Food

Bulgarian elixir for longevity

Bulgaria was in the 1900s famous for its large number of centenarians.  Living well above 100 years was not uncommon for people who led a modest life farming their lands in remote mountain villages. One would usually assume that the long life-span was due to healthy lifestyle and fresh mountain air. A Russian scientist proved, however, that the secret lies rather in the way of eating than the way of living. The diet of longevity consists of nothing else but yoghurt.

The benefits of eating Bulgarian yoghurt are known worldwide and the popularity of the Bulgarian product spread as far as to Japan with Bulgaria holding a stake of about 60% of the Japanese yoghurt market.

What makes the Bulgarian yoghurt so special?

The Russian Nobel prize-winner Ilya Mechnikov researched the causes of human aging and proved that only Bulgarian yoghurt can restrict the development of a certain intestine bacteria which causes poisoning of the body and early death.

The effect of this ‘natural medicine’ is due to a special bacterium – Lactobacillus bulgaricus. It was identified for the first time in 1905 by the Bulgarian bacteriologist Stamen Grigorov. He unveiled thus what causes the fermentation of sour milk – a product known in the Balkan region for more than 4000 years.

After those groundbreaking revelations even more extensive research began and Bulgarian yoghurt became popular first in Europe and then in the whole world.

Health benefits

So what does finally Bulgarian yoghurt do to our bodies? First of all, consumption of yoghurt slows the aging process of the body, improves digestive health and bolsters immunity. The tasty fermented milk is also a natural probiotic which fights off infections, detoxifies and preserves. Since the process of fermentation increases the amounts of some vitamins, yoghurt is a great source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

The tradition of making yoghurt

All those benefits put in one single dairy product with an excellent taste make up the Bulgarian elixir for longevity. The history of Bulgarian yoghurt dates back to the Thracians who inhabited Bulgarian lands. They used to place sheep’s milk in lambskin bags around their waists, and fermented yogurt using their own body heat.

The tradition of making ‘kiselo mliyako’ (sour milk in Bulgarian) is probably one of the oldest in the country and the dairy product makes up an essential part of everyday Bulgarian diet. Yoghurt is always present on the table and can be added to various kinds of dishes.

If you already feel like having a taste of creamy, full-fat sour milk, this is how you can make yoghurt yourself:

What do you think?

Our Correspondent
Cult Bulgaria correspondent
Lora - Sofia

An eager reader, writer & traveller. Always curious to learn new things and hear new stories. Keen on studying languages. A to-be graduate in Scandinavian studies. I have joined Cult in order to showcase a part of Bulgarian culture that is often ...

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About this place

Continent: Europe
Capital: Sofia
Population: 7,148,800
Area: 110,910 km2
Currency: Lev
Languages: Bulgarian

Time in Sofia
4:39 am

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Distance from you
7,930km