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Turkish Ayran

The Turkish Ayran, a Traditional Drink

Turkish Ayran is a drink that is best drunk fresh, some add ice cubes. Ayran is made from salted liquid yogurt mixed with water. Impossible not hearing about Ayran if you are a foreigner living in Istanbul or Turkey. This drink is on sale everywhere: in food stores, restaurants, small neighborhood snacks… Its sale competes with sodas and fruit juices. Ayran is even on the McDonald’s standard menu.

This drinkis also very popular in the countries of the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia. It resembles the Indian lassi, however with less thick and creamy consistence. In more rural parts of Anatolia, it is sometimes used to welcome guests as a kind of white jam for the Istanbulites of another era.

Turkish Ayran with mint
Turkish Ayran with mint

Do you sulk a little about this milk drink which seems a bit bland, too salty, not tasty enough but which goes perfectly with doner and gozleme (especially if you are eating in a place that does not serve alcohol) ? But have you only tried a very fresh Ayran and especially “çok köpüklü” (foaming) on a hot day? You definitely should!

Note that Euro 2008 recommended in its web communication “healthy and balanced drinks” instead of beer. Ayran was one of them!

Here is Ayran (Turkish yoghurt drink) recipe if you want to give it a try! Ingredients:

  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • 200-300 ml water (cold)
  • salt, to taste (approx. 1/4 tsp salt)

Add yoghurt, water and salt to a blender. Blend until a little foam has formed on top. Serve cold.

The traditional Ayran is drunk in a glass, a mug but it can also be found in small bottles, large bottles, jars, etc. Packaging is diverse. In all catering places, from McDonalds to school cantines, Ayran goes down a treat!

The Turkish Ayran annual consumption sold in shops is of 442 million 570 liters, that’s a very remarkable number and this is without counting homemade Ayran.

Afiyet Olsun! (Bon appétit in Turkish)

For more information about another must-try of the Turkish cuisine, do not hesitate to click on this article about the lahmacun. Turks call it the “Turkish Pizza”!

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