The origins of yoghurt
The origins of yogurt are unknown, but it is thought to have been invented in Mesopotamia, or Asia around 5000 BC. Although the exact origins are not known, since the word “yohurt” is derived from Turkish: yoğurt – which is usually related to the verb yoğurmak, “to knead”, or “to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken”; it is has become one of the discoveries and inventions associated with Turks. Considering the nomadic lifestyle of proto-Turks relying heavily on processing milk and dairy products, this makes sense.
Our ancestors, who lived as nomads in Central Asia centuries ago, obtained their food from the fruits and vegetables they collected from their habitats and the animals they domesticated.
Meat, milk and eggs were the main products obtained from domestic animals. The proto-Turks, who still lived a nomadic lifestyle, migrated to warm places in winter and cool places in summer to make the best use of natural resources, staying at suitable temperatures for their lives and not suffering from food shortages.
Turkic peoples have developed various storage methods to preserve the nutrients in a way. Foods such as yoghurt, cheese, sausage, pastrami, roasted meat and halva, which are our favourite foods today, emerged in those days.
In Turkish literature, the word “yoghurt” is found in the works of Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari. He records the word “yoghurt” in Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk, which is the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, compiled in 1072–74.
Yoghurt is one of the most important staples of Turkish cuisine. It is most similar to milk in terms of its composition. Although in other dairy products, there is a great variation in the number of substances added to the composition of milk compared to milk. However, the change in yoghurt is not much. The composition difference between milk and yoghurt usually manifests itself in dry matter and milk sugar, depending on the type of yoghurt and the raw material used.
The longest-lasting yoghurt produced by the Turks in natural environments is the “strained yoghurt”.
Commercially “strained yoghurt” is known to the rest of the world as “Greek yoghurt”