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In parts of the world where yogurt is traditionally made, a variety of different yogurt drinks are also available. Though each language may have its own name for a particular yogurt drink, the composition of these beverages changes very little from country to country. In general, yogurt drinks are made to be either salty or sweet and may contain herbs, spices, or fruits mixed into it.
One of the most common varieties of the many yogurt drinks found around the world is made from yogurt, water, and salt. Called ayran in Turkey, the country credited with first developing yogurt, this drink is popular all around the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of western Asia. There are many different names for this drink, and besides ayran, it is also commonly known as dhalla or dugh. This beverage is made by blending salt, water, and yogurt together until the mixture is thin enough to drink.
Other varieties of yogurt drinks may use sugar instead of salt. These drinks will also commonly use fresh or preserved fruit to add to the sweetness of the yogurt drink. Lassi is a popular variety of this type of drink that is found in Pakistan and India. Many nations in Europe and the Americas also produce similar sweet yogurt drinks. As with salty drinks, these beverages are usually thinned using water.
Some parts of the world produce even simpler varieties of yogurt drinks made from just water and yogurt. Milk can also be blended with the yogurt to make it thinner, while preserving the strength of the flavor of the fermented dairy product. Fruit flavored drinkable yogurt may also contain fruit juice rather than water or a blend of the two. Drinkable yogurt can also be made with carbonated water instead of flat water to make a kind of yogurt soda.
In some parts of the world, yogurt drinks may be referred to as yogurt smoothies. These drinks tend to be a little thicker than traditional types of yogurt based beverages, though they can still be drunk rather than eaten. Often, yogurt smoothies are made fresh using a blender to mix together the yogurt, fruit, and other ingredients. Ice may be added to fresh yogurt smoothies to make it colder and thicker.
All kinds of different herbs, spices, and fruits may be added to yogurt drinks. Mango and mint are popular flavors in India and the Middle East, while American drinkable yogurt may be flavored with mixed berries or peaches. Spices such as cinnamon, cumin, or chili peppers may also be placed in yogurt drinks to give them more variety.
Most of the Indian restaurants around here have lassi on the menu. You can get plain, sweetened, salted or mango. My husband likes the mango kind.
I've never been able to cultivate a taste for the lassi drinks. The mango is probably as close as I would get to drinking one for myself. I am just not a fan. The mango lassi are pretty good. The others are just a little too exotic for me.
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