Amasi (so called in Zulu and Xhosa, and “maas” in Afrikaans) is the common word for fermented milk that tastes like cottage cheese or plain yoghurt. It is very popular in South Africa.
Amasi is traditionally prepared by storing unpasteurised cow’s milk in a calabash container (igula in isiZulu) or hide sack to allow it to ferment. The fermenting milk develops a watery substance called umlaza; the remainder is amasi. This thick liquid is mostly poured over the mealie meal (maize flour) porridge called pap, or drunk straight. It is traditionally served in a clay pot (ukhamba in isiZulu) and eaten with wooden spoons.
Amasi is also produced commercially using Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis and L. lactis subsp cremoris and is pasteurised before distribution and consumption, with a shelf life of 21 days at 4°C.