A Brief History Of Yogurt

A Brief History Of Yogurt

Like fries and ketchup, or mac’n’cheese, fresh milk and friendly bacteria - AKA yogurt - are a perfect pairing.

When left alone together, the lactose in milk ferments to produce lactic acid that pairs up with milk protein to thicken and make that yummy, sour combo we know as yogurt. The name originates from Turkey, but ancient pottery records show that during the New Stone Age (around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago) humans switched from the traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle and started farming and preserving milk.

Yogurt played a huge part in the diets of the Greek and Roman empire and across the Mediterranean since 800 BCE. During the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Genghis Khan credited yogurt as being a key food for feeding his army. Indian records refer to yogurt and honey as “food of the Gods”, while Persian tradition credits yogurt with long health. 

After a lecture at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, in 1904, by Ellie Metchnikoff, where the benefits of lactobacilli bacteria in yogurt were hyped, a craze kicked off to the point where it could be purchased in pharmacies. Yogurt was now seen as powerful as medicine.

We know now that yogurt contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugars, water and is a rich source of vitamin B12 (which helps boost blood cells and fends off tiredness), riboflavin (helps produce energy and allows oxygen to pump around the body), phosphorus (good for your bones and teeth) and selenium (important for thyroid function and fending off infection).

Yogurt dipped in popularity for a time then peaked again in the 1930s, when Isaac Carasso launched his company Danone. However ,sales of traditional yogurt were down 3.4% in America in 2019, and a move towards Icelandic style yogurt is increasing in popularity. Vegan yogurts are now also adding something to the market with soya, almond, cashew, and oat going down well with non-dairy eaters and those with intolerances.

We’ve got loads of different types of yogurt, so whatever your preference, spoon up some yoghurt into your cart today.