Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Yogurt, Whey & Greek-Turk Battle For Domination

New York recently played host to a yogurt summit.
That's right. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was front and center, too.
Despite its Big Apple reputation, New York is a state full of dairy farms. And it turns out the national craze - strained, thick Greek yogurt – is boosting milk demand and producing tons of waste. Greek producer Fage has operations in New York’s Mohawk Valley, while Chobani - founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish man of Kurdish extraction - operates in the “Southern Tier” of the state. 
The summit addressed just what to do with the runoff from straining yogurt, otherwise known as “whey.” I think of whey as a good thing. I think that's what Mediterranean food shops use to store feta. One would think industrial bakers could use it, or that someone could bottle a branded, new lassi or salty-mint drink. Instead, this Modern Farmer article totally demonizes the yogurt byproduct as "acid whey" and says it's a potential environmental hazard. One Upstate New York farmer tried to turn whey into electricity, but it cost millions.
There is another way to take the whey away: just artificially thicken the yogurt.
This 2012 NPR story explains the battle - mostly for yogurt authenticity - and says one Turkish dairy products company has studied just how to get the Greek "residual mouth coating, meltaway and jiggle."
Kiss a Greek, perhaps?
My advice: make yogurt at home. Here's a recipe for thick, Greek yogurt. Boil lots of milk, and cool it just enough to mix with some already-made yogurt. (My rule: it's just cool enough if you can hold your pinky in the hot milk for about 10 seconds). Then let the mixture sit in a warm place (that requires more finagling in winter). Strain. The above recipe says use an old t-shirt for straining. Greek grandmothers are known to use cheesecloth.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Turkey's Seismic Sunday

A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Sunday. As the death toll mounts, I unpack my bags stateside.

NTV quoted Veysel Keser, mayor of Celebibag: "There are many people under the rubble ... People are in agony. We can hear their screams for help. We need urgent help."

Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with more than 12 million people, was unaffected. It's closer to Europe, and this quake's epicenter was near Armenia and Iran. But National Public Radio reports Istanbul is near a major fault line and the city is ill-prepared for a major earthquake because of overcrowding and faulty construction. Experts say more than 40,000 people could die in a major Istanbul quake.

NPR wondered about a recently restored 10th century Armenian church, Akdamar Church, which is perched on a rocky island in Lake Van near the epicenter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jesus Johnson

Next time you hear radio journalist Soterios Johnson on NPR, via the New York affiliate WNYC, think about this: his real last name was Ioannou, or "son of John" in Greek. But his grandfather, who came from Cyprus, decided to change it. According to an article written for Columbia University, Johnson's alma mater, his first name is Greek for "savior," i.e. Jesus.