Creamy, vinegary, sweat or sour flavor can be fined in different types of yogurt. Impressively yogurt as one of the most oldest ingredients that were used in the 3rd millennium B.C., Turkey considered one of the most popular countries that produces high quality of yogurt with a historical prevalence in the Western world but a fast-growing foothold in emerging markets.
Today, yogurt consumed worldwide of its popularity where you can find different varieties, flavors and textures from it. It has known with different manufacturing techniques and different packaging styles. But what can we find left to explore about yogurt?
Well, to do that we should take a look for the past and see the wonderful creation of yogurt and how it came out to form what it is write now.
Back to the 1st century where some of the oldest writings about yogurt is mentioned back then are those of Pliny the Elder, wrote about ancient barbarous nations that knew how to thicken the milk into a substance with an agreeable acidity. Anatolian goatherds to conserve their milk used the thickening method before Pliny’s time: they would dry it in the sun and transport it in sheep or goatskin bags. It believed this spontaneously happen when the milk contact with the bacteria contained in the skin. The result was called yogurt a Turkish word that means “ to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken.” Over history records showed that Yogurt was born in Anatolia, but there are also records of it in India and Iran around 500 B.C. Yogurt was introduced to into the Western World around 1542 exactly in France, under the reign of King François first. He was suffering from severe diarrhea and doctors couldn’t offer any cure. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire sent a doctor who cured the king with yogurt: the news of the benefits of this unknown food started to spread in France and Europe. But it was actually the 20th century, which brings that yogurt into our daily diets. After the huge spread of yogurt in the Western World, a Bulgarian medical student, identified the bacteria present in his country’s yoghurt: Lactobacillus. In Paris, at the institute Pasteur, Russian Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff used his work to establish that Lactobacillus was responsible for the longevity of Bulgarian peasants and thus actively popularized yogurt in Western Europe.
Today, we make yogurt by pasteurizing milk, enriching it with powder milk to boost its protein and calcium content, then heating it to 43C and adding two types of Bacteria: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. The varieties of packaging and flavors were introduced in 20th century. Even though innovation never stops and hundreds of new products appear every year, yogurt become an essential for most of us. It is savory and a part of cooked dishes in the countries of the Persian Gulf, in Turkey and in Greece. This means that there is still some areas that yogurt didn’t reach it. And then, there are innovations that are less “spectacular” but absolutely it is a fact that one of the first missions of yogurt is providing better health.
Photo Credits: Jessica Spengler