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21 July 2016 / Food

What Is Ayran?

You might be intrigued to know what is Ayran because, in recent years, it has spread across the world to become a favoured drink. Well, it all starts in Turkey. Most people think of tea as the national non-alcoholic drink of Turkey, yet the simple but delicious drink of Ayran snatches the crown. The popular summer drink, a simple mixture of yoghurt, water, and salt, quenches the thirst in ways no other refreshing drink can do. As well as being drunk in the Mediterranean and Middle east where it has different names, three simple yet important reasons ensure its popularity in Turkey, where thousands of cartons are sold every day.

In addition to gaining popularity in Russia and many western countries, the middle eastern drink is straightforward to make. Despite initial reluctance by anyone who has not drunk it before, the taste is surprisingly comforting on the palate. However, the most significant attribute that has contributed to its esteemed reputation in western countries is the massive amounts of health benefits of Ayran, a simple yoghurt drink.


Six Health Benefits of Drinking Ayran

1: Ayran contains water, so it fulfils the recommended quota of eight glasses of water a person should drink each day.

2: On a hot summer day, people sweat more and, in doing so, lose the natural body salt that the body needs. Drinking Ayran replaces this and explains why Turks love it during summer when it provides instant relief.

3: Ayran is full of nutrients like protein and calcium; therefore, it aids the health of bones and teeth. Bodybuilders, who need large amounts of protein, drink Ayran instead of the manufactured powder mixes.

4: Since it has no sugars and is low-fat, dieters love this drink, and it is an excellent alternative to other sugar-loaded refreshments like Coca-Cola.

5: Ayran, as well as aiding digestion, cures hangovers.

6: Yogurt bacteria helps cure stomach illnesses like constipation or diarrhoea, so many Turkish parents give their children Ayran when they complain of a sick tummy. So overall, when asking if Ayran is healthy, the answer is a resounding yes.


Does Ayran have Probiotics?

Some people ask is Ayran probiotic? Our body contains two types of bacteria: good and bad. Probiotics fall into the first category and can live in the gut, mouth, skin, lungs, and intestines. Their job is to help us digest food, stop bad bacteria, create vitamins, line our gut, and to breakdown and absorb medication. If you find yourself experiencing problems in any of these areas, Ayran might be able to help because the yoghurt contains natural probiotics.



Susurluk: Home of the Best Ayran in Turkey

Although mass-produced Ayran is sold all over Turkey, the best natural, homemade version comes from the western town of Susurluk. The small and otherwise relatively unknown town has earned itself a sterling reputation for being the king of makers, and their version stands out for two reasons. The first is preparing it to use high-pressure pumps to force the consistency through a faucet that produces a frothy top. Locals say, wait five minutes before drinking it, and if the foam disappears, it is fake. They credit their natural skimmed yoghurt produced from high-quality milk, making Susurluk one of Turkey's top areas for stockbreeding and milk production.

The Great Ayran / Raki Debate

While nutritious Ayran may seem a simple blend of ingredients unworthy of praise, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thrust its reputation into the limelight following by a national debate. In 2013, he firmly stated the alcoholic drink of Raki is not the nation's drink because children were raised on Ayran, and that is the face of Turkey instead. In 2015, the Customs and Trade Ministry fined the state-owned Caykur tea brand 220,000 lira after they produced an advert by a well-known Turkish rapper who said Ayran makes him sleepy. Stating the advert was insulting Ayran with no sound basis, they criticized the company for trying to decrease drink consumption across Turkey. While Ayran has not knocked tea off its throne as the most widely consumed drink in the country, it has certainly gained a foothold and loyal following who swear by its health benefits and taste.

How to Make Ayran

Although store-bought Ayran is a lovely refreshment, making creamy Ayran is simple, and you can change quantities of ingredients to produce your preferred taste. Into a blender, put a tub of plain yoghurt, some water, and a generous pinch of salt, and whisk it around for 30 seconds. Now ready to drink, serve it cold but you can also add fresh mint leaves, whole or chopped, or pour it over ice cubes. Lastly, if there is any left over, store it in the fridge as chilled. We are quite sure the varying tastes and flavour of this drink made from diary products will get you hooked. Indeed, Ayran easily matches the famous smoothie and is suitable for any lactose vegetarian.

Also Read

Turkish National Drinks: Now you know what is Ayran, you might be tempted to try This article lists some more drinks to sample when you visit here, from fizzy and fruity, to sweetened, the best thirst quencher for summer days and winter warmers.

Traditional Turkish Food: Ayran is excellent when accompanied by conventional food like kebab, but we recommend tasting other regional dishes that stand out in the field of Turkish cuisine. So, we have listed our top ten must-try foods, from a traditional Turkish breakfast to street food on the go and hearty meals that Turkish people love.

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