I'm ashamed we Bulgarians haven't done better marketing of it as it is really good and superior than Greek. Everyone knows about Greek yogurt but nobody knows about Bulgarian * . I love Greek yogurt too, but the reason it's so thick is that it is strained.
Bulgarian yogurt derives its thickness and structure from the fermentation process, and good yogurt should not fall off if you
turn the jar upside down.
* - at least in USA, in east Asia (Japan, Thailand in my experience) the most popular brand of yogurt is named "Bulgaria" and is in every 7/11 or supermarket.
EDIT: format of the asteriks
And then another yogurt company decided to market a new brand of yogurt... by naming it... (drum roll please...) "Bulgaria"!
Of course the first company sued the second company. And then the Bulgarian embassy weighed in, supporting the second company, because it turned out that the first company was using yogurt-making germs imported from Germany!
And then the court decided for the first company, essentially declaring that the nation of Bulgaria, sadly, does not own the name "Bulgaria" (or "Bulgaris", or Bulga-whatever) in Korean trademark system. (But don't quote me on that. IANAL.) The whole affair was very entertaining.
I'm not sure about ethnic Bulgarians but ethnic Turks in Bulgaria consume yoğurt every day. There is always yoğurt in their kitchen.
After having a Bulgarian boss and a Bulgarian girlfriend, I must say Koreans are up to something.
To avoid misunderstandings: they weren't related but they both were extremely self-disciplined, stubborn and healthy.
In Turkey, yoghurt is consumed in enormous quantities. Here is an ad and this is a typical size yoghurt sold in the shops(anywhere from 1.5Kg to 3Kg): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anlWAx9-3Kg
Variety is huge, from traditional to premium fatty yoghurt, there's something for everyone. For example, this one ise considered to be one of the best mass produced varieties(That's a fatty crust that forms naturally over the yoghurt): http://galeri2.uludagsozluk.com/207/tikveşli-altın-kaymaklı-...
Ayran(add water and salt to the yoghurt, stir thoroughly) is considered the national beverage. Again, consumed in enormous quantities, much more popular than Coca-Cola.
Living abroad can be a challenge for Turks and Bulgarians because the yoghurt sold abroad hardly matches the stuff back home.
I have pretty much resigned and I'm buying Yoplait 2%. It's ok. But the real crazy thing is that if you buy Yoplait fruit yoghurt in France, it tastes so much better than their American version. Same company, but they have also resigned to creating something that fits the American palate and are selling that instead of the real deal. :-(
It's surprisingly easy. I have ulcerative colitis and a friend recommended diy yogurt. It's not a silver bullet but it helps.
Im making some now with whole milk, and starter cultures I got from yogurmet,and an anova sous vide circulator.
Get milk to 180
Drop to 115
Keep at 115 for 24 hrs
Put in fridge
First time I tried it I think I finished a half gallon in 2 days.
Btw, that "Greek yoghurt" is, 90% of the time, Total by Fage (Total is the name of the product, Fage the brand), including the ones that come together with a pot of jam on the side, as immortalised by Silicon Valley's Erlich Bachman:
Unless it's Greek style yoghurt which is invariably exactly as wrong as it sounds.
These were interesting:
http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2014/03/24/greek-yogurt-pr... - how the marketing of Greek yogurt started by Chobani, and legal battle with Fage
https://www.olivetomato.com/will-the-real-greek-yogurt-pleas.... - about straining removing the whey from the milk
With honey, it’s the best thing in the world. Actually it’s still there according to the site, and according to the site it is strained.
Article talking about straining:
"1625 S. Purchas Pilgrimes II. ix. xv. §9. 1601 Neither doe they [sc. the Turks] eate much Milke, except it bee made sower, which they call Yoghurd."
(See also) I suppose it's possible that Bulgaria got yogurt during Ottoman rule in the 14th century, and that the research in the early part of the 20th just happened to be there. But it seems more likely to me that any group that kept animals for milk would have fermented the milk to make it last longer, and that knowledge would have traveled all over Eurasia.
Indeed it was used in all formal Byzantine empire -- later "Ottoman".
But it was known far beyond that: "The cuisine of ancient Greece included a dairy product known as oxygala (οξύγαλα) which is believed to have been a form of yogurt" (Wikipedia), and even further to pre-history (5000 BC)
Modern Greek has seen a great deal of lexical replacement. It uses new words for things like "bread" and "water" that are different from what were used in the Classical era, even though bread and water have never changed. There are even cases where Ottoman vocabulary has replaced native Greek words. It is not inconceivable that the word for oxygala changed but the dairy product didn’t.
>If yoğurt was oxygala Greeks would continue to call it oxygala.
That's not how language always works. Greeks have adopted foreign works for things they themselves had in the past (with their own words), and also use ancient Greek words for things that were imported much more recently. Even something as basic as water has changed name from ancient Greek times.
Words have complex itineraries and adoption cases. Sometimes a newer foreign word is adopted because that's when a product gained more popularity (and the older one has been forgotten), or merely because it's thought as "more modern" to refer to it by that name.
There are is even "reborrowing", when an ancient words is re-imported, centuries or millennia later, after it has been adopted and slightly altered abroad.
As other people have mentioned in the thread White Mountain yoghurt is the real deal (I have no connection to the company). Real Bulgarian yoghurt proudly made in Austin, Texas :)
Joking aside, their yoghurt is superb. I don't recall yoghurt like theirs even in Bulgaria. Unfortunately you can't order directly from them but you can find if it's available in a store near you from their website http://www.whitemountainfoods.com
Most of the things mentioned (like traditional clay pots and the fermentation processes) are fairly common across the Balkans. Bulgaria certainly have their own local and interesting flavors but they didn't bring yoghurt to the world.
Personally, I started making my own yogurt after getting an InstantPot and a packet of Bulgarian starter culture. It's very easy, tastes great and is cheaper than even the cheapest yogurt you can buy at the store. You can also control if it comes out fresh/sweet and the degree of sourness.
Another thing I've experimented with is making yogurt cheese. Regular fermentation requires 6-8hrs at 40C (depending on how sour you want it), but I started fermenting for 60hrs. At that stage, it's so sour, it's not edible, but once it's strained most of the acidity is gone and you're left with incredibly thick, flavourful yogurt. I use it instead of sour cream, for tzatziki, with jam, etc.
I guess we can make it at home if need be.
That remark will date. I don't think Iceland is famous for yoghourt, but it's somewhat trendy in the UK at the moment:
I had some of the Arla kind, fat-free and with a layer of apple compote. It was sort of halfway between quark and yoghourt. It wasn't terribly pleasant - it has that grim chalkiness that fat-free Greek yoghourt has, only more solid. I can't see it becoming a permanent fixture in the dairy section.
I am not a specialist, but the products that we in English call ‘yoghurt’, ‘soured milk’, ‘buttermilk’, ‘kefir’ are somewhat related and as far as I can understand from my cursory research now, the former two fall under the formerly shown term in Bulgarian, while the latter two are often referred to as „мътен“ (măten), „мътеница“/„матеница“ (mătenitsa/matenitsa), „бутаница“ (butanitsa) and a few other regional names. Kefir is also often just called that way if it was imported, e.g. from Russia or somewhere in the Caucausus–as is usually done with other things (sometimes also with foreign-origin yoghurt). ‘strained yogurt’ is „цедено кисело мляко“ (lit. the same), and there are also other milk products some of which I am not entirely sure how to explain since I don't know how exactly they are made, e.g. „катък“ (katăk–something like a milk-based spread; essentially the same name as ‘qatiq’ in many Turkic-speaking regions, but AFAIK the same name can refer to relatively/quite different things from place to place), „таратор“ (‘tarator’–a cold soup, similar to ‘ayran’ with some specific added ingredients to it), „сух таратор“ (lit. ‘dry tarator’, similar to Gr. tzatziki and Tur. cacık) and a number of others which people who are better aware of the Bulgarian culinary traditions would've probably mentioned here.
Following is my completely wild guess, but unfortunately I wasn't able to find reliable sources to either prove or disprove it, so take from it whatever you want. Will be glad if somebody could chip in with more knowledge.
The Bulgarian term for yoghurt (as already said also not unknown in other South Slavic languages, but the single most–and virtually universally–used term in our language) seems closely related to the old Greek type of yoghurt «οξύγαλα», which literally means the same (‘sour milk’). It was not uncommon for Bulgarians to translate terms from Greek during Medieval times, but they just took the Turkish word for all new things that came during Ottoman times, with the most prominent examples that remain nowadays all being foods (e.g. various plants or cooked dishes). Romanian features similar ways to refer to yogurt (although ‘iaurt’ seems more common nowadays), but I don't know how many of them are just calques, regional variants, or what the origin of each is in particular. What is more, Albanian also has its own–although seemingly unrelated–words for yogurt, buttermilk and various other milk products. This leads me to think that ‘yoghurt’ was one of the things that was known on the Balkans long before the Ottoman conquest and the Slavic speakers back then knew it–or something essentially similar–quite well (in stark contrast to another beloved milk product made out of yogurt: „айран“, the name of which comes directly from the Turkish ‘ayran’).
P.S. As of now the Wikipedia article on the bacteria mentioned in the article says the following: “Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus can be found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals living in Bulgaria, but one specific strain, Lactobacillus bulgaricus GLB44, is extracted from the leaves of the Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop flower) in Bulgaria as well. The bacterium is also grown artificially in many other countries.” It is yet to be given a proper citation, but this is the anecdotal information I have heard on numerous occasions circulated in Bulgaria as the source for the naming as opposed to the country of origin of the person who discovered it. I don't know which version–if any–is correct, though.
P.P.S. There are also other milk products in Bulgaria with traditional names:
 Official writing nowadays is „кисело мляко“, but I have left the former spelling on purpose because this is etymologically more informative and makes a more visible connection to all Bulgarian dialects as well as to all modern South Slavic languages (also the ones from the western branch), where ‘kiselo mlijeko’ is also not unknown.
Sour milk that you find in stores is usually a drinkable yoghurt that has more acidity than regular yoghurt. A good product would be a thick yoghurt drink with the consistence of a thick smoothie that's unevenly mixed and has a more acidic taste (much like ayran or kefir). Not to be confused with „iaurt de băut” (yoghurt drink) products which are a watered down variant of regular yoghurt with a boring, nondescript taste.
This actually reminds me that there is also „lapte bătut“ in Bulgarian („бито мляко“, meaning is the same: ‘beaten milk’), and a similar trend for „iaurt de băut” („йогурт за пиене“, again the same ‘yoghurt drink’). I think it is the more literary variant of the „мътеница“-branch above since all those names for buttermilk there are from different regions.
I've seen that we have a lot of things, esp. foods or basic day-to-day phrases, that can literally be translated word for word and mean the same in Bulgarian–or South-Slavic in general–and Romanian, and often Albanian and/or Greek (and there are good historical reasons for that), so I was kind of surprised about how I interpreted the things I hastily found above. But thanks to you everything comes into place now. :)
I love that you used the old "yat" character that is missing from modern Bulgarian (since the reforms in 1940s if I recall correctly). I see it on the coat of arms of the city of Sofia, though, and it makes me happy: Расте, но не старѣе (grows but doesn't age). Modern Bulgarian would be: Расте, но не старее.
In Bulgaria, the letter was first briefly removed in a reform between 1921 and 1923 and then removed by the new regime after the end of World War II. It was surrounded by controversy for a long time because in general there is one single way a word can be read in Standard Modern Bulgarian–save for the location of the stress–, which was not the case for this letter. In addition, prior to its official introduction after Bulgaria regained autonomy–and then independence–there were multiple ways to denote the sounds it used to stand for.
But for the sake of etymology I find it quite useful in a lot of places since it pops up in common but generally regular vowel changes across Slavic languages.
Wait, really? Was this some zany БЗНС/Стамболийски thing?
0. no official codification (before 1899; basically everybody wrote as they pleased and there were some differences between various authors); at some point there was a mostly standard way to write in Bulgarian, though, which was introduced and used by the precursor of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and various other institutions; https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/Дриновски_правопис
1. first official codification (1899–1921 and 1923–1945 with some minor changes); https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/Иванчевски_правопис
2. shortly-lived attempt to modernise it (1921–1923); https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/Омарчевски_правопис
3. last and so-far successful modernisation, since it wasn't succeeded by anything else yet (1945–nowadays). It was partly inspired from the previous attempt and partly by Lenin's reforms in Russian from 1918, and not from other Bulgarian or e.g. Serbian attempts, for whatever reason. https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/Правописна_реформа_на_българск...
This is actually used for pre-fermentation of a special kind of beer:
Isn't it that oxy- means sour? so its sour milk in greek
Yogurt is my life saver....
Bulgaria is a small country in Eastern Europe with a population of about 7M and bordering Romania, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, and the Black Sea. Formed around 681. Lots of expansion, contraction, being enslaved, etc. including 500 years under Ottoman Empire rule. These days the poorest and most unhappy member of the EU according to research - but a member nonetheless! Lots of immigrants including in the Bay Area and especially Chicago.
Couple of fun facts: When the USSR was still a thing, Bulgaria was making personal computers, basically cloning Apple and IBM architectures.
Source: Bulgarian who moved to the Bay Area ~10 years ago.
My comment in no way was denigrating Bulgaria...come one, you guys gave us yogurt and Hristo Stoichkov ;)
Headcanon: the discovery that they are edible was the accidental result of a failed suicide attempt.
I make Kefir myself with a culture that I once acquired on ebay. May try to make Bulgarian yogurt one day.
Now please bring the the thousands of bulgarian beggars distributed amongst almost all the Swedish grocery stores back home. Please.
Racial flamewars aren't ok either, including in dog-whistle format, which is how I read you at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16833066 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16834408.