No one knows exactly which country is the birthplace of Kaimaghi. Who first thought of making this amazing milk cream dish. The fact stands that in all of the countries where Kaimaghi is made, the name of the dish has almost the same root. Some believe that the word "Kaimaghi" is of Turkish origin and may have come from the verb "Kaimaghi", which describes the melting and casting of metal. Kaimaghi was first mentioned in the book of the famous scientist and lexicographer Mahmud al-Kashghar in the 11th century. Later, the word spread into other languages, for instance Mongolian kaylgmak, Azerbaijani Kaimaghi (sounds like qaymak), Uzbek Kaimaghi (sounds like khaymak) and others.
In Iraq, this dish is called Gaymar or Qaymar. The name pobably comes from the ancient Sumerian word "gamur" or ga'ar, meaning cheese. Typical Iraqi Gaimar is made from the rich, fatty milk of water buffalo, produced in farms in the swamps of southern Iraq. And farmers engaged in Gaimar production are called Abani or Madani. Iraqis love to have Gaimar for breakfast and usually eat it with honey, jam and traditional bread.
The Ajara region borders Turkey, so it seems that the dish entered to Georgia from Turkey. Kaimaghi is mainly prepared in the highlands of Ajara: Kedi, Shuakhevi and Khulo municipalities, where cattle breeding is well developed. Kaimaghi is considered one of the most popular foods in Guria, Bakhmaro and Gomismta. In Georgia, both the distributor and the seller of kaimaghi have a distinctive name of "Dosti".
As a rule, kaimaghi is prepared in late spring and summer. At this time, the cattle are fed with fresh grass so the milk is fatter. Milk cream is the only ingredient used to make Kaimaghi. Although mainly made from cow milk in the highlands of Ajara, it can also be made from buffalo, sheep or goat milk.
In the past, in Ajara, fresh milk was put in a special milk keeping gob. The milk inside the gob made a tasty, slightly yellowish, creamy layer in two to three days. The cream, distilled and collected separately, made kaimaghi.
Nowadays, to make kaimaghi, women going to summer pastures pour milk inside a liquid separator, a device for separating cream from milk. The product made this way has the consistency of sour cream and taste a bit sour too.
The traditional method of making kaimaghi is as follows: milk is boiled slowly and kept at a very low temperature for two hours. After turning off the heat, the cream-like mass was mixed well and left in a clean place for several hours or sometimes over a day.
Kaimaghi should be eaten immediately after its prepared. This is because after 2 or 3 days it hardens and turns into a butter stick. In Ajara, butter made in this way is salted and stored for the winter to prepare delicious dishes, like Borano. They also mix it with cheese or potatoes and fry together. Or you can mix it with wheat or corn flour to bake delicious bread.
Kaimaghi is very nutritious and contains a high percentage of milk fat, around 60%. This is why it’s not recommended for small children and babies.
Fatty and rather exotic kaymaghi is mainly eaten for breakfast. It goes well with fruit puree or jams, as well as pancakes with honey. Kaymaghi is also paired with black "Turkish" coffee, giving the drink an amazing aroma.