Mishti Doi: The Cream Cheese of the East

Mishti Doi in Bengali means sweet yogurt which is a very popular dish in Bengal. It is the quintessential dessert without which a Bengali lunch cannot be said as complete. Made of full cream milk and sugar or also using yogurt and curd, it is a delight for those who are born with a sweet tooth. All the necessary equipment consist, is a bowl, a plate, a spoon and a wool sweater to keep the yogurt warm. It seemed like something so simple as to seem magical but it was a magic all the same. Because the yogurt after 12 hours was ready, thick, creamy and with an excellent flavour.

For the production of yogurt can be used any kind of milk. Even the so-called soya milk, a totally vegetable derivation can be fermented with success. The processing stages include selection of ingredients, mixing, homogenization, heat treatment, inoculation of the culture, the fermentation, the packaging and distribution.

The origins of this food, widely used in daily life, are very ancient and uncertain. The discovery was probably accidental. Milk, if left in contact with the skins taken from the skin or from the stomach of the animal from which it was obtained, coming in contact with certain types of enzymes and by the action of heat, turns naturally in yogurt. The etymology of the name has been Turkish-Altaic or Ural-Altaic.

As a result of cultural contacts and migrations of peoples who already used it with them, the use of yogurt soon spread throughout the West among the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Romans. The work continued to spread at the same time. In the East it is mentioned in the stories of The Thousand and One Nights, in widespread use, so even among the Arabs. Yogurt met a great success in India, where to this day is one of the main foods of the local diet.

And then in Bangladesh there is a tradition of local consumption of the yogurt. With the name of mishti doi or sweet yogurt, it is a dessert that is very widespread. As we have already said, speaking of rasgulla, Bengal is the world capital of sweets and all over eastern India mishti doi is synonymous with Bengal. Among the most famous sweets of the East, the mishti doi tastes really great. And the thing that makes it just perfect is that it is incredibly easy to prepare!

And it is also very cheap, which is good in this time of world crisis! Ready to confront this recipe that comes from the East of the world, but has already won the refined palates of millions of Westerners. That's what you need to become the undisputed kings of the kitchen of the house.

The Mishti Doi, also pronounced mitha dahi is a kind of white yogurt cheese, made from the milk of cow, occasionally with milk of goat, typical of the cuisines of the Bengalis. It has a consistency of yogurt and cheese, and sometimes, depending on the country, may have a pasty consistency. To retain it for longer time, it can be left to dry in the form of balls from three to four inches in diameter conserved immersed in plenty of oil. The yogurt can be flavored with spices such as thyme or mint.

Mishti Doi

Although nowadays you can find in supermarkets, stored in glass jars filled with oil, in most of the houses in the Bengal is prepared traditionally. In ancient times nomads put milk yogurt or goat skins in which over time the water contained in the yogurt was filtered through the pores, as long as there remained a paste to which was added the salt for storage.

The labneh is a very popular dish as a snack and is a typical ingredient of the sandwich. The flavor depends largely on the type of milk used. The labneh made ​with cow's milk has a delicate flavor. In Lebanon there is a labneh with goat's milk, the taste is special and elaborate, called ambriz.

There is a legend and a fool who does not understand that the origin of the Labneh cheese goes back thousands of years before Christ. It is said that a man from the desert traveled on his camel and among his few belongings he carried the belly of a lamb that, like a bag, contained sheep's milk.

The trip took more time than expected and during the course of it, the whey was filtered through the pores of the gut. Once he arrived at his destination, the man gave himself the task of opening the bag. Surprised found a thick paste instead of milk, it had been fermented.

Curious the man tasted of the food. Its distinctive and natural flavor seduced his palate immediately. Then he thought that his wife could like it and even find diversity of uses in the preparation of food. They say that the woman was such a skilled, creative cook and it did not take long until the Labneh became popular in kitchens throughout the Middle East.

The Labneh is a type of cream cheese derived from homemade yogurt, which can be made with cow's milk, sheep's milk and goat's milk. With cow milk it has the most delicate flavor and is the most common in production and sale, as in consumption. It is a product that can not be missing in the kitchens and tables of the Middle East and the entire Mediterranean. Although the taste of homemade Labneh is much more salty and acidic than the commercial one, it is one of the best alternatives to mayonnaise and different types of creamy cheeses.

Definitive, to be able to enjoy it is thanks in part to the Bulgarians and the Turks. They were the first to originate the yogurt and the second to introduce it to all east and part of Europe (according to some historians). Currently this nutritious, versatile and tasty food can be obtained in markets almost all over the world. But if it were not available to do it is extremely simple. I am sure that dairy lovers will fall in love with the Labneh for life.

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