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All about Bulgarian yoghurt

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Bulgarian yogurt (kiselo mlyako)

Bulgarian yogurt (Bulgarian: kiselo mlyako) is a fermented milk product. Like all yogurt, Bulgarian yogurt is produced through the bacterial fermentation of milk, using a live culture of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Fermentation ends when the yogurt has cooled. The longer the yogurt is allowed to stay warm, the more pronounced the sour flavour becomes.


Bulgarian yogurt is similar to other yogurt produced in the Balkans, but it has a distinctive flavour. This is due to the milk of the Bulgarian cow or rarely sheep, which are raised on herb-rich pastures using traditional methods, and to the specific local strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, especially wild strains of the vegan-origin GLB44 (although both kinds are used in the U.S, Japan and the wider EU community, local strains probably still exist). Another factor influencing flavour is that Bulgarian yogurt is never sterilized after fermentation.


Bulgaria has a strong tradition of making yogurt. Bulgarians consume a notable quantity of yogurt per head. Most very proud Bulgarian nationalists view the Balkans as the homeland of yogurt.

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