"Soured milk or curds have surely been consumed by many peoples from the earliest Neolithic times, but little remains as direct proof of this. They were fairly certainly used in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and possibly Egypt, and Pliny later mentions their production by barbarian'tribes."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1997, expanded edition (p. 51)
"Milk being highly perishable, of course, a few hours would be enought to start it fermenting in the climate of the Near East. Depending on the temperature and the kind of bacteria in the air, the curds might develop into something pleasant and refershing, or something quite uneatable even by the Neolithic peoples, whose tastes were necessairly less rigid than those of their modern counterparts. The curds might also be either fine or coarse. The finer type was to develop ultimately into the sharp, creamy substance represented today by the yoghurt of the Balkans, the taetta of Scandinavia, the dahi of India. The coarser kind, strained off, would make the first soft, fresh cheese...Whatever the background to the early discoveries, however, curds, cheese, yoghurt and butter all developed into useful ways of preserving milk that was surplus to the people's immediate requirements..."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 27-9)
"Yoghurt is one of the fermented milk foods whose origins are probably multiple. It is easy enough to imagine how, in parts of C. or W. Asia, unintended fermentation of milk could have produced something like yoghurt, and that people would have noticed that this would keep for much longer than fresh milk, besides tasting good. There is another advantage which applies particularly to many Asians...Yoghurt is the Turkish name for the product, long since adapted into the English language, no doubt because yoghurt reached W. Europe through Turkey and the Balkans."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 859)
"There can be few foodstuffs in recent times that have gone through such an orthographic identity crisis as yoghurt. In the days when it was known only as an exotic substance consumed in Turkey and other parts of the Near East (first reported in English in 1625 by Samuel Puchas in his Pilgrimes...) the original Turkish name of this fermented milk, yoghurt, inspired a whole lexicon of spellings...The notion of fermenting milk with bacteria to form a semiliquid food is nothing new, of course. Neolithic peoples of the Near East almost certainly ate a form of yoghurt around 6000 BC, and certainly it was popular in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It seems to have been take from Persia ot India, and today it is an important ingredient in Indian cookery."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 373)
"Yogurt, like cheese, was discovered long ago, when wandering herdsmen carrying mik in sheepskin bags noticed that the milk had curdled. People likely discovered both cheese and yogurt in the beginning of the Neolithic era, when they first began to practice milking. Nomadic herdsmen milked their animlas, then carried the milk in pouches made out of sheep's stomachs, the lining of which contains an enzyme called rennin, which curdles milk. The Middle Eastern climate was ideal fo curdling milk: left in the heat, milk curdled in just a few hours. Depending on the degree of heat and the type of bacteria in the environment, the curds would be find and develop into yogurt, or coarse and develop into cheese. Yogurt was most likely discovered by accident. As a product of milk, it was assigned similar properties. Milk and milk products have always been considered nothing short of magical. In fact, it has been suggested that the milk in the biblical phrase milk and honey' referred to yogurt. As soon as the wandering herdsmen discovered the curdled milk, they tasted it and found it to their liking. It was not long before they perceived health benefits that they attributed to the curdled milk...Peasants in the Balkans live a long time, particuarly in Bulgaria, and furthermore, many of them retain their ability to conceived late in life. Both of these abilities have been attributed to the fact that these people eat large quantities of yogurt, and that yogurt apparently has healing properties."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 250)
"Yogurt may have been known by the ancient Greeks as pyriate. Andrew Dalby...argues that the Greek physician Galen (c. 130-c. 200) was correct to identify this older term, pyriate, with the oxygala familiar in his own day, which was a form of yogurt and was eaten on its own or with honey. The first unequivocable description of yogurt is found in a dictionary called Divanu luga-i turk, compiled by Kasgarli Mahmut in 1072-1073 during the Seljuk era in the Middle East (1038-1194). Yogurt spread rapidly throughout the Levant, but it hardly penetrated the Western and northern Mediterranean."
"Yoghurt... was known in France as early 1542, when Francois I was suffering from what would now be diagnosed as severe depression. The doctors could do nothing for his listessness and neurasthenia until the Ambassador to the Sublime Porte disclosed that there was a Jewish doctor in Constantinople who made a brew of fermented sheep's milk of which people spoke in glowing terms, even at the Sultan's court. The King sent for the doctor, who refused to travel except on foot; he walted through the whole of southern Europe, followed by his flock. When he finally arrived before Francois I, the latter's apathy had given way to a certain impatience but he still did not feel well. After several weeks of sheep's milk youghurt, the King was cured. The sheep, however, had not recovered from their long walk and caught cold in the air of Paris. Every last one of them died, and the doctor left again, refusing to stay despite the King's offers. He went home, taking the secret of his brew with him. The health of Francois I continued to improve, which was the point of the exercise, and yoghurt was forgotten for nearly four centuries...The koumis of Central Europe is made from fermented mare's milk, but its origin lies in farthest Asia. The barbarian' Huns and Mongols brought it with them. In the past Western Europe made milk-based drinks which were not yoghurt, but were more like kefir or diluted and flavoured curds. Such drinks bear withness to the memory of ancient migrations: they are the beverages of people who did not grow vines and whos only wealth was the flocks they drove ahead of them."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat , translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 119-20)
"[Yogurt] first gained international prominence in the early 1900s when Ilya Metchnikov, a Russian bacteriologist, observed that the life span of Bulgarians, whose diet included the consumption of large quantities of soured milk, was eighty-seven years and beyond."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, Joan Whitman compiler [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 489)
"Turkish immigrants are said to have brought yogurt to the United states in 1784, but its popularity dates only from the 1940s, when Daniel Carasso emigrated 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, after Daniel Carcasso whose father was a Barcelona yogurt maker). In 1947 the company added strawberry fruit preserves to make the first "sundae-style yogurt." When nutrition promoter Benjamin Gayelord Hauser published an excerpt from his book Live Younger, Live Longer (1950), in the October 1950 issue of Reader's Digest magazine extolling the health virtues of yogurt, the product's sales soared. They leaped again--500 percent from 1958-1968--when so-called health foods were popularized by the counterculture of the 1960s."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 355)
"Yogurt. One pleasant way to obtain many of the B vitamins is to drink milk fermented with Bulgarian milk cultures, as acidophilus milk and yogurt. There milk contain bacteria which live in the intestinal tract and make, or synthesize, B vitamins for themselves--those vitamins which are so necessary for health and good looks. Yogurt is fast becoming a fashionable food since the publication of Diet Does It. In large cities now you can buy it from dairies in fifteen-cent bottles. If you are in the money, you can simply buy it regularly and eat to your heart's content. If you're not in the money, you can still eat to your heart's content because one fifteen-cent bottle will make quarts and quarts of yogurt for you and your relatives and your inlaws--if you like them enough. This is how you do it: Simply heat a quart of milk to lukewarm, not boiling. Then take 2 tablespoons of yogurt from your little bottle and mix it into the warm milk, using a wooden spoon. Put the milk back into the quart bottle and set the bottle in a warm place--over a pilot light, near a radiator, over hot water, wherever is most convenient. It is much like setting bread dough to raise--you want a place which will keep the yogurt warm but not cook it. Let it stand there for 6 to 8 hours, until the milk curdles and solidifies like junket. As soon as it is firm, put it on ice, otherwise it will get too thick. When this quart is gone, make another quart, using another 2 tablespoons from your little bottle, and so on until the little bottle is used up. Then you buy another fifteen-cent bottle and start again. If the dairies in your town have not yet begun to make yogurt, you can still have it. Go to a health food store and ghuy a bottle of yogurt culture, then follow the directions on the package. Any kind of milk can be used to make yogurt--whole milk, skim milk, powdered milk, or evaporated milk mixed with water. If you are on a reducing diet, enjoy your yogurt without a twinge of conscience by using milk with the fat removed."
---The Gaylord Hauser Cook Book: Good Food, Good Health, Good Looks, Gayelord Hauser [Coward-McCann:New York] 1946 (p. 235-236) [NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Yogurt Reducing Dressing and Yogurt Sauce.]
"The Ideal Diet. Every mouthfull you eat does you either good or harm. The secret of agelessness lies in eating intelligently, in liking to eat only those foods which are good for you. The ideal diet for long life is plenty of protein (milk--especially yogurt*--eggs, lean meat, lean fish, fresh cheese)...*Yogurt: A semisolid cheeselike, or sometimes thickly fluid, preparation from milk partly evaporated and then fermented by Lactobacillus bulgaricus.)...Excellent yogurt can be purchased in many food stores. It can be eaten plain; seasoned with fresh or canned fruits; or made into a sundae with maple syrup, honey or blackstrap molasses. It is a ',ist' on the Live Longer diet. Among the Bulgarians where yogurt is a part of each meal but where diet is not outstanding in other respects, the life span is longer than that of any other peoples in the world; Bulgarians are credited with retaining the characteristics of youth to an extremely advanced age."
---"Look Younger, Live Longer," Gayelord Hauser, condensed version, Readers Digest, October 1950 (p. 158-159)
"Yogurt is a 'must' among the wonder foods because it is an excellent source of easily assimilated, high quality protein and contributes significant quantities of calcium and riboflavin to the diet. Yogurt fills a need that has long existed--that of a luncheon dish or a between-meal or bed-time snack. So many people eat what I call 'foodless foods' at such times--devil's cakes, pastries, cinnamon toast made with white bread lavishly sprinkled with white sugar. A taste for yogurt is acquried quickly; you will become fonder and fonder of it as time goes on. It is a god hunger satisfier and, most important of all, contributes much-needed vital food factors with every mouthful...Yogurt and the acidophilus or bulbgarius cultured milks have undergone many ups and downs in popularity. They have been advocated for everything from 'that tired feeling' to typhoid fever. My interest in yogurt is wholly concerned with nutrition, and form a nutritional point of view it has much to contribute. Bulgarians are credited with retaining vigor, vitality, and the characteristics of youth to an extremely advanced age; their longevity is traditional. Yogurt and certain cultured milks constitute a major item of diet for the Bulgarian peasant. To state that all of these virtues stem solely from the consumption of yogurt is to treat the subject most superficially; climate, heredity, and other factors must be considered. But clearly the Bulgarians have established the nutritional excellency of yogurt. That, and that alone, first attracted me to yogurt and caused me to investigate and study it. Its superior nutritive qualities caused me to recommend it to my students, and my faith in it has been justified in every respect...My favorite yogurt is made by beating into a pint of water the following ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of powdered skim milk; 3 tablespoons of previously made (or commercial) yogurt; and 1 large can of evaporated milk. When this mixture is beaten smooth, this should be added to 1 quart of water and poured into glasses which are set in a large pan containing enough warm water to ready the top of the glasses. The pan should then be set over a warming unit, pilot light, or simmer burner and the temperature of the water kept between 105 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit...The yogurt should thicken and be ready to chill on 3 hours. If it requires longer time, the temperature probably has run too low. Yogurt can be eaten plain; seasoned with chives or other herbs; served with fresh or canned fruits; or made into a sundae with maple syrup, honey, or blackstrap molasses."
---Look Younger, Live Longer, Gayelord Hauser [Crest Books:New York] 1951 (p. 27-28)