Bulgarian yogurt

A unique product with a history rooted in Bulgaria

If there is something Bulgarians are especially proud of,  it’s their traditional Bulgarian yogurt

Thanks to its geographical position, Bulgaria is a country of passage between Europe and Asia, thus facilitating the great culinary diversity in this small Balkan country. However, it highlights a product that occupies a very special place in Bulgarian hearts and this is yogurt.

Bulgarian yogurt or kiselo mlyako, as Bulgarians call it, is present in numerous national recipes, and is one of the most consumed products throughout the country. 

The yogurt itself has very beneficial qualities for the human body, but what makes Bulgarian yogurt so special in particular?
To answer this question we must go about 100 years ago when in 1905 a Bulgarian medical student in Switzerland named Stamen Grigorov discovered the bacterium responsible for fermentation after examining the microflora of Bulgarian yogurt. This bacterium, which is the cause of the original yogurt, was given the name Bacillus Bulgaricus. Although today, it is internationally known among the scientific community as Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. 

At the same time, the Nobel Prize for Medicine Iliya Metchnikoff who worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, took as a reference the young doctor Grigorov and his research on yogurt, with the aim of answering the question of why Bulgarian farmers enjoyed Longevity higher than the average in Europe at that time, given the harsh living conditions in which they lived. Thus, in 1908 Dr. Metchnikoff published his theory where he said that this life expectancy is due to the high consumption of yogurt among Bulgarians and more specifically, to the bacteria, it contains inside. Metchnikoff concluded that the bacterium Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, as its name suggests, can be produced only in Bulgaria and in some nearby regions of the Balkan Peninsula, given the weather conditions presented by this part of the European continent. In fact, in other climates, the bacteria can lose their qualities, degenerate and even die.

Thus, the only museum dedicated solely and exclusively to yogurt in the world is in Bulgaria, in the home of the Bulgarian biologist Stamen Grigorov, located in the village of Studen Ízvor, near Sofia.

In recent years, its effect on health has reached Asia, I feel very appreciated in Japan where they acquired their patent. It is interesting to mention that Japan produces and distributes Bulgarian yogurt not only nationally, but exports to other countries of the Asian continent such as China, Singapore and Thailand. However, we doubt that Bulgarian yogurt can be enjoyed in the same way in the Asian continent as in the heart of the Balkans, accompanied by a rich banitsa or simply with a little jam. And since you’re here, take advantage!