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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. In the old days milk was baked in a Russian oven and fermented with sour cream.[2]

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.[3]

Health benefits[edit]

Varenets prepared in the traditional way is considered beneficial to health as it contains probiotic microbes. The probiotic nature of varenets is purported to be beneficial to the gut and improve immunity when taken regularly.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Goldstein, Darra (1999). A taste of Russia : a cookbook of Russian hospitality (2nd ed.). Montpelier, VT: Russian Life Books. ISBN 9781880100424.
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ "ГОСТ Р 53508-2009. Варенец. Технические условия (International State Standard GOST R 53508-2009. Varenets, Specifications)" (in Russian). Interstate Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification. 2014.