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deKefir

Posted by Robyn Urback / Reviewed on June 16, 2011 / review policy

dekefir TorontodeKefir is a little shop on the PATH offering fresh, locally made kefir. If you're wondering what that is--don't worry, I was too. In fact, having never tasted kefir and knowing little about it other than as some sort of "fermented dairy product" (mmm... doesn't that sound lovely?!), I was a little wary about what I would be trying out.

But as soon as I stopped by, Teresa Chang, one of deKefir's owners, quickly filled me in on what, exactly, I would be eating. "It's similar to yogurt," she tells me, as she prepares a sample for me to taste. "The same sort of consistency. And it has natural probiotics."

dekefir TorontoKefir can be made with any type of milk, including rice and soy (although the kefir at deKefir is made with dairy milk). Kefir is a living culture that forms grains called the "kefir grain." Kefir grains are added to the liquid one wants to ferment--in this case, cow's milk. It is quite popular in countries such as Russia and Norway, but can actually be found most everywhere.

"I think Costco has it," Teresa says. "My mom actually use to make it at home. I hated it then."

dekefir TorontoBut the kefir at deKefir is nothing like she had as a child, that's why Teresa and her friend Valerie Choy decided to open their shop here on the concourse level of the Bay Adelaide Centre last September.

"It was something a little different," Teresa says. "We tested the product from so many manufactures, and found one locally that makes it without any additives."

dekefir TorontoYou can get your kefir at deKefir in one of several ways ways; as a smoothie or parfait ($4.40 and up), as a waffle ($3.30 and up), or as frozen soft serve ($3.30 and up). There are lots of toppings to choose from, including seasonal fruit cut fresh daily, homemade granola, almonds toasted onsite, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, Smarties, and more. The waffles are a take off of traditional buttermilk waffles, but here the buttermilk is replaced with kefir, and the frozen soft serve is prepared onsite and lightly sweetened with cane sugar.

dekefir TorontoI went with the soft serve--bracing myself for a new taste sensation--but found it tasted just like frozen yogurt. Don't get me wrong, it was certainly delicious, but I don't think I'd be able to tell it from a typical cup of fro-yo. It was perhaps a little stronger in terms of a yogurty taste (minus aftertaste), but the consistency was almost identical. But maybe that's just my untrained palate.

"We've really picked up a lot since we opened," Teresa says. "People who work upstairs call us to tell us to put a waffle on the iron, since they're coming down." And as if on cure, the phone rings, but unfortunately for the caller, deKefir ran out of batter today. Obviously, this isn't your mother's kefir.

dekefir TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

11 Comments

Alina / June 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm
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Mmmm, Kefir! Very cute, worth checking out!
JQ / June 17, 2011 at 12:26 am
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it's not "fro-yo" if it's kefir, and it certainly can't be fro-yo made with kefir. i'm pretty sure that while they may be related, they're two distinctly different food things.
Yo Yo Yo! / June 17, 2011 at 10:43 am
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Stop calling it FroYo, yo!
Michael / June 17, 2011 at 02:49 pm
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If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Lydia / June 18, 2011 at 02:58 pm
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I went into to deKefir for some very yummy kefir and really enjoyed it. There were many fresh fruit options to choose from and if you wanted to be bad there was chocolate too... yum! The owners were very friendly and I can really tell they care about their customers and have a passion for kefir. Defiantly check it out!
buy autocad lt / July 6, 2011 at 06:37 pm
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There is a lot of great info on this blog.
erica b / July 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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this place sucks, fermented frozen milk yogurt, BARFFFFFFFFF, DO NOT RECOMMEND IT unless you like sour tasting milk, stick to frozen yogurt not kefir, barfffffffff.......and plus, frozen yogurt is bad for your health, its not healthy like advertised, yes maybe healthy compared to ice cream, but its all bad for you, its sugar and milk, badddddddd or sweeetened with other sweeteners, like aspartame which are all bad and form formaldahyde in your body
toMMy / July 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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I agree, frozen dekefir would not recommend them either. Sounds like another frozen yogurt marketing gimmick thats trying to promote healthy eating but isnt healthy whatsoever, stay away, unless you want to get fat and eat sour tasting yogurt, i dont know how people like this stuff
toMMy / July 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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I FEEL SICK AFTER EATING DEKEFIR FROZEN YOGURT
paulo / July 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm
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clearly a case of someone not understanding what kefir is.

No, this is not frozen yogurt, nor is it fermented frozen milk yogurt. It is a kefir product. While frozen yogurt has been criticized for being full of sweeteners and fat, a casual bit of research will readily show that kefir is full of health benefits. Talking to the owners, one will find that the frozen kefir has been sweetened slightly with sugar cane, another healthy alternative to regular sugars and other sweeteners.

However, I find it hard to take the above comments by erica b and toMMy seriously - if you hate fermented milk products, but recommend to stick with frozen yogurt, which is a yogurt derivative, and yogurt is made from bacterial fermentation of...milk...my mind's just blew a fuse trying to figure that out...

G / August 21, 2013 at 05:35 pm
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I really enjoy deKefir! The product is way healthier then traditional froyo with just added cultured and cane. All the toppings are hand chopped or baked in house and the shop owners are environmentally friendly to boot! I have visited at least 3 times and if they were closer to the West End I would visit once a week! deKefir is 100% Worth checking out!

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