CommentaryFood & Drinks

Natural Yoghurt Finds You in Cuzco

Mornings in Cuzco yoghurt seems everywhere. On restaurant menus it is offered either alone or with fruit salad and muesli. And, women appear on the streets offering homemade yoghurt with fruit salad for some tourists and the people who work in the tourist sector.

Yoghurt is a nutritious food. It provides extra calcium and is recommended for children, adults, and–really–everyone. Yoghurt also helps those who are overweight with weight loss, they say, and is basically very healthful for the organism.

Both in our markets and the supermarkets yoghurt is never missing. In Peru it tends to be the more liquid form, a drinkable yoghurt, unlike the thicker custard form more common in the United States.

People drink yoghurt here with a lot of regularity because it is known to be good for gastric problems, for regulating the immune system, and for the general defense of our bodies.

Try a Natural Yoghurt from Chunvivilcas
Try a Natural Yoghurt from Chumbivilcas

A lot of people in Cuzco are lactose intolerant; they can only drink regular milk at the risk of diarrhea and gastric upset. Yoghurt solves that and lets most of them consume a milk derivative without pain.

Many products are derived from milk and yoghurt is only one of the, It is made when good bacteria, such as L Streptococcus termophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and L. lactis, among others do their work on milk. They convert lactose into lactic acid.

My sister, who is in the fourth year of secondary school, told me that in their technical area of cooking her fellow students and the professor compared natural yoghurt with milk. They found that a cup of yoghurt actually had more protein and calcium than a cup of milk, as well as a little less salt. Of course this all depends on how the yoghurt is made.

A commercial yoghurt has 8.7 g of fat while natural yoghurt contains approximately 2.3 g of fat. Although yoghurt is an animal product it has very little cholesterol, 29 mg, compared with 22 mg in milk.

Selling Yoghurt in a Basket
Selling Yoghurt in a Basket

People who consume yoghurt have a lower rick of suffering cancer than the people who do not eat it. Various studies demonstrate that the probiotics in yoghurt help the body suppress intestinal tumors.

Health professionals have recommended for some time the consumption of calcium through milk products, such as yoghurt, in order to maintain our bones and teeth healthy and to prevent osteoporosis. But in the last years various studies have shown that the consumption of milk products that are low in fat can help one with weight loss, especially when combines with a balanced diet.

Yoghurt is a great food for everyone, but especially for athletes as well as for people who work in construction where their exposure to dust creates lung problems.

Do you Want to Try Some?
Do you Want to Try Some?

While commercial yoghurt is a product prepared with different ingredients for stability and marketing, natural yoghurt is a mil product obtained through a lactic fermentation because of the bacteria “lactobacilus bulgaricus y streptococcus termophilus”. This fermentation maintains most of the health benefits of milk but makes it so much more digestible. Given how common the consumption of fermented foods is among humans all over the world, they may also be some benefit just from the fermentation itself.

If you were to stand under the colonnades of Cuzcos Plaza de Armas in the morning, you would see the women go from business to business offering yoghurt. They carry buckets of the naturally fermented milk, and offer it in the jewelry stores, the travel agencies, the clothing stores, and other. Though the stores are quite elegant and gleam, the women with her buckets is their morning counterpart.

Yoghurt for Sale
Yoghurt for Sale

If people wish, she lifts them a cup of her homemade yoghurt and maybe also serves them a fruit salad to combine with it. These women have learned to make yoghurt in a generational process as the art is passed down, along with the particular transforming bacilli, from mother to daughter.

The caseras, vendors, in the markets as well as those who roam the streets, sell natural yoghurt in various sizes, small medium and large (personal, medium, and family). The family sized container costs some 5 soles (about 2$ US), the medium 3 soles (about 1.40$US) and the personal between a sol and fifty centimos (cents).

For all of these reasons yoghurt is a very recommendable food for people of all ages and conditions. But best of all, it is delicious.

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