1. Bulgarian yogurt was created over the centuries by our ancestors.
Bulgarian yogurt is a unique product. This tradition is millennial and our lands are still hidden in the very beginning of the Bulgarian state and before it. Here are some facts related to the history of Bulgarian yogurt:
Fact 1. Yogurt has been known to man since ancient times. The Thracians, who lived in our lands, found that yogurt lasts much longer than fresh. They found that adding yoghurt to fresh produce a product called fermented milk or 'prokish'.
Fact 2. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bulgaria ranked first in Europe in the number of centenarians. According to the scientists of the time, led by Professor Ilya Mechnikov, this fact can be explained only by the phenomenon of Bulgarian yogurt.
Fact 3. The Bulgarian scientist Dr. Stamen Grigorov found that the reason for the fermentation of milk is due to lactic acid bacteria.
Fact 4. Many peoples dispute the merit of the origin of yogurt, but there are enough facts that prove that yogurt originated in the Bulgarian lands. Even the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that "sheep's yogurt is a gift from the Thracians."
Fact 5. The sedentary lifestyle of the Bulgarians created even greater conveniences for obtaining yogurt. They accepted the tradition left by the Thracians to heat milk on fire and ferment it in clay and wooden vessels instead of leather bellows, realizing that after boiling and fermenting with old yoghurt, a tastier yoghurt was obtained.
Fact 6. The distinctive difference of Bulgarian sourdoughs, which distinguishes them from sourdoughs used in the production of yogurt in other countries, is the fact that in Bulgarian sourdoughs there is a lasting symbiotic relationship between the two types of bacteria (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus). The symbiosis is due to the difference between the taste and aroma of Bulgarian yogurt, compared to yogurts produced with yeast, isolated and created outside our country.
Fact 7. The only yogurt museum in the world is located in the Bulgarian village of Studen Izvor, near the town of Trun.
Fact 8. Bulgarian yogurt made its first appearance in Western Europe as a medicine. It cured King Francois I of France of an upset stomach.
Fact 9. Yogurt has a number of healing properties. It slows down the aging of the body and is probably the best source of easily digestible calcium. Calcium is vital for building bones and teeth, and lactic acid bacteria limit the formation of cancer cells.
Fact 10. Regular consumption of yogurt strengthens the immune system and protects against cardiovascular disease. Yogurt also has an antitoxic effect.
2. The unique Green Cheese from the village of Cherni Vit
"Cherni Vit" is a type of Bulgarian cheese, which is produced only in the area of the village of Cherni Vit, Teteven municipality, a variety of white brined cheese. It is one of the three mold cheeses in Europe and the only mold cheese in the Balkans.
The history of green cheese is closely linked to the way of life of the local people of that time,
when thousands of sheep are raised in the Balkan Mountains. In the summer pens located on the high mountain pastures, the shepherds make cheese and store it in wooden pots. Gradually the cheese brine is drained through the pores of the wood and the pieces remain dry. At the end of the summer, the shepherds remove the cheese in the village and store it in cellars at constant humidity and temperature of about 10 - 12o C. When the pot is opened, from now on with the humid and cool air, the cheese begins to
cover with blue-green mold.
For a long time, the locals considered the moldy cheese to be spoiled and of poor quality. It began to disappear in the 1970s, when local manufacturers replaced wooden containers with plastic cans.
Green cheese was rediscovered only in 2007 by Italian specialists and since then it has been regularly presented at the World Cheese Exhibition in Bra, Italy, where it has been highly praised for its uniqueness and quality.
Learning activity 1:
"Grandma's Homemade Yogurt Experiment" Experiment
!!! Attention: For this activity you will need the help of a teacher or a parent!
large bowl with lid, 1 liter of fresh milk, half a bucket of yogurt for the sourdough, hot plate, 3-4 jars with lids, spoon, tablecloth, cooking thermometer
1. With the help of your teacher or parent, boil 1 liter of fresh milk in a large bowl.
2. Leave the boiled milk for 10-15 minutes and place a lid on the dish.
3. Cool the milk to 44 - 45o C, checking the temperature with a cooking thermometer.
4. In a bowl, add about 40-50 g of yoghurt, which you mix with a little fresh milk so that you get a homogeneous mixture.
5. Add the resulting mixture to the warm milk.
6. Stir the mixture and pour into pre-prepared dry jars. 7. Close the jars and cover them with a towel. Leave them for about 3-4 hours.
Learning activity 2:
Discussion "Let's analyze the packaging of dairy products"
Milk and dairy products are one of the main food products. The quality of these products is extremely important for human health. Unfortunately, this quality is deteriorating more and more often. One of the reasons for this is the industrial breeding of dairy animals, their feeding with artificially enriched feed, transportation, processing, skimming, pasteurization of milk, which on the one hand prolongs its shelf life, but on the other hand spoils its taste. Very often these milks also lead to allergies.
Required materials: various packages of yogurt, kefir, dairy products.
Discussion Questions: Analyze the information on the ingredients printed on the labels of dairy products.
Answer the following questions: Which of the ingredients are supplements? Is there starch or gelatin in the composition of yogurt? What are the benefits of consuming homemade yogurts and cottage cheese? What are the advantages / disadvantages of buying dairy products from stores?
Learning activity 3:
Home experiment "Let's make homemade yogurt ice cream"
!!! Attention: For this activity you will need the help of a parent!
Materials needed: strained yogurt, frozen fruit, honey, cups, knife, spoon, mixer
1. Wash the fruit well (raspberries, strawberries, peaches or others).
2. Cut them into small pieces and put them in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours to freeze.
3. For the preparation of ice cream yoghurt you can use both ready-made strained yoghurt and squeeze ordinary yoghurt yourself.
4. Mix yogurt with fruit and add 1 tablespoon of honey.
5. Mix well with a mixer.
6. Pour into bowls and refrigerate for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.