History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

- photo from Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt -
- photo from Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt -

Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt, or Yoghourt

There are several variations of the English spelling of the word, including "yogurt", "yoghurt," "yogourt" and yoghourt."

According to Wikipedia, the word is derived from Turkish: yoğurt, and is related to the obsolete verb yoğmak "to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken."

In the United States, "yogurt'" is the usual spelling, but "yoghurt" is also sometimes used.

In Canada, "yogurt" is most common among English speakers, but many brands use "yogourt," and both spelling is acceptable in both English and French.

In the United Kingdom "yoghurt" and "yogurt" are both acceptable, "yogurt" being more common on product labels, and a few brands also use "yoghourt," although not common.

In Australia and New Zealand, the common spelling is "yoghurt."


An 1848 Lithograph showing Ghilzai nomads in Afghanistan. source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
An 1848 Lithograph showing Ghilzai nomads in Afghanistan. source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Nomadic herdsmen and their sheep - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Nomadic herdsmen and their sheep - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Blue-North Asia, Purple-Central Asia, Green-Southwest Asia, Red-South Asia, Yellow-East Asia, and Mustard-Southeast Asia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Blue-North Asia, Purple-Central Asia, Green-Southwest Asia, Red-South Asia, Yellow-East Asia, and Mustard-Southeast Asia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

Whatever the spelling, we know that yogurt is very good for us. The health benefits of yogurt are numerous making yogurt one super food. Did you know how yogurt came about, or whether yogurt was invented or discovered?

Well, the story goes that yogurt was discovered by accident in the beginning of the Neolithic era, when people first began to practice milking. (Neolithic is traditionally the last part of the stone age.) Nomadic herdsmen milked their animals and carried the milk in pouches made out of sheep's stomachs, the lining of which contains an enzyme called rennin, which curdles milk. As soon as the wandering herdsmen discovered the curdled milk, they tasted it and found it wasn't too bad.. in fact, it tasted good. And it could be said that the rest, as they say, is history.

However, there are no written records to prove this fact.

Food historians generally agree that yogurt (and other fermented milk products) was discovered accidentally by Neolithic peoples living in Central Asia. Since those ancient times, yogurt has been a staple in diets of people in the Central European, Middle Eastern and East Asian regions.

Pliny the Elder, Galen, Mahmud of Kashgar and Yusuf Has Hajib have something in common. They were the first ones to mention or write about yogurt in history.


Pliny the Elder, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Pliny the Elder, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

Oldest writings mentioning yogurt

Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD - August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian.

Pliny the Elder is credited for the oldest writings, presumably about yogurt, mentioning that certain nomadic tribes knew how "to thicken the milk into a substance with an agreeable acidity."

That's it. And now he's in the history of yogurt.


Galen, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Galen, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

First to identify yogurt

Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus (September AD 129 - 199/217), better known as Galen of Pergamon (now Bergama, Turkey), was a prominent Roman (of Greek ethnicity) physician, surgeon and philosopher. It could be said that Galen was the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity, contributing to the understanding of numerous scientific disciplines including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and neurology, as well as philosophy, andlogic.

So what does this great man Glen got to do with yogurt? Galen identified that what was known to the ancient Greeks as pyriate, was actually a form of yogurt.

Isn't that amazing?

Mahmud of Kashgar, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Mahmud of Kashgar, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Yusuf Has Hajib, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Yusuf Has Hajib, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

First written description of yogurt (yoghurt)

Mahmud of Kashgar (1008 - 1105), full name is "Hussein bin Mahmoud bin Mohammed," was a Turkish author and cartographer. He wrote Diwan Lugati't-Turks , in Turkish language, the first encyclopedia and dictionary.

What does Mahmud of Kashgar got to do with yogurt? The first unequivocal description of "yoghurt" is found in the Diwan Lugati't-Turks written by Mahmud of Kashgar.

Yusuf Balasaghuni (1019 - 1085), full name "Yusuf Khas Hajib Balasaghuni," was a prominent Kyrgyz scholar. He wrote the Kutadgu Bilig and upon presenting the Kutadgu Bilig to the prince of Kashgar, he was awarded the title Khāṣṣ Ḥājib, an honour similar to "Privy Chamberlain" or "Chancellor".

So, what does Yusuf Balasaghuni got to do with yogurt? Well, Yusuf Balasaghuni mentioned the word "yoghurt" in his book.

Both Mahmud of Kashgar and Yusuf Balasaghuni got in the history of yogurt because their books specifically mentioned the word "yoghurt."

Fascinating, isn't it?

Francois I - King of France, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Francois I - King of France, source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

Distance between Istanbul (Turkey) to Paris (France) 1400.59 miles or 2253.98 kilometers

show route and directions
A markerIstanbul, Turkey -
[get directions]

B markerParis, France -
Paris, France
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The King of France and Yogurt

There are different versions on how the King of France, Francois I, got linked to the history yogurt.

One version says that Francois I was in Paris when he suffered diarrhea. A Jewish doctor gave him some fermented milk that cured his diarrhea and the King was so happy that he spread the word throughout Europe about the goodness of yogurt.

Another version goes like this. Around 1542, the King of France Francois I was suffering from severe depression. The doctors could not figure out what to do.. nothing seemed to work. Then the Ambassador to the Sublime Porte suggested that there was a Jewish doctor in Constantinople (today's Istanbul) who made a brew of fermented sheep's milk of which people including the Sultan's court said was magical. So the King sent for the doctor. But since the doctor would only travel by foot, it took him forever and a day to walk through the whole of southern Europe, followed by his flock. Of course, the King was overly agitated by the time the doctor arrived. But since the King still did not feel well, he did not send the poor doctor to the gallows. After several weeks of sheep's milk yogurt, the King was cured. The sheep, however, had not recovered from their long walk and caught cold in the air of Paris and they all died. The King offered the doctor to stay but the doctor declined and left. He went home, taking the secret of his brew with him. The health of Francois I continued to improve, and yogurt was forgotten for nearly four centuries.

The second story sounds better, because yogurt was actually introduced in France in 1929.

Stamen Grigorov - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Stamen Grigorov - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Ilya_Mechnikov_(Nobel_1908), source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Ilya_Mechnikov_(Nobel_1908), source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

Yogurt first gained international prominence in the early 1900s.

Stamen Grigorov (1878 -1945), was a prominent Bulgarian physician and microbilogist. He was the first to examine the Bulgarian yogurt.

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (1845 - 1916) was a Russian biologist, zoologist and protozoologist, best remembered for his pioneering research into the immune system. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, shared with Paul Ehrlich, for his work on phagocytosis. He is also credited by some sources with coining the term gerontology in 1903, for the emerging study of aging and longevity.

And what do Stamen Grigorov and Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov have in common? Yogurt.

Mechnikov was influenced by Grigorov's work and linked the regular consumption of yogurt by the Bulgarian peasant to their unusually long lifespans.

Mechnikov is credited for making yogurt popular as a healthy food throughout Europe.


Daniel Carasso, , a pioneer of yogurt, source http://www.esefarad.com  - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Daniel Carasso, , a pioneer of yogurt, source http://www.esefarad.com - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Daniel Carasso - Danone, from elmundo.es - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Daniel Carasso - Danone, from elmundo.es - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Dannon Yogurt, photo By nesssalove, source photobucket - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Dannon Yogurt, photo By nesssalove, source photobucket - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

Industrialization of yogurt

In 1919, Isaac Carasso, a Greek-born Jewish doctor, moved to Barcelona, Spain. Noticing that digestive illnesses were common in his adopted country, he opened a small yogurt company and prescribed the bacteria-laden milk products to sufferers of intestinal distress. He named the business Danone after his son - “Danon” - “little Daniel” in Catalan. .

In 1919, Isaac Carasso industrialised the production of yogurt.

In 1929 ten years later, Daniel Carasso brought the Danone brand to France, setting up Société Parisienne du Yoghourt Danone before he had even turned 25.

Yogurt comes to America

In the 1940s, Daniel Carasso immigrated to the United States and took over a small yogurt factory in the Bronx, New York. He was soon joined by Juan Metzger, and the two sold their yogurt under the name Dannon (originally Danone) to Americanize the name.

In 1947 the company added strawberry fruit preserves to make the first "sundae-style yogurt."

Yogurt's popularity in the United States was enhanced in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was presented as a health food. By the late 20th century yogurt had become a common American food item.

So, who industrialized the production of yogurt?

Answer: Isaac Carasso


And which company popularized yogurt in America?

Anwer: Dannon


Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt was introduced in New England in the 1970s as a soft serve dessert by H. P. Hood under the name Frogurt. source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt
Frozen yogurt was introduced in New England in the 1970s as a soft serve dessert by H. P. Hood under the name Frogurt. source Wikipedia - History of Yogurt, Yoghurt, Yogourt or Yoghourt

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Comments 23 comments

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you all for your comments and votes. I'm glad you found the history of yogurt interesting and informative. Cheers!

@Monalisa Saha - I'm glad you enjoyed reading my article on the history of yogurt, and found it helpful in doing your project regarding probiotics. You're welcome.. my pleasure. Cheers!

Have a nice day y'all,

Rosie


monalisa saha 4 years ago

whatever the history you have given here,its really amazing...i think if anybody have any doubt regarding yoghurt they could have clear with it....since i am doing project regarding probiotics, all this information will be very help full for me....

Thanks a lot


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love yoghurt and I really enjoy reading the history of yoghurt. I had never know about this before. I got new knowledge from this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Vote up. Have a nice weekend!

Prasetio


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

Rosie2010...What a fun read on the history of this delicious delight! Thanks!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Great hub with lots of good info here, voted up and interesting


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Yogurt: full of healthy goodness Your hub: full of interesting facts.

Hi Rosie-when you write 'curdled' with a food item I enjoy my stomach flipflops, LOL ! What have you been up to now that Idol is over for the season? Did you watch The Voice? I did. It was interesting.


onceuponatime66 profile image

onceuponatime66 5 years ago from USA IL

It's been awhile for me on hub pages but you are the one I started with. I wanted to say HI. I also wanted to say you know how to make a hub easy to understand. I love this topic. I also use plain yogurt on my face. Thanks for such a wonderful reading and learning experience.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love yogurt and I liked the story behind this. Well done, Rosie. You got my VOTE. Have a good day!

Prasetio


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

Hi Rosie. I did not realize that yogurt had such and interesting history about it. Voted up and I am glad to see your still writing those great hubS.

Sweet wishes Rhonda


mariasial profile image

mariasial 5 years ago from united kingdom

Very interesting information about yogurt. You have done good research rated up


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

Wow, this was a very informative article about yoghurt! Thanks for the history of yoghurt and I will be thinking of this next time I eat yoghurt for breakfast! Voted up.

Tina


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 5 years ago

Ha, who would have thought. I mean I never think about the history of yoghurt as I happily eat it.

Thanks for the info. :)


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

I never yogurt had been around so long. I only knew about yogurts usefulness in warding off yeast infections. Hey learned a bunch.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya 4youreyes, thanks for dropping by. I know, me too! I just stumbled upon the history when I was doing research on the health benefits of yogurt and I was fascinated. I'm glad you found it interesting and fun to read. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya Writer, thanks for dropping by. Well, you're partly correct. Nobel Prize winning Mechnikov (Russian) is the one who is credited for making yogurt popular as a healthy food throughout Europe. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the history of yogurt. Thanks so much. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya Will, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the history of yogurt. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


4youreyes 5 years ago

Rosie,

I enjoyed your hub, I never even thought about yogurts history. You have made it very fun and interesting to read. Thanks

Have A Good Evening !


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I would have sworn that yogurt came from Russia originally, but we live and learn every day. Thanks Rosie keep up the good hubs


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great hub, Rosie!


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya John, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my hub on the history of yogurt. I find it fascinating discovering how things got discovered or invented. Thank you so much for the vote up.

Have a nice day,

Rosie


johndwilliams profile image

johndwilliams 5 years ago from Essex England

Great Hub very interesting information and comprehensive too! Well written Voted up!


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya Melpor, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the history of yogurt and found it informative. I love doing research. Thanks so much for the vote up.

Have a nice day,

Rosie


melpor profile image

melpor 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Good hub Rosie, I didn't realize yogurt had such a long history. I learned a lot about yogurt from your hub. Thanks for the well researched information. Voted up.

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