January 07, 2009

The Art of Yogurt Schooling

For some weird reason, my neighbor and I got into this ridiculous argument about which country consumes more yogurt, per capita: France or India.

The "per capita" portion of the equation is really important, because France's measly 60 million people cannot compete with India's enormous 1 billion people.

Here are some interesting facts about yogurt:

1-The word is derived from Turkish yoğurt, and is related to yoğurmak 'to knead' and yoğun 'dense' or 'thick'.

2-There is evidence of cultured milk products being produced as food for at least 4,500 years. The earliest yoghurts were probably spontaneously fermented by wild bacteria living on the goat skin bags carried by nomadic people. Today, many different countries claim yoghurt as their own invention, yet there is no clear evidence as to where it was first discovered, and it may have been independently discovered several times.

3-Until the 1900s, yoghurt was a staple in diets of the South Asian, Central Asian, Western Asian, South Eastern European and Central European regions.

4-In India, yoghurt is commercially sold under the name "curd", or more commonly under the local name of "dahi". Ancient Hindu religious scripts 'VEDAS' have depicted idols of hindu gods and godesses being washed with curd known as 'ABHISHEKAM'.

5-Bihidasu, of the thicker variety of plain yogurt in Japan sold in 500g containers, comes with a package of powdered sugar.

6-Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, which causes the transformation of the milk's sugar, lactose, into lactic acid. This process gives yogurt its refreshingly tart flavor and unique pudding-like texture, a quality that is reflected in its original Turkish name, Yoghurmak, which means "to thicken."

But I still think that French people eat yogurt way more often than Indian people. Do you have any idea of where I could find information on per-capita yogurt consumption? I would like to school her on yogurts.

Previous posts on lactose:
Holy Cow
Powdered Milk


Anonymous said...

Interesting argument :)

"spontaneously fermented by wild bacteria living on the goat skin bags carried by nomadic people", hmmmm, yummy. I'll never look at yoghurt the same again :)

P.S. :
They don't have India, but they have France here: 18.39 kg per year in 1992 (behind the Netherlands -22-) http://books.google.com/books?id=sXCY6J1KNaAC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=per-capita+yogurt+consumption+France+India&source=web&ots=GmM7D8kvjS&sig=T6GMWwQempab05FUckDPU1WBQ1Q&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA12,M1


Jennifer said...

Indian people eat more yogurt.