Y for Yogurt

It is believed that milk products were incorporated into the human diet around 10 000 to 5000 BC, with the domestication of milk-producing animals like cows, sheep, and goats, as well as yaks, horses, buffalo, and camels.

Yogurt has been a part of the human diet for several millennia and goes by many names throughout the world. 

References to the health-promoting properties of yogurt date back to 6000 BC in Indian Ayurvedic scripts and yogurt was well known in the Greek and Roman empires. Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, is reputed to have fed his army yogurt, a staple of the Mongolian diet, based on the belief that it instilled bravery in his warriors. In 1542, King Francoise I of France introduced it to Western Europe after being offered yogurt as a treatment by the country’s Turkish allies digestive problems.

However, it was not until the 20th century that the benefits were attributed to lactic acid bacteria.

Yogurt has its origins in Turkey and the word ‘yogurt’ is believed to have come from the Turkish word ‘yoğurmak’ meaning to thicken, coagulate, or curdle. As milk spoils easily, it was difficult to preserve it for use. It is believed that herdsmen who carried milk in bags made of intestinal gut, discovered that contact with intestinal juices caused the milk to curdle and sour, thickening and preserving it. Today, most yogurt is fermented milk that is acidified with bacteria.

Yogurt is an excellent source of highly bioavailable protein and an excellent source of calcium as well as a source of probiotics in addition to several essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins B2 and B12. And many people with lactose intolerance are able to consume yogurt without any side effects as the bacteria in yogurt help with digesting lactose.

Yogurt was commercialized in 1919, when jam was added to it.Yogurt was later mixed with a variety of ingredients, such as cinnamon, honey, fruits, and sweets, and was used as a dessert to make it attractive to the public. Initially yogurt was sold at pharmacies. 

Yogurt gained fame when Elie Metchnikoff gave a lecture in 1904 at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, suggesting that longevity among Bulgarians could be attributed to the beneficial lactobacilli bacteria in yogurt. The popularity of yogurt spread to North America. 

Patterns of yogurt consumption vary greatly from country to country. In the United States only 6% of the population consume yogurt on a daily basis. 

Today, we have a great variety of yogurt flavors available in the grocery stores. 

Today we are featuring a chilled yogurt soup, which is easy to make but is a filling and nutritious meal. And an added advantage is that as it is chilled, it can be prepared ahead of serving and stored in the refrigerator.

Yogurt Soup, Chilled


  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed and washed, or 12 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Steam the spinach until just wilted, about two minutes. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop. Set aside.
  • Crush the garlic with salt and mash to a paste. Stir into the yogurt, along with 1 cup of cold water. Mix well.
  • Add the cumin seeds, spinach and chickpeas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Add the lemon juice and chill for several hours.
  • Serve with the red chili flakes, if using, sprinkled on top.

2 thoughts on “Y for Yogurt”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *