We know that trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. The only way to earn it is to be open and honest about what we’re doing. Our products aren’t new, but innovatory in the context of a consumer’s society that is up to the ears in substituents and preservatives. We’ve chosen to make things differently and we are willing to share our experience and be frank about our deeds. One of the most frequent questions from people who are wondering whether we deserve their trust is “How to find out whether your yogurt is what you say it is – a traditional Bulgarian yogurt?” And the answer isn’t exactly easy.
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What is yogurt?
Let’s start from the bottom and define it. “A traditional Bulgarian yogurt” could be named only a product made from fresh milk without additions with live leaven of Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus.
Additions to milk can be numerous – usually baking soda, water, non-dairy fats, milk powder, starch used to be popular as well. When the milk is received in the dairy farm, the presence or absence of all these additions can be determined and it is the responsibility of the producer to decide what to do with such poor quality raw material. Starch can be easily found out even at home with an iodine solution. Put a drop or two in it and if the liquid turns blue or purple then there is starch added. Our apparatus for examinating the physicochemical composition of milk is called Ecomilk and we use it to analyze every delivery of fresh milk we accept at the dairy farm. Apart from the laboratory, every consignment goes through organoleptic tests.
We only work with 2 bio farms that are well-acquainted with us and of course, there haven’t been any cases of finding something forbidden in the raw material we get from our farmers so far. Regardless of the trust, we’ve built, every consignment is being checked and controlled with extreme diligence.
You may not know, but Bulgarian legislation actually allows its presence in yogurt, but not in milk. It can be up to 20% but it must be mentioned on the package. And so, many producers generously add it to increase the output or to achieve a better consistency. Our yogurt’s texture is different throughout the different seasons which is only due to the natural cycles and we do not intervene by adding unnecessary supplements or executing needless technological processes like homogenization.
Let’s talk about the leaven and the two “good” bacteria. We use unique symbiotic leaven for traditional yogurt, consisting of strains insulated in Bulgaria, carefully selected from our technologists. During the fermentation, while the bacteria are dividing, aromatic and fermentative compounds are formed which determine yogurt’s final taste and flavor. They are called diacetyl- and acetaldehyde and their ratio depend on the type of leaven used and the milk’s quality and composition. To cut the long story short – with every product in the dairy farm we choose the combination of leaven so that we can achieve a taste and flavor we think are the closest to what we imagine yogurt should be. Judging by the increasing number of our clients we’re doing pretty good.
Yet, no matter how tasty it is, yogurt’s health benefits are due to the number of live bacteria in it. Here’s why before the production is sent off to the markets, we conduct a thorough examination of every consignment – a microscopic picture, cell morphology, etc. At home, you can make yourself believe that there really are live bacteria in the leaven by using the yogurt itself for a leaven. For this purpose, you need to be careful with your choice of milk to put a leaven in, since you can’t make sure whether it has additional substances that could suppress the growth of lactic-acid microorganisms.
Of course, we recommend using our yogurt, it’s not homogenized and lasts for only a few days. Keep an eye on the temperature of the curdling as well as during the fermentation. It’s better to keep it about 45 degrees Celsius.