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Bulgaria played a vital role in introducing yogurt to the West (bbc.com)
146 points by ohjeez 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments



Bulgarian living in USA, here are my 2c - there is Bulgarian yogurt in USA - the one nearby store is the "White mountain" brand. It is a tad more sour than other yogurt but in unpleasant way at all, or maybe I'm biased to recognize it :).

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


Oooh story time: in Korea, the most famous brand of yogurt is named "Bulgaris" and its TV ads depict gorgeous valleys with medieval monasteries, where people make yogurt the old-fashioned way, and live happily ever after. Thanks to these ads, Koreans think all Bulgarians drink yogurt every day and live up to a hundred years. Or something like that.

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.


> Koreans think all Bulgarians drink yogurt every

I'm not sure about ethnic Bulgarians but ethnic Turks in Bulgaria consume yoğurt every day. There is always yoğurt in their kitchen.


Most Bulgarians eat "кисело мляко" (sour milk) every day, some mix it with water + some salt to make "айрян", which is a drink :-) The so called "yogurt" has nothing to do with "кисело мялко". I am not saying that yogurt is bad, it's just some powder milk + emulgators + sweeteners, produced by companies like Danone, Nestle etc. We have hundreds of brands, but only a few produce the "real deal"...free market, you know :-)


Turks, coming from the East, would be known to use and consume yogurt regularly, as do so many asianic cultures, in their food for taste and to balance the lit-ass spices (technical term for hot-ass and stanky-ass).


Koreans think all Bulgarians drink yogurt every day and live up to a hundred years.

After having a Bulgarian boss and a Bulgarian girlfriend, I must say Koreans are up to something.


Your boss and your girlfriend were 100 years old?


They looked like the kind of persons that can have the same drink everyday for a century :)

To avoid misunderstandings: they weren't related but they both were extremely self-disciplined, stubborn and healthy.


I love Bulgarian Yoghurt but the lack of variety of the mass-produced yoghurt is unfortunate.

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.


It's a little sad how hard it is to find yoghurt in the US that has more than trace fat content. Almost everything in the grocery store is fat-free, or 2% fat. In my area, the only acceptable Greek yoghurt is the unflavored Cabot, at something like 10% fat - they don't have to add flavorings and extra sugar to make up for the lack of fat content.


It's super sad. It's the fat that makes it yoghurt, but since Americans in general don't have yoghurt culture (pun intended), they don't know the difference between real yoghurt and milk with gelatin.

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. :-(


Have you ever thought about making your own?

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 Add culture Keep at 115 for 24 hrs Put in fridge

First time I tried it I think I finished a half gallon in 2 days.


And the sad thing is that many people still think that the "fat free" stuff with heaps of sugar is somehow healthier....


I was in the same boat so I started buying quarts of cream. Put yogurt into a bowl, add some cream and mix with a spoon, add berries or a dash of cinnamon or whatever for color and you're set!


Check out Trader Joe's European Style Yogurt. It's my favorite yogurt ever.


Greek here. Greek yoghurt is not strained. The "Greek yoghurt" sold outside Greece, is. In Greece unstrained yoghurt from sheep or cow milk is sold in supermarkets (and everywhere else) alongside the strained cow milk yoghurt people outside Greece are familiar with and know as the only "Greek yoghurt". To Greeks, that "Greek yoghurt" is "bag yoghurt" (because it's strained inside a cheesecloth bag).

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR_taax1TUc

Unless it's Greek style yoghurt which is invariably exactly as wrong as it sounds.


Very interesting, do you know where I can learn more truthful about the OG Greek yogurt. Does it have similar thick texture? I'm only finding vaguely trustworthy results and stories in google.

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


It’s very thick, and the best of it is a mix of cow and sheep/goat milk. When I lived and worked in Cambridge, MA in the US I used to go to a local shop with the finest yogurt I’ve had outside of Greece (I miss it!). A shop called Sophia’s, run by you guessed it, Sophia, and they made their own yogurt. It’s thick, as in you can hardly shake it off a spoon thick, and very tangy. Compared to something like Fage, it’s less of a “gel” and more thick, and Fage tastes bland by comparison.

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.

http://www.sophiasgreekpantry.com

Article talking about straining:

http://www.ediblenetwork.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/8/files/im...


... perhaps it should be called macedonian yogurt and this would appeal to greeks and bulgarians alike...


It'd be more safe to generalize it as Balkan.


White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt is superb. I ran into it coincidentally a few years ago while looking for yogurt and bought it because it is an Austin company. I have been a fan since even though it is typically priced approximately 2x compared to other brands (the glass jar probably adds to costs.) Edit: While it's true that it is more sour than other brands, once one expects such full-bodied flavor from a yogurt, all other taste bland and pointless.


Second Bulgarian Seal of Approval for White Mountain. It's available in Whole Foods, at least in California. There is also a NJ company that that sells a Bulgarian yogurt on the east coast.


Some Whole Foods also sell this brand in a gallon variant, for the fanatic.


I'm not remotely Bulgarian, but White Mountain is absolutely my favorite yogurt. When I lived where I could obtain it, I would regularly eat my way through one of the really big jars of it. I think it was most of a gallon? Good with everything, tangy, delicious. By contrast, the Greek yogurt craze resulted in a lot of sour, oddly gummy, weirdly pasty products. White Mountain is a whole other food.


Yaourt bulgare ( http://www.biodistrifrais.com/yaourt-bulgare-nature-2x125g-p... ) are also common in France !


I thought that yogurt is widely used in all formal Ottoman lands. And it is called yoğurt because milk becomes sticky (yoğun), thus yoğurt in Turkish.


It's interesting that the first recorded uses in English (according to the OED) mention it as a Turkish foodstuff:

"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[1]) 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.

1: https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/...


There may have been no real disambiguation by the original author from "Turks" as an epithet for Ottoman citizens and specifically ethnic Turks as well.


It seems pretty strange to give credit to the modern state that is now called "Bulgaria". Yogurt is also an important aspect of Indian cuisine, and it seems much more likely that Bulgarian and Indian yogurt share a common ancestor rather than the Bulgarians being first.


The article notes that yogurt has some requirements on temperature and that it probably arose every place humans harvested dairy and had the requisite ambient temperature to accidentally discover it but a Bulgarian was the first the uncover the bacteria responsible - the predominance of dairy currently is a result of industrial scale production and not a reflection of the bespoke whatever dairy was available yogurt that originated in Bulgaria.


The bacteria, it is called lactobacillus bulgaricus.


>I thought that yogurt is widely used in all formal Ottoman lands

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)


"believed"?. Yoğurt is a different bacteria. There are many bacterias similar to yoğurt. One such bacteria is kefir from Caucasus Mountains. Yoğurt is from around Central Asia. If yoğurt was oxygala Greeks would continue to call it oxygala.


> If yoğurt was oxygala Greeks would continue to call it oxygala.

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.


In Crete there is a dairy product called Xygalo (Ξύγαλο), basically the same word. But I think it look more like cream cheese than yogurt.


>"believed"?. Yoğurt is a different bacteria.

Citation needed.

>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.


weird to say "formal Ottoman lands", the Ottomans were only a thing starting in the 1300s. But technically correct, as some cursory searches suggest that the consensus on yogurt's origins is 5000-6000 BC, around Central Asia/Mesopotamia


They had little to no influence on yoghurt tho :P


Bulgarian living in USA here.

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


The title is a bit misleading. It tells an interesting story about yogurt and Bulgaria, but yogurt has been around for literally thousands of years and it existed long before Bulgaria came to be even as a concept.

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.


Alright, we replaced the title above with a more narrowly scoped sentence from the article.


For Canadians, I've found that Pinehedge Farms (http://pinehedge.com/) make the closest yogurt I've found to Bulgarian yogurt. It's pricy and hard to find, but its thick, tastes right and even has that fatty layer on top that's a mark of using non-homogenized milk. First timers might be put off by it, but think of it as free clotted cream or light butter and use it!

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.


Do you mind telling me which yogurt culture you use and where you got it from? Thanks.


Thank you Bulgaria. Hopefully the real thing without thickeners will always be available. A lot of crap is being sold as yogurt by the usual multinational culprits.

I guess we can make it at home if need be.


> or even Icelandic yoghurt

That remark will date. I don't think Iceland is famous for yoghourt, but it's somewhat trendy in the UK at the moment:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyr

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'm a huge fan of siggi's plain whole-milk skyr. creamier than similar greek yogurts I've tried.


It's the whole milk that makes siggi's creamier. There is no rennet, and certainly no stabilizers, sugar substitutes etc.. just very good yogurt.


Great product. It is the milk fat that makes it creepier. There is no rennet, stabilizers, sugar substitutes etc., just simple whole milk yogurt.


"creamier" means almost always that this product has nothing to do with fermentation and work of microbial cultures, but was made thick by adding milk powder, gelatin and sugar substitutes. The opposite of healthy, not to mention the sh*ty taste.


Traditional skyr is made with rennet while plain yogurt is not. The rennet helps breakdown casein and form a thicker yogurt.


Skyr is a cheese made with rennet in addition to yogurt cultures.


well none of those are on the ingredients list, idk what to tell you. i think the 4% milkfat has something to do with the creaminess.


A piece of information which I missed in the article: ‘yoghurt’ was an almost completely unknown word in Bulgaria until as soon as 2-3 decades ago. We call the substance „кисело млѣко“ (kiselo mlěko)[1] which literally means ‘sour milk’. Nowadays there are some products that are commercially available and are denoted as ‘yoghurt’ (Bulg. „йогурт“), but the word still seems somewhat unnatural for most Bulgarians and may not be completely understood by some people (e.g. older, from the countryside, etc).

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[2] 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:

---

[1] 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.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactobacillus_delbrueckii_subs...


The Romanian equivalent for „кисело мляко“ is „lapte bătut” (buttermilk, this the name found on products in stores) or „lapte acru” (sour milk, regional, less commonly used) or „lapte prins” (bound milk, regional, even less commonly used; refers to sour milk becoming thicker than regular milk). The latter names are what your Romanian grandmother would call it, depending on the region. There is also „lapte covăsit” which is even less commonly used. It's derrived from the Ukrainian „квacити” which refers to the process of mixing a bit of „covăseală” (starter culture in the form of sour cream or sour milk) in regular milk in order to make sour milk. This name has been lately promoted by a dairy company in Covasna county because it sounds like its name.

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.


Thanks for the thorough explanation! I can't edit my answer above anymore, but I upvoted you.

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. :)


> кисело млѣко

I love that you used the old "yat" character that is missing from modern Bulgarian (since the reforms in 1940s if I recall correctly[0]). I see it on the coat of arms of the city of Sofia[1], though, and it makes me happy: Расте, но не старѣе (grows but doesn't age). Modern Bulgarian would be: Расте, но не старее.

[0] https://poznavame-li-sofia.blogspot.bg/p/blog-page.html

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Sofia


Countless Bothans have fought and died over literal centuries to free Cyrillic from this godawful and pointless letter. You should both be ashamed of yourselves!


Yes, I plead guilty and am utterly ashamed of myself. My usage above was totally misleading when we consider the way people write nowadays. :)

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.


in a reform between 1921 and 1923

Wait, really? Was this some zany БЗНС/Стамболийски thing?


Yes, it was a БЗНС thing at first. There were three major reforms in the way Modern Standard Bulgarian is written:

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...


Lactobacillus_delbrueckii?

This is actually used for pre-fermentation of a special kind of beer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_Weisse

http://www.southernfriedfermenters.com/2015/10/30/tips-and-t...


> closely related to the old Greek type of yoghurt «οξύγαλα», which literally means the same (‘oxidised milk’).

Isn't it that oxy- means sour? so its sour milk in greek


Yes, thanks. I edited my text above and removed all references to ‘oxidised’; also for Bulgarian since the words are related, but not the same: „кисел“ / «όξινο» (sour/acidic) vs „окислен“ / «οξειδωμένος» (oxidised). I don't know why I left them in the first place as they were quite confusing in that context.


Thanks, Bulgaria!


If you are in Germany (guessing by the nickname), there is very good and inexpensive yoghurt based on live Lact. Bulg. I buy about 10 tubs every week. It's not that sour like in Bulgaria, but very tasty anyway.

http://www.hansano.de/unsere-produkte/produkt/joghurt/bulgar...


Thanks for the tip. Although I grew up in Germany I've been living in the US for many years. When I first moved here in the 90s there wasn't much selection but since then yoghurt has become a massive food trend. We have everything from mass-produced to artisan specialty products. My fave is Fage greek right now, some of the smaller brands have real issues with quality control.


I don't know how it is in the US, but in Germany very few labels on the tub declare if there are any live cultures in the yogurt, and no one with the amount of that bacteria (like in BG). So one needs to develop a special taste to find out, if the yogurt was made thick by the work of bacteria or just by adding milk powder, gelatin etc.


gelatin may not be added to plain yoghurt in Germany iirc. It may be a declared ingredient of fruit-yoghurt mixtures though.


I think for a food to qualify as a yoghurt in the EU, there has to be a live culture in there. I am sure it's like that in my country. The norm says how many millions of live bacteria per ml have to be there.


Labeling laws are pretty strict here so you know if thickeners are used but most brands also print "live cultures" on the cup.


How to get the attention of every Bulgarian in SV: The Thread


Whoever you (they?) are I hope you RIP.

Yogurt is my life saver....


Hopefully I am not misunderstanding your comment, but for the record:

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.


Well, I meant the person or persons who discovered yogurt, may they rest in peace.

My comment in no way was denigrating Bulgaria...come one, you guys gave us yogurt and Hristo Stoichkov ;)


time to go back my friend, Dido it's time to disrupt EE :)


Oh, I am back all the time :)


It’s so awesome. Want a savory snack? Yogurt. Dessert? Yogurt. Marinade for meat? Yogurt! Liven up a dip or spread? Yogurt. Make white chocolate pretzels better? Yogurt of course. Problems with your tummmy? Yogurt. Want a mouse to have bigger clackers and glossier fur? Not sure why you’re into that, but you guessed it right, it’s yogurt!

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/real-males-eat-yo...


Personally I enjoy yogurt that is more drinkable. Anyone here try Beijing yogurt before? Wondering what kind of products are similar here in the US. I've seen some comparisons to kefir but I haven't yet gotten to try it.


You can actually prepare soured milk yourself, from untreated fresh milk (or possibly even from pasteurised, but not from UHT or UV treated).


I brew kefir for well over 10 years. Healthier than yougurt.


Any evidence to support this?


There is evidence to support kefir's benefits[1], but that doesn't prove it's healthier than yogurt. The primary difference between the two by my standards is that kefir cultures are both bacteria and yeasts, and yogurt cultures are typically only bacteria. There are certainly some yeasts that have been shown to be good for the digestive tract[2], but there are certainly others that are not[3].

1: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-kefi...

2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharomyces_boulardii

3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidiasis


Lactobacillus bulgaris factor


Where would we be without those ancient humans that decided to drink the juice of rotten fruits or eat chunky spoiled milk?


Onions! Hey, this thing will make your eyes water at 10 paces. Let's eat it.

Headcanon: the discovery that they are edible was the accidental result of a failed suicide attempt.


Hunger will do that.


Lets not forget ice cream - snow mixed with wine


Should anyone be interested in making yogurt with Bulgarian cultures, they are available on ebay:

US: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bulgarian-Starter-Kultur-fur-Tradit...

EU: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Bulgarische-Joghurt-Starterkultur-na...

I make Kefir myself with a culture that I once acquired on ebay. May try to make Bulgarian yogurt one day.


I thought it was invented in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC. But, there is always an alternate story invented by some idiot.


There are hundreds of strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria, that are used to make "sour milk" (or yogurt). I don't really care who invented what and when, I just enjoy the great variety of natural products, and I really hate the surrogates produced by the big brands like Danone and Nestle. At the end of the day, it is a matter of taste, but as a Bulgarian I prefer natural Bulgarian "кисело мялко" that could be found only in selected shops or in small villages around the country, because it is more sour, naturally thick, with >5% natural fat. There are similar products all over the Balkans and also in Iran, but they have different taste and texture, I guess depending on the different strains used for the fermentation and many other factors. I've traveled to more than 50 countries on 4 continents in the last 30 years, and I could say one thing - just don't consume the "branded" surrogates, that pretend to be "something", if you haven't tasted the real thing :-) I guess the same is true for every food - just last week I've purchased like 5 different brands of Dijon mustard in Dubai...OMG, none of them was even remotely close to what a Dijon mustard is...

berg01 5 months ago [flagged]

Okay. Thanks, we love it. It was a fantastic invention!

Now please bring the the thousands of bulgarian beggars distributed amongst almost all the Swedish grocery stores back home. Please.


Taking HN threads into nationalistic flamewars is a bannable offense here, so please don't do that. Instead, if you'd read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and follow the rules when posting here, we'd appreciate it. That means avoiding flamebait and flamewars.

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.




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