yoghurts from around the world

Yoghurts From Around The World
How it’s made Origins of food

Yoghurts have been part of many cultures for ages and have ancient roots, dating back to 5,000 B.C.E.1 They are staple ingredients in many traditional recipes from Asian, European to Middle Eastern cuisine and are now considered as part of a healthy breakfast and a practical snack. But did you know that there are many different types of yoghurts around the world?

Fun fact. Eventually people discovered that under the right conditions, milk could turn thicker and acidic,and could also be preserved for longer,1 but that it wasn’t until Louis Pasteur who in the 1800s discovered the secret to milk fermentation process: microorganisms.2

Today, fermented milks have become a part of traditional and cultural heritage. Here are some examples:

Kefir – Russia
Kefir is a fermented liquid yoghurt, which is slightly carbonated and some variations contain a little bit of alcohol, which is naturally generated during the fermentation process. Although this fermented milk has been consumed in Russia and Central Asia for centuries, now it is enjoyed  around other parts of the world.3

Straggisto – Greece
This Greek type yoghurt has many different processes to obtain its thick, luscious texture and smooth consistency. In one of the processes to make the Straggisto the milk is strained to remove the excess whey that is produced to concentrate on the protein. Straggisto is used as the base for tzatziki and sometimes as breakfast/dessert that is topped with honey or sour-cherry syrup.4

Amasi – South Africa
Amasi is milk that is separated during the fermentation process, which is thick textured, a consistency which is similar to cottage cheese. The watery part of the separation is known as “umlaza”, which is commonly used in African cuisine. Amasi is prepared by fermenting unpasteurised cow’s milk in a calabash (a container which is smoked to prevent undesirable microorganisms before adding the milk) by Zulu and Tsonga communities.5

Kumis – Central Asia and China
It is said that Kumis was developed by Kazakh steppe nomadic tribes. It is made from the fermentation of a mare’s milk with a liquid starter.5 Traditionally, kumis is sipped out of small cups that is offered to guests on arrival, as an act of hospitality.6

Lassi – India
A yoghurt based drink, lassi can either be sweet (made by adding fruit purees and/or sugar) or savoury (made with a blend of cumin, salt and spices). They are often chilled and served with almost every meal.7

Laban – Lebanon
Laban has been part of Arab culture for centuries. It is made by straining fermented milk. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can be enjoyed as either served in a bowl or as a drink with salt and mint.

Do you have a favourite yoghurt from around the world? If so let us know in the comments section below.


  1. Fisberg and Machado (2015) “History of yogurt and current patterns of consumption”. Accessed 22 February 2022.
  2. Berche (2012) “Louis Pasteur, from crystals of life to vaccination”. Accessed 22 JFebruary 2022.
  3. Prado (2015) “Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products”. Accessed 22 February 2022.
  4. “What is Greek yogurt?”. Yogurt in Nutrition website. Accessed 22 February 2022.
  5. Behera (2017). “Kefir and Koumiss Origin, Health Benefits and Current Status of Knowledge”. Accessed 22 February 2022.
  6. Mathews (2018). “Food and Dairy Microbiology”. Accessed 22 February 2022.
  7. “What is Lassi?”. Yogurt in Nutrition website. Accessed 22 February 2022.

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