Matsoni Yogurt Starter

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$12.99

Matsoni Yogurt Starter

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A reusable heirloom-variety yogurt starter originating in The Republic of Georgia, Matsoni yogurt is also known in Japan as Caspian Sea Yogurt. A slightly tart yogurt, matsoni is excellent sweetened with a bit of honey or served over fruit.  It's a favorite in savory dishes, too!

  • Each box contains 2 packets of yogurt starter.
  • Activate 1 packet using 1-2 cups pasteurized milk; store 2nd packet in the freezer as a back-up.
  • Reusable heirloom starter recultures from batch to batch indefinitely.
  • Instructions for using this culture may be found here.
  • Cultures on the countertop at room temperature (70º-77ºF).
  • This culture is also suitable for use with raw dairy milk or non-dairy milk, with special care.


Ingredients: Organic milk, Live active bacteria (Lactobacillis lactis subsp. cremoris and Acetobacter orientalis).

This product contains no GMO ingredients.

Shipping Information and Shelf-life: Our Matsoni starter culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried yogurt culture. The starter keeps

  • At room temperature (68° to 77°F): 3 to 4 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 9 months unopened
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12 months unopened

 

Due to recent changes in manufacturing processes, the weight of the item that appears in the photo may differ from the actual weight of the item received.

Allergen Information:

Contains dairy. Packaged in a facility that also manufactures products made with wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish.


       


Suzanne

 

Why I Love This Product

Eating matsoni yogurt brings back wonderful memories of visits from Grandma. My Armenian grandmother used to make yogurt for us kids, long before plain yogurt was available in our small-town grocery store. The tart flavor with just a little honey added makes a wonderful treat!
Suzanne, Customer Support Assistant Manager

 

 



Questions on Matsoni Yogurt Starter

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  • From Becky at 7/18/14 7:57 PM
    • I have an unlimited supply of fresh raw milk for free. Can I use my raw milk with this culture indefinitely as long every batch of yogurt I make I use milk that I have heated to 160 degrees? Or is there still a need to maintain a mother culture?
    • If the milk is heated to 160 or higher each batch, there is no need to maintain a separate mother culture as this pasteurizes your milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From jenella at 2/5/14 11:59 PM
    • Could I use pastured cream with the matsoni starter? (I see every available milk style but that one!)
    • Yes, pastured cream would be great for use with the Matsoni starter. If it is not pasteurized or has a very high cream content, you will want to maintain a "mother" culture with pasteurized milk for the health of the culture. Be sure to make a new mother every 7 days from the previous week's mother you've saved in the fridge. The "old" mother can be eaten or composted, and the new mother can now be used to culture the pastured cream.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rachel at 10/15/13 11:20 AM
    • I purchased this yogurt to use with raw milk. I understand the concept of maintaing a pure starter, but can I make a smaller amount of it? Perhaps just 1 cup of pure starter instead of 1 quart? I'd rather not pastuerize such large amounts of raw milk.
    • Yes, you can make a smaller mother culture with pasteurized milk. 1 to 2 cups will work fine.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From anon at 9/19/13 9:42 PM
    • Can I strain this yogurt to make a thicker greek style yogurt?
    • Yes, you can strain this yogurt to make Greek-style yogurt.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Cc lee at 9/28/12 7:18 PM
    • Do I have to wait until the temperature of the milk is 70-77 before adding the culture starter?
    • If you're bringing the milk out of the refrigerator, you do not have to let the milk come to room temperature before adding the starter culture.

      If you are making a batch of mother culture for using raw milk, and the milk has been heated, you should let the milk cool to 70-77ºF before adding the starter culture.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From CC Lee at 9/21/12 6:42 PM
    • I bought Matsoni yogurt starter that will culture under room temperature. However, I have a yogurt maker machine. Can I still use the machine to make my yogurt for this particular type of starter? Thanks.
    • Matsoni cultures at room temperature and requires a temperature between 70° and 77°. Yogurt makers are designed to maintain a temperature of 110°, much too hot for a Matsoni yogurt culture.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Bryan at 7/10/12 3:36 PM
    • When I am activating the culture, should I expect to see some separation? It looks like I have a lump of yogurt surrounded by a little bit of liquid. I am using skim milk. I put it in the fridge now.
    • When culturing yogurt, there is often a layer of whey on the top. If the amount of whey is significant, that is a sign of overculturing. Watch your culturing time with your next batch, making sure to stop the culturing by placing the yogurt in the refrigerator as soon as it's set. Keep in mind that with low fat milks, you will get a thinner product than with whole milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dawn at 4/20/12 12:30 PM
    • Is properly cultured Matsoni SCD- or GAPS-legal? In order to be SCD-legal, for instance, the culture must eventually eat up all the lactose in the milk. Will this happen if I culture it for 48 hours?
    • To achieve an extra-tart yogurt with all the lactose consumed, you would let it culture longer, until the curds begin to separate out from the whey. When "over-culturing" yogurt this way, you must be careful to not let the culture starve. If the bacteria are too long without lactose, they will starve and die, and you won't be able to make a new set of yogurt.

      If you want to remove all the lactose AND re-culture the yogurt from batch to batch, you might want to consider making a mother culture first, culturing her for the normal timeframe, and using her to make the lactose-free batches. Save enough mother culture for the following week when you'll want to make a new strong mother culture to use to make that week's lactose-free batches.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From michelle at 3/25/12 11:21 PM
    • What kind of milk do you recommend? Organic milk at the store or raw milk? It is hard to find raw from where I live.
    • Any type of milk will work well with this starter, except for ultra-pasteurized or reconstituted dry milk, both of which are highly processed and may give unreliable results. Organic whole pasteurized milk is a good choice.

      Please use a regularly pasteurized milk to activate the dehydrated yogurt starter. Do not use raw milk as this is not always reliable and may not work. Once your starter has been activated successfully, you can then use raw milk according to this article: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-mesophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Stephanie at 2/28/12 11:58 AM
    • Can I use this culture for non-dairy milks? I'd like a culture I could re-use, unlike the vegan culture.
    • You may be able to culture a batch of non-dairy milk with this starter, but it will not perpetuate, as the cultures need lactose and milk protein to replicate.

      If you do not have an issue with dairy, you can reuse this culture by maintaining a pasteurized dairy mother culture each week from which to make your non-dairy milk yogurt. The creation of a mother from the previous dairy batch must be done every 7 days, so the bacteria stays viable. See here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/making-dairy-mother-culture-non-dairy-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Good value Review by W.L.
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Can't beat having fresh yogurt on hand at all times! So easy, healthy for you, and tasty. Thinner than commercial products because there aren't any starch fillers, very delicious with a somewhat tart taste. Love to use this in smoothies or strain out to make my own Greek yogurt. Value purchase because you get two starter packets but each one can be used indefinitely and without a yogurt making machine. Highly recommend! (Posted on July 17, 2014)
Best. Yogurt. Ever. Review by Nan
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I have never tasted a better yogurt. I make it with raw milk and everyone who tries it raves about it. The Matsoni yogurt is delicious plain with nothing added to it, but it is also fantastic with fruit, honey, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, etc. It can be tricky getting the right temperature to culture it. I am currently making it in my upstairs bedroom because the temp is more appropriate there than in my kitchen. And this is something I have learned with lots of trial and error. (Posted on July 10, 2014)
Matsoni Starter Review by Andrea
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Although the starter took over 36 hours to set the first time, it's been consistently ready in under 12 hours since. I love the mild and delicate taste. It's so much easier to make than the thermophilic yogurts! (Posted on June 13, 2014)
Yummy :) Review by Jodi
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Order came super fast, thank you! Took 48 hours to activate the culture, but it was totally worth the wait. Yogurt is now ready in 12 to 18 hours depending on room temp. I've made a couple of gallons now (in 8 oz canning jars), and have been super happy with each and every jar. I've used whole, whole with half &half, and raw milks. All worked extremely well. Not the thick yogurt you find in stores, but I actually love it this way. My neighbor, who lives in Japan 4 months out of the year, said it was thicker than the CSY in Japan, so he's been culturing for 12 hours and loving it that way. He said that they drink this yogurt in Japan, not eat it with a spoon. Love it! Thanks again! (Posted on May 12, 2014)
The Best that I've tried so far! Review by Sarah
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I really like this yogurt. I've tried villi and the Greek yogurt as well as using various store bought yogurts as starts for my own home made yogurt. So far I think Matsoni is the best for flavor (mild, just a little tart - like what you expect from yogurt - and there are no strange flavors that you have to get used to). It is a little thinner than what most people would expect for yogurt, but it's really easy to strain and it's so easy to make since you just add a little of your last batch to milk and stir - no heating - that it makes up for needing to strain it a little. As it is, it's perfect for adding to recipes, making smoothies, making dressing or sauces and you really don't need it thicker than it is if you eat it with nuts and berries or other things like that.
I would definitely encourage anyone who is new to ferments and making their own yogurt to try this one first. (Posted on April 29, 2014)
Great yogurt Review by Haley
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This is the second yogurt culture I have purchased from Cultures for Health and I love it. This seems to take about 13 hours to culture in my house but it is very tasty and great for breakfast. (Posted on March 25, 2014)
Arrived quickly and tastes great Review by Jenn
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Arrived quickly and tastes great! (Posted on February 13, 2014)
Didnt work Review by David
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Followed all the directions and it just wouldnt come out. Didnt know what I was doing wrong or why it didnt turn out.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on January 31, 2014)
Disappointed Review by Sara
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Based on the other reviews, I purchased this yogurt expecting an easy, tangy, delicious yogurt. That is not what this is. I used whole organic milk (pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized) and cultured it twice.

It didn't make the thick yogurt that I was expecting. It was more like really runny jello. The flavor wasn't tangy, it was bland and nonexistent. The only way I could eat it was to add it to a smoothie. I have much better results with culturing my yogurt in a crockpot from a store bought starter.

Skip this one.

Note from CFH: Culturing temperature is important when culturing countertop yogurts; maintain 70-77ºF for best results. Please contact customer support for troubleshooting assistance and advice on keeping your cultures warm during winter months. (Posted on January 7, 2014)
Great culture Review by Loops
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Awesome culture, thick and very tasty! Give it a whirl! (Posted on December 21, 2013)
disappointed Review by yogurt make
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This was priced really high compared to other yogurt starters, but I was willing to pay because I wanted this particular strand. It came in only TWO small packs (others usually have 5 under $7) and both of them failed to make yogurt, even though I followed the instruction to the T. So I wasted almost $20. I can't recommend this product to anybody.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on December 8, 2013)
Easy and delicious. Review by Chris R
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This yogurt is mildly tart and very easy to make. I split some of my first batch and took it with me on a plane. While on vacation I successfully made several batches from just a tablespoon of mature yogurt! This was a great solution because I didn't have access to a system for heating yogurt to 110°, so this culture produced great tasting yogurt by sitting in a jar at room temperature .

I have had better texture when using grass fed non-homogenized whole milk. And even better luck when heating the milk to 180° then cooling to 70° before adding my mature yogurt. That isn't absolutely necessary, though. (Posted on April 14, 2013)
Great taste, great value Review by Anna
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I was looking for a yogurt that required no heating of milk or long incubation period, and when I saw this and remembered the taste of some Georgian yogurt I had a long time ago I thought to give it a try. I was a bit nervous because the first batch took a long time to culture (almost 48 hours), but when it finally set, it was a lovely, mild and soft yogurt, just as I remembered it. It's thinner and runnier than storebought yogurts, but has a very, very fresh and smooth taste--like one of the previous reviewers says, it's actually better on its own that with anything added. It recultures fast--second and subsequent batches only took 12 hours in a 70 degree room (I have a drafty kitchen so yogurt sits on a bookshelf in the living room). I use full-fat milk, mostly organic, but it works like a charm with plain non-rGB milk as well. Definitely recommending as it's a ton easier than any other method. (Posted on April 7, 2013)
Fabulous Yogurt Review by Sherry, from Avalon Naturals
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This was my first attempt at making my own yogurt and I am HOOKED. The Matsoni is very easy to maintain. In a warm, sunny room, it took about 12 hours to culture. It has a nice twangy flavor to it & though I tried adding some flavors, I preferred the natural taste. It's somewhat thinner than I expected, but I had to remind myself of what store-bought yogurts contained. It's much thicker than kefir, but I still like to put it in a glass and drink it rather than sitting down with a bowl & spoon. (Posted on February 8, 2013)
Wow Review by Antoinette
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I ordered this one by mistake... and I sure am glad I did... This yogurt is so mild tasting and I love the consistency. Also I've noticed that right after I drink it, I feel great! Thank you so much for this lovely product!!! (Posted on January 24, 2013)
Love this yogurt Review by Alexandra
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I made my first matsoni using yogurt made by a friend's mom in Japan. When that strain died due to an unfortunate kitchen accident, I got the matsoni starter from Cultures for Health, and have had great results. It makes a somewhat thin, but creamy tasting yogurt. Delicious on cereal or granola, with honey or jam, or just plain. It's especially delightful when made from half-and-half. (Posted on March 15, 2012)
BignJames@frontier.com Review by BignJames
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Great yogurt....good consistency and flavor. Make sure milk is at room temp. before adding starter. (Posted on December 15, 2011)
I highly recommend Matsoni Review by experimental cook
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The Matsoni starter was very easy to get going and is easy to maintain. I use raw Jersey milk to make my yogurt and it's rich and delicious. My favorite way to use the Matsoni is making frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries or peaches and palm sugar or raw honeyfor sweetener. Yum!!! My family has definitely given it a thumbs up :-) (Posted on August 5, 2011)
Love this stuff! Review by kitchen wrecker
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Matsoni Yogurt is easy and delicious. My starter took 36 hours to set and I culture the yogurt using raw milk or 2% pasteurized and homogenized for 12 hours. The results are consistent with each batch and milk type. It does set up the same between batches and milk types. I do not find it to be tart at all,it is the mildest tasting cultured milk product I've ever had. Much easier than making yogurt in a yoogurt maker, even easier than kefir. (Posted on April 13, 2011)
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