Daniel Carasso, Yogurt Pioneer, Dies at 103

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I had never heard of David Carasso, but I was fascinated, reading his obituary today. He was the founder of the Danone group, and basically responsible for taking yogurt from being an obscure, Mediterranean food into the ubiquitous food it is today. He also just had one of those epic, incredible lives. His obituary is worth reading.

It also just made me think about how much I like yogurt. And in addition to being so tasty, it’s very, very good for you. When I was little, my hippie mom always had a bowl of yogurt fermenting in the oven or in her fridge¬†with a plate on top of it. I have to admit that as a kid I thought it was gross, but I also didn’t like asparagus, lobster or anything, really, except Chinese restaurant chicken and broccoli. Anyway, since growing up, I’ve often made my own yogurt, and if you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it. Making yogurt at home is incredibly easy and gratifying. You take milk and heat it up to just before the boiling point, which is called scalding. After letting it cool to room temperature, you add a spoonful of yogurt. This is the seed culture that will turn your milk into yogurt, so make sure it’s a good yogurt that has live, active cultures (sorry Mr. Carasso, but no Danon). You cover it, and put it in a warm place over night (as my mom will tell you, the oven with just the pilot on works well). In the morning you will have yogurt. Try it. It’s amazing.

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Funny, I have some yogurt in a bowl with a plate on top in the oven right now. You CAN use Danon, but organic is better. What’s odd is that the really good Greek yogurt makes a lousy starter. Love, your hippy Mom.

  2. Lola
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    My mom is albanian and she always makes her own yogurt. After she warms up the milk (she always uses Vitamin D milk) She tests it by sticking her pinky in the milk and makes 9 small circles. If her finger can handle the heat then the milk is ready to be added a tablespoon of yogurt. And then she covers the container and puts a piece of cloth over it. And voila the yogurt will be ready in a few hours.

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