Friday, November 22, 2013

Yogurt for Infinity

I have been making yogurt for years.  I used to refresh the starter every few batches with some freeze-dried yogurt starter or a new cup of plain yogurt from the store.

Then I read in Sandor Katz' book that these are commercially controlled starters, and it's possible to acquire wilder starters that are self-regenerating if properly fed.



Consequently, I bought a Bulgarian yogurt starter online (here) this summer.  As long as I remember to save a little yogurt and make a fresh batch every week or so, I will never need to "refresh" my starter by buying something again.  I love this independence (which comes with the caution to keep the Bulgarian starter alive!).

10 comments:

Rebecca said...

I'm firing up my Greek yogurt today!

Meryl said...

Yum! I really should start making ours--it feels like we eat a ton of it, and homemade is so delicious.

Beth said...

I'm catching up here...
Yay for homemade yogurt!
The pj's are awesome.
The lentil meal = YUM and I hope you get that lens!
The wallet! Love, love, love!
And the percolator - that's wonderful - I'm a total coffee addict/snob and your set up sounds lovely and satisfying (and not just the taste of the coffee!)

jenny_o said...

I've never had homemade yogurt; how does the taste compare with store-bought? (I find the plain yogurt sour but don't like added sugar)

I think it's wonderful to be able to make your own and keep it going. I can't even keep a plant alive so I'm probably stuck buying yogurt in the store :)

Margo said...

jenny_o, the taste depends on the milk and the starter used. I find my Bulgarian yogurt to be especially delicious - mild, with a fabulous creamy texture. I use 2% milk that I buy in glass from local farmers - probably that helps, too. Everybody's kitchen has its own bacteria, so homemade yogurt is particular to the house where it's made! I never add sugar to my yogurt when I eat it, but I often eat it in tandem with another food - curry, or baked oatmeal, or a Mexican soup.

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Margo. And so interesting about what you choose to eat with it. Yogurt wasn't a common food here until the early eighties, and then it was the plain kind and marketed as a healthy dessert, no more. Do you eat it with spicy food to cool the heat, or another reason?

Margo said...

Yes, it's a nice side dish to a curry meal. If I'm feeling energetic, I make it into a raita with bananas or cucumbers.

Wendy said...

Margo - I'm curious how you are enjoying this yogurt starter now a few months into it. I've gotten back into making my own yogurt and am considering buying some of this starter rather than always using commercial. Thanks.

Margo said...

Hi Wendy! Good question: I've now had the starter at least 6 months and it is great. I'm a little careless about making yogurt every 7-10 days, but it doesn't show signs of suffering. Let me know if you have more questions - hope it goes well for you.

BLD in MT said...

Wow. How interesting! This is something Matt and I have talked about looking into. I rarely buy yogurt on account of the cost and packaging (not all of which is recyclable in our area).

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