A History of Dairy Fermentation

The history of yogurt  

It’s widely believed nomadic Asian cattle breeders accidentally discovered yogurt by leaving milk out in the sun, allowing it to ferment and turn into yogurt. 

Yogurt becomes a popular way to preserve the milk of domesticated animals.

By the 11th century yogurt is an integral part of Turkish culture. It’s thought that the very word ‘yogurt’ derives from either the Turkish word yoğurmak meaning ‘to curdle’ or yoğun meaning ‘thick or dense’.

Genghis Khan, the founder and leader of the Mongol Empire, feeds his army a fermented milk called ‘kumis’ because he believes it makes his warriors brave.

Turkish travellers start to introduce yogurt to the rest of the world, including North America.

Bulgarian scientist Stamen Grigorov proves that a certain strain of bacillus is responsible for the creation of yogurt. This strain is given the name Lactobacillus bulgaricus in honour of his home country. 

In Barcelona, a man called Isaac Carasso sets up a company called Danone. Using quality ferments from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he begins the first industrialised production of yogurt.