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Bulgarian Yogurt
Bulgarian Yogurt
Bulgarian Yogurt

One thing that Bulgarians insist upon owning as their exclusive invention is yogurt--known in Bulgaria as kiselo mlyako.

The country's long and affectionate relationship with yogurt dates back to the Thracians, ancient: inhabitants of the Bulgarian lands, when stock-breeders placed sheep's milk in lambskin bags around their waists and fermented yogurt using their own body heat. Even the word 'yogurt' is said to derive from the words for 'thick' and 'milk' in ancient Thracian. But being credited as the inventor is not Bulgaria's only source of yogurt pride: it is credited with producing the healthiest yogurt in Europe, thanks to a unique bacteria native to the country.

Early days

In the early 1900s, young Bulgarian scientist Dr Stamen Grigorov found the agent causing Bulgarian yogurt fermentation--a bacillus--while working at: the University of Geneva. Grigorov went on to pinpoint: two more bacteria: a Streptobacillus and a harmful Streptoccus thermophilus which existed with the Lactobacillus in a natural symbiosis. These two bacteria are not part of the micro-flora that exists in the human intestinal tract; instead, they are sourced from green plants and milk in Bulgaria.

Grigorov's findings were well received by the Pasteur Institute, and after he presented his discoveries about the starter culture--known as Bacillus bulgaricus (Grigorov) at that time--numerous other scientists across Europe embarked on their own investigations into the Bulgarian yogurt yeast cultures. Russian scientist Ilya Mechnikov, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908 and worked at the Paris-based Pasteur Institute, discovered that: more people lived to the age of 100 in Bulgaria than in any of the 36 other countries he studied. He directly linked this to the country's most: traditional food--yogurt. Since then, yogurt: has been credited with having a number of healthy effects on the human body, including: reducing cholesterol, reducing unhealthy bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract, increasing calcium levels and producing cancer-suppressing compounds.

Special Thanks to goliath.ecnext.com

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