Can Trimona Bulgarian Yogurt Help You Live Longer?

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Brunch "Eggs a la Trimona"

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What if I told you that a spoonful of Trimona’s Bulgarian yogurt a day could bring you 100 years of a happy and healthy life? Well, Dr. Ilya Mechnikov proved that fermented milk was responsible for the longevity of the Bulgarian people, won a Nobel Prize for this work, and spent his days touting Bulgarian yogurt as a medicine throughout Europe. He developed a theory that aging is due to toxic bacteria in the gut, and the addition of lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, discovered in the early 1900s by Dr. Stamen Grigorov, could prolong life.

In 1991 Atanas Valev, founder of Trimona Foods,  came to the United States with two jars of Bulgarian yogurt (given to him by a shepherd in Bulgaria who used it as the “mother culture” to make for his friends and family) to seek the American Dream. For years, he experimented in his small Southold kitchen to develop a yogurt that was the taste of his boyhood in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, a city older than ancient Rome, Athens and Constantinople. Trimona is short for the Latin Trimontium (the city of the three hills), one of Plovdiv’s ancient names of Plovdiv when it was a part of the Roman Empire.

Atanas recalls putting yogurt on his skin as a child to cure sunburn and inflammation. “That is what kids did in Bulgaria,” he says. “Yogurt was our medicine inside and out.” Then in 2008, his entrepreneurial dream became a reality. A new workspace and co-packing creamery in Chenango County, in the Catskill,s became home to Trimona, and a Bulgarian culture was born.

Trimona Bulgarian yogurt is organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, unstrained and whole fat. It is low in lactose and contains safe A2-beta casein, which comes from Jersey and Guernsey cows that graze on organic pastures that are in compliance with the Animal Welfare standards. The milk from these cows creates a yogurt with a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids and contains about five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA: a component of fat that has been shown to slow the process of some types of cancer and heart disease, and appears to actually help reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass) than cows fed with corn and grain.

“Let the Greeks have their philosophers, leave the yogurt to us.”

Trimona Bulgarian yogurt is unstrained, whereas all Greek yogurt is. “When you strain the yogurt you remove some of the most beneficial ingredients—whey—that contains the highest quality protein in milk, along with a number of essential minerals, like calcium,” says Atanas. “Let the Greeks have their philosophers, leave the yogurt to us.”

Atanas partners with Dr. Phil Domenico a research scientist with a PhD in microbiology to educate the public on the benefits of his yogurt. Trimona Foods has offices in Soho and in Port Jefferson and is available for free lectures on request. The Cornucopia Institute ranked Trimona Bulgarian Yogurt fifth out of 130 yogurts based on ingredient labels and testing.

Atanas enjoys cooking with his yogurt and provides great recipes with video demonstrations for poached eggs, marinated chicken thighs, mousse, smoothies, quinoa crepes and spinach with quinoa.

Visit Trimona Foods’ website to see where you can buy their product. Available at Wild by Nature in Hampton Bays.