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Got Milk? How to Make Yogurt

Directions for making your own at home. Also, Italy moves to rescue its king of cheeses. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

Yogurt is a healthy food that can be made at home. One way to make it is to first buy some yogurt from a store or purchase dry yogurt culture. Add two small spoonfuls of the yogurt to two cups of milk. This will be the starter for your own yogurt. A cup in the United States is two hundred forty milliliters.

When making yogurt, it is very important to have clean equipment, clean hands and good temperature control.

Pour eight cups of milk into a large cooking pot. Heat the milk to eighty-five degrees Celsius. Then cool the milk quickly to forty-three degrees. To do this, you can put the cooking pot in cool water.

Keep the yogurt at forty-three degrees and add one-half cup of the starter. The remaining starter can be kept for later use. If you want a thicker yogurt, you can also add one-third of a cup of dry milk.

Cover the pot and keep it at a temperature of forty to forty-five degrees Celsius for four to six hours. After that, your homemade yogurt is ready. It can be left at room temperature for up to twelve hours if you like a stronger taste.

You can add fruit, nuts, honey or spices.

Yogurt can be made with milk from cows or other animals including goats, sheep, water buffalo and camels. It can be spelled y-o-g-u-r-t or y-o-g-h-u-r-t. More information on yogurt making can be found at Web sites such as

Now, from yogurt, we move on to another ancient and related food -- cheese.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is the king of Italy's cheeses. People worldwide use it on pasta and other foods. The traditional Italian cheese is produced on several hundred farms around the northern city of Parma.

Cheese makers age it for at least twelve months in large rounds called wheels.

Parmigiano-Reggiano producers say now they are struggling with the financial crisis. Sales of the cheese and a lower-priced version, Grana Padano, are down in Italy. Prices for producers have dropped. And low-priced copies are on the market.

Now comes a rescue plan for the industry. Italy's government has made available enough money to buy two hundred thousand wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Charitable organizations then will give the cheese -- more than sixty million dollars' worth -- to poor people.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Karen Leggett with additional reporting by Sabina Castelfranco in Parma.