It is generally agreed among historians that yoghurt and other fermented milk products were discovered accidentally as a result of milk being stored by primitive methods in warm climates. The result was already called “yoghurt”, which is a word derived from a Turkish verb that means “to be curdled or thicken”. Yoghurt was born in Anatolia, but there are also records of it in India and Iran around 500 BC.
Soon enough the benefits of this unknown food started to spread in France in Europe. But it was really the 20th century that brought yoghurt into our daily diets. In the early years of the century, when yoghurt was consumed in parts of the Russian Empire, Central and South-Eastern Europe and Western Asian, Stamen Grigorov, a Bulgarian medical student, identifies the bacteria present in his country’s yoghurt: Lactobacillus.
The first industrialised production of yoghurt is attributed to Isaac Carasso in 1919 in Barcelona, Spain. At the time he used a modernised technique that still relied on the same principle used by the nomadic shepherds of Anatolia: bacterial fermentation of milk. Daniel Carasso, the son of Isaac then took over a small yoghurt factory in the Bronx, New York and first introduced fruit and yoghurt in 1947.
The popularity of yoghurt soared in the 50s and 60s with the boom of the health food culture and is now readily available to many varieties to suit every taste and lifestyle.