In order to survive in the wild, the first thing man had to do was find something to eat. Until the invention of agriculture, he hunted and eventually learned to domesticate animals. The sheep and the goat were the first, with roots going back to Central Asia. The sheep’s suckling of her young led to the discovery of milk. Fragile in structure, milk begins to change the minute it is exposed to the air. Accelerated by bacteria peculiar to the climate of Central Asia and the Caucasus, fermentation turns the liquid
into a solid. This chemical change produces the physical change that the Turks call ‘yoghurt’.
Yoghurt is soft, smooth, and slightly sour in taste, refreshing to the palate as to the brain. More than an invention of man it is a gift produced from nature’s own raw materials. As old as human history, it is perhaps the first example of food production.
Yoghurt remains important today among the time-honored nutritional techniques of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Anatolian societies.