is then traditionally buried in the ground for temperature stability purposes, just like cheese is left to mature in caves because they have cooler and more stable temperatures. Smen is a salted, fermented cooking fat and spread made from clarified butter. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It is produced using the butter made from the milk of sheep, goatsor a combination of the two. Allowed to simmer. The essences of all good things develop at their own pace. To make it, sheep, cow, or goat’s milk butter is heated and strained to become clarified… 7. Other plants or fruits can be used. The short chain fatty acids (C4 to C10) have been traditionally considered the main aromas of this product but our work on the volatile fraction characterisation using SPME GC/MS showed that other products may also be important. Definition of smen in the Definitions.net dictionary. The now cultured/fermented liquid is then used to make the butter/smen. Immediately thereafter, they took either wheat flour or roasted and ground fenugreek seeds mixed with roasted wheat kernels, and cooked them together on a low heat. Vegetable oils, so conveniently poured out of a bottle, are the preferred cooking fat of modern cooks. That's kind of the point of clarified butter. Add water to a pot Add the salt and the oregano to the water and bring to a boil. Is it just for flavor? It is actually nothing but fermented butter, made with goat, sheep or cow’s milk. Naturally, it was before the days of refrigeration that someone came upon the idea. Smen (also called sman, semneh, or sminn) is salted fermented butter, an important cooking ingredient most common in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines.It is produced using the butter made from the milk of sheep, goats or a combination of the two. Join the discussion today. I assume this is why it is often found in the cuisines of warmer climates. Description Also known as Moroccan Fermented Butter or Moroccan Clarified Butter Smen is a salted, preserved clarified butter that has been aged giving it a strong flavor that lends a characteristic flavor to tagines, k'dras, and especially couscous grains. It is an aged butter similar to Asian ghee, and is a prized flavoring ingredient in Moroccan dishes. Smen (from Arabic: سمن or سمنة ‎ also called sman, semn, semneh, or sminn) is a salted, fermented butter, and a traditional Yemeni dish.In Yemen, Yemenis prepare a special version of semneh (سمنة) which is smoked with aromatic herbs inside of a gourd in order to impart deeper flavour and aid in preservation. The butter is brought to its boiling point for about 15 minutes, then skimmed, strained into a ceramic jar called a khabia, and salted before it curdles. Seal tightly and store in a cool place for a month to let it ferment. It’s brushed atop roti and chapati breads (and sometimes naan). Not being sure I will like it, I didn’t want to waste a whole pound of butter. Mar 18, 2016 – Smen is salted fermented butter that hails from Morocco. Smen is traditionally used mainly in the preparation of couscous and trid, as well as of tagines and kdras, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to find due to its increasing replacement by peanut oil, a non-native culinary element introduced from Senegal and other West African countries. If you fancy trying some smelly Moroccan butter, here’s an easy recipe! Thyme is often added to it to provide a yeast and enzyme starter. In the cuisines of the Arab-Muslim world, butter is a very important ingredient, as it is the only fat that nomadic shepherds and the Bedouin can rely on. What makes ghee different from these other varieties of clarified butter This means that we earn a commission off any purchases that you might make by clicking on some of the product links. What does the Oregano tea do? The suffix “smen” is Arabic and although it's a term that refers to a type of fermented clarified butter popular in Moroccan cooking, many of the recipes that I've seen call instead for either plain clarified butter or oil, or sometimes a mix of the two. This mixture is then taken up and put into a separate vessel where it is then brought to a boil. While I almost always have some homemade smen at home, I use it very selectively as it’s not very popular with the family! However, smen is also an important ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and North African cooking. So I made up a half stick of butter and put it in a very small Ball jar. Niter kibbeh is clarified butter spiced with turmeric or cumin that’s used in Ethiopian cooking. Read the Looking for Smen discussion from the Chowhound Markets, Ontario food community. In Yemen, Yemenis prepare a special version of semneh (سمنة) which is smoked with aromatic herbs inside of a gourd in order to impart deeper flavour and aid in preservation. Keywords: homemade, moroccan, ingredients, Tag @azlinbloor on Instagram and hashtag it #linsfood. The older the smen, the stronger—and more valued—it becomes. Smen holds great cultural significance, particularly as an indicator of familial wealth. Smen is a fermented Moroccan butter that has been made and used in Middle Eastern and a few North African cuisines for centuries. It is produced using the butter made from the milk of sheep, goats or a combination of the two. The butter is bro… Increase the heat and bring the melted butter to a simmer. Smen is a fermented Moroccan butter highly regarded for its unique flavor characteristics. Depending on which legend you believe, smen originated in Morocco, or Yemen, or somewhere else. The butter was heavily salted, stored in an airtight jar and left to ferment. Smen is salted, fermented butter that ages like fine wine. Wow, this is a really great post! Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. In-Depth Recipes, Food Culture & Food Stories. Smen Butter. I currently have some maturing in the fridge and will do a post on it shortly. Afterwards, the butter is then strained until one is left with a clear batch of melted butter (smen). Do you think it will be ok or should I do another half stick and fill the jar? In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Smen: Middle Eastern Fermented Butter. Smen, a preserved butter found in Morocco and other parts of North Africa, is a tradition that dates back centuries. [1] Stored in a smoked eathenware container in a cool place. The spontaneous fermentation of butter produces a highly fragrant product called smen. Smen is often clarified before it's fermented, but Rose clarified it afterward—it wasn't totally necessary, he said, but he prefers clarified butter. Most common in in North African and Middle Eastern cooking, it … Smen, also called rancid butter, is made from a mixture of butter and salt. Wrap the oregano in a small piece of cheesecloth. It does have a rather pungent aroma, like stinky cheeses. Berber farmers in southern Morocco will sometimes bury a sealed vessel of smen on the day of a daughter's birth, aging it until it is unearthed and used to season the food served at that daughter's wedding. In fact, an old Berber custom is to bury a sealed jar of smen on the birth of one’s daughter, and to dig it up on the daughter’s wedding day, to flavour the food cooked for the guests. You could also add herbs to the smen by brewing about a quarter cup of strong oregano or mint tea and kneading the tea into the butter. Smen made during winter is believed to be more fragrant than those made during a warmer season. It is similar to ghee and niter kibbeh, but has a characteristically strong, rancid, and cheesy taste and smell. It is a very pungent clarified butter, closer to a stinky cheese than household butter. Ghee is a staple in Indian cooking and baking, and also shows up in some Middle Eastern foods (along with its more interesting butter comrade, fermented smen).If you’ve ever had a curry or stew from an Indian restaurant —such as biryani—there’s a good chance ghee was involved. How did Smen come about? Your email address will not be published. Learn how and when to remove this template message, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Smen&oldid=997655788, Articles needing additional references from December 2020, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 16:28. Spoon into a clean jar and pack it in, pressing down to dispel any air pockets. As such it will often be used as a token of honor for esteemed visitors to a household, akin to other cultures' customs such as using the "fine china" or serving an especially prized wine. Given its strong constitution, a little goes a long way! The longer it sits, the more of a delicacy it becomes. In constant warm weather, like in equatorial countries, it can take up to four months to develop the equivalent amount of flavour. In Yemen, the local custom was to take fresh butter and to add thereto hot water while the milk or whey was still mixed with the butter. Morocco doesn't have much of a dairy tradition, but there's one exception that dates back centuries: It's called smen, and it's a stinky, fermented butter made from sheep, goat or cow milk. Required fields are marked *. Smen (semneh, beurre ranci) is a traditional butter-based cooking oil made from sheep and goat milk.Preserved butter, with its deep, pungent aroma and distinctive flavor, enhances many of Morocco's savory dishes, especially couscous. Clarified butter has had most of the water removed and so has a much longer shelf life than fresh butter. Majoun is a traditional Moroccan treat made from dried fruit, nuts, spices, and cannabis-infused butter. The treat is traditionally used to bring love, laughter, and joy, ease pain, and cement … Moroccans doesn't have much of a dairy tradition, but there's one exception that dates back centuries: It's called smen, and it's a stinky fermented butter made from sheep, goat or cow milk. In Yemen, Yemenis prepare a special version of semneh (سمنة) which is smoked with aromatic herbs inside of a gourd in order to impart deeper flavour and aid in preservation. You’ll find all sorts of preserved butter here, and so much better than the mass produced ones you find in large shops. In constant warm weather, closer to the temperature where butter becomes liquid, smen matures very slowly. Thanks. Eggless Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake (perfect for Easter), Gushtaba (Kashmiri Meatballs in Yoghurt Gravy), Thai Style Grilled Oysters (plus How to Shuck Oysters Video), Marmalade Roast Duck with Sichuan Peppercorns (perfect Chinese New Year Recipe), South Asian Recipes (India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka). And with proper care, smen can sit for a very, very long time. “Smen is a fermented butter made from goat, sheep or cow’s milk,” explains Coleman. Butter, here ’ s all mixed in by bringing to room temperature to... Heavily salted, fermented butter that has n't fermented at all is,! And other parts of North Africa, is a tradition that dates back centuries smen can sit a! 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