Bulgarian Yogurt, 3




seem after all get enough
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bolster intestine immune system
annual festival celebration
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recipe amazing tablespoon
spoon lukewarm traditional
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treat stick (3) Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
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They can’t seem to get enough of this yogurt. After all, it keeps them young for many long years, they say. This particular Bulgarian yogurt is said to possess magic powers. Every year, the village of Momchilovtsi devotes an entire festival to it

But why exactly? What’s its secret?

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The Milk

These two Momchilovtsi residents know it very well: a cow named Milena and her owner, Siika Gadjeva.

Siika Gadjeva, Makes her own Yogurt: “My cow is five years old. She’s already had three little calves, and now, she’s carrying her fourth.

It’s said Milena’s good milk is part of the secret to living a long life. But what else? The village of Momchilovtsi.

We look for more answers here in Momchilovtsi. The village in southern Bulgaria has a population of barely one thousand.

She gives five liters of milk a day, five in the morning, and five in the evening. I give her fodder with a high fat content, so that her milk will be thicker.

I always have to make sure to feed my Milena properly and on time.”

It’s said Milena’s good milk is part of the secret to living a long life. But what else?

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The Village of Momchilovtsi

We look for more answers here in Momchilovtsi.

The village in southern Bulgaria has a population of barely one thousand.
Scientists say they live very long lives here. A higher-than-average proportion of centenarians live in the region, according to studies conducted a few years ago.

One reason cited for that is the food, in particular the yogurt made with traditional methods.

It’s good for the intestines and bolsters the immune system. And because it’s so healthy, it’s cause for an annual celebration. The Yogurt Festival in Momtchilovtsi runs for three days in September.

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But Siika Gadjeva has no time for partying. She has to look after Milena. Siika was born and raised here — and swears by her own home-made yogurt.

Siika Gadjeva, Makes her own Yogurt: “We simply can’t do without yogurt anymore. We’re so accustomed to it. And thanks to the yogurt, we all live very long lives.

My mother for instance was ninety-nine years old. She credited the yogurt for her long life.”

Just what is the secret of this special Bulgarian yogurt?

How Bulgarian yogurt is made.

In this living room she reveals the amazingly simple recipe. Two tablespoons of yogurt go into this pot of lukewarm milk.

The lactic acid bacteria they contain reproduce and convert the lactose into lactic acid. So new yogurt is made using cultures from the previous batch.

Siika Gadjeva, Makes her own Yogurt: “The fermentation process takes four hours. Then it’s ready to eat.

The milk has to be 45 C warm. I have a thermometer over there. I stick it in the milk and measure it.

I always wrap a blanket around everything and treat it like my little baby.

That’s it!”


Lactobacillus bulgaricus.


It seems like anyone could do that.

But not everyone has the lactobacillus bulgaricus!

That’s the strain of lactic acid bacteria that ferments Milena’s milk. It was a Bulgarian microbiologist who, in 1905, discovered the bacteria that ferments milk to make yogurt.

And Bulgaria has been inseparably linked with yogurt ever since — even though other lactic acid bacteria have now been identified that can also be used. But lactobacillus bulgaricus was the first to be named.

The Chinese Replica

In China, it’s even a symbol of good health. A company there markets yogurt named after the Bulgarian village. It may not be the same, but the image is enough to bring Chinese visitors here every year.

Visitor from China, Male: “Our Chinese yogurt tastes sweeter. We’re not used to it without sugar, like here. Bulgarian yogurt tastes natural.”

Visitor from China, Female: “It’s a little bit different, yeah. This one is more dense than the Chinese one. I prefer the jams added to yogurt.”

Momchilovtsi’s master yogurt-makers will have none of such things.

Yogurt Eating Contest

They’re preparing for one of the yogurt festival’s highlights: the yogurt-eating contest.

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That evening, in the presence of the Chinese ambassador and Siika Gadjeva, it’s time to elect Miss Yogurt.

Siika Gadjeva, Makes her own Yogurt: “We’re very happy to have a festival like this in town. And that we’ve still got cows in the village.

And I think it’s especially interesting to have the Chinese here with us.

It’s nice that we’ve been cultivating good relations with them for years.”

The party on the village square goes on till late that evening with good cheer, fresh food, healthy mountain air and, of course, everyone’s friend, the lactobacillus bulgaricus.

The combination of it all may well be the real secret of a long life in this village in southern Bulgaria.

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Yogurt. Bulgarian yogurt is similar in nutrition to milkshake. True or false?

Milk. Is Sophia, the capital city of Bulgaria, the cradle and home of Momchilovtsi yogurt? Is Momchilovtsi a big coastal city? Is Momchilovtsi a city along the sea?

Butter. Do the villagers of Momchilovtsi love to eat hamburgers, pizzas, cakes and donuts? Are they famous for red wine?

Cheese. Siika buys yogurt from the supermarket. Is this right or wrong? Is the process of making Momchilovtsi yogurt a very complex process?

Dairy Cream. Does Bulgaria export yogurt to China (in vast quantities)? Does China import large quantities of yogurt from Bulgaria?

Sour Cream. What happens in the village of Momchilovtsi every year in September?
Ghee. What are some traditional dairy products in your country? What dairy products do you eat and enjoy?
Curd. Are certain towns or regions in your nation famous for certain products, for example, cheese, yogurt, butter?

Whey. There are villages or regions where people live long and healthy lives. Yes or no? What are their secrets to a long, healthy life?

Cottage Cheese. Could certain products be made, marketed and exported (sold abroad)?

Ice Cream. What might happen in the future?

Kefir. What could or should people do?

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