Way back when, Neolithic people discovered that they could eat milk that had gone sour with impunity, even though ordinary milk upset their digestion. Thus was the culture of yoghurt born, helping those Neolithic farmers to move into northern Europe. Fast forward 10,000 years or thereabouts, and the bacteria that soured milk were held to be responsible for the extreme longevity of Bulgarian peasants. That theory gave birth to a craze for Lactobacillus bulgaricus, as it was known, now increasingly popular in China.
All this and more I learned from Yoghurt: A Global History, a recent book by June Hersh. What I still don’t know is why those Neolithic people were even trying to drink milk, if it upset their stomachs. They were keeping sheep and goats, sure, but why were they milking them? Ideas?
All the best