The History of Yogurt

Mar 12, 2014 by

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham,

Fermented milk products were most likely an accident. The yogurt that we enjoy today probably came from primitive storage methods that didn’t take environmental heat into account. Yogurt, which is a word that is Turkish in origin, has been an important part of history, helping to feed a number of civilizations.

It’s likely that yogurt first appeared in 6,000 B.C. when the Neolithic herdsman from Central Asia began milking their cattle. The natural enzymes from the animals began to curdle that milk over time, which basically created yogurt. So the milk was able to keep for longer, and since the taste was pretty decent, people mastered the technique and began to produce it.

Genghis Khan loved yogurt so much that his troops lived off of it. This may have been the origin of rumors that yogurt had strong healing powers. Those rumors only helped the spread of yogurt, which had become a staple of Eastern culture.

Interestingly, the first commercial production of yogurt did not occur until 1919. A man named Isaac Carasso founded a company called “Danone,” named for his son “Little Daniel.” This company is marketed in the US today as “Dannon,” and they were also the first to introduce fruit inside of yogurt.

The health of yogurt, namely its healthy fats and proteins, contributed to its rise throughout the 50s and 60s. Today, there are several varieties of yogurt beyond the basic formula, and it is made in many flavors to suit almost any pallet.

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his LinkedIn page.

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