Bulgarian yogurt / LoRa Photography

2019© LoRa Photography

What makes Bulgarian yogurt the most delicious yogurt in the world?

The main reason lies in a small bacterium known by different names, but it is most often called Lactobacillus bulgaricus Grigoroff. It causes the fermentation of milk and its superb taste.

Discoverer is the remarkable Bulgarian bacteriologist Dr. Stamen Grigorov. He was born in the village of Studen Izvor in Tran area in 1878. The homeland of Grigorov (Tran area) is famous throughout the country for its delicious yogurt. Ever since he was a child, Grigorov was strongly attracted to nature and science, and the teachers at school were impressed by the ease with which he absorbed the material. He completed his secondary education in natural sciences in Montpellier, France and medical science in Geneva, Switzerland. The professor was impressed by the young Bulgarian and tolerated him, and he even appointed him as his assistant. This was a great opportunity for Grigorov because it gave him access to the professor’s laboratory, which was one of the best equipped laboratories of its time. And there he made his greatest discovery!

At the same time, by the initiative of Pasteur’s Institute in Paris, whose director was the emigrant bacteriologist from Russia, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, a survey was carried out around the world about the number of centenarians and their share of the population of each country. Surprisingly it appeared that most centenarians lived in Bulgaria. Mechnikov concluded that the cause for their longevity lied in the daily consumption of Bulgarian yogurt.

The original starters for Bulgarian yogurt are symbiotic co-cultures of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus strains isolated from natural sources. Bulgarian yogurt contains very high numbers of viable bacterial cells: at least 100 million S.thermophilus and 10 million L.bulgaricus cells per 1 gram. The number of viable bacterial cells is a strict requirement of the Bulgarian State Standard 12:2010. To preserve the symbiotic relationship between the two bacteria in the starter for Bulgarian yogurt, selected combinations of strains are co-cultured together for many years.This makes BULGARIAN yogurt different from other fermented milks where the strains are cultured separately.