Kakuti Cheese is a seasonal dairy product which has been traditionally tied to the affulent families of Afghan rural communities. This cheese consists of cheese, fresh mint or kakuti plant (Ziziphora tenuior L.).
This product has a direct relation to the traditional local food culture of the indigenous people in Herat and Badghis provinces where people in rural areas still produce kakuti cheese in the springtime. This and other traditional cheeses are artisanally processed from sheep and goat milk during the spring, which is the best time for milking.
According to tribal or nomadic traditions and culture in the country, milking a herd is the responsibility of women among the family, women are forced to milking the entire herd once or twice a day. In addition to milking, it is the duty of women to produce the extra products such as cheese and qaroot.
Due to the remoteness of residential areas and cities, nomads cannot sell the fresh milk obtained from their herds into market even it is impossible to keep it fresh, so the best way to maintain and protect the products of milk is to process into cheese, butter and qaroot (dry yogurt) which has high impact in economic situation of the nomads. This method of preservation is from hundreds years before and transferred generation by generation. The most important thing is that the Kakuti cheese producers are still using plants like shir Alaf (a wild plant growing in the mountains), fermented milk, sheep or goat dry abomasum, vinegar and lemon as cheese starters.
This food is used as a breakfast by the local community. Traditionally in rural areas, people mix cheese with honey or shira-e- hendawana (watermelon molasse) and warm bread, and eat it for breakfast.
This cheese, produced only for home consumption, is prepared fresh and consumed only 15-20 days after production.