Ayran. Don’t be fooled, this is buttermilk.

After reading in preparation for my trip to Istanbul, Turkey, I felt ready to try some new foods.

One new food was going to be a tangy yogurt like drink that one guide and culture book raved about, citing it as a “must” try food. This dairy drink is named “Ayran.”.

You say it “ahy-rawn.”

I was pleased to find it on the menu and also managed to pronounce it well enough to order it without finger pointing and gesturing – which were fairly common on this trip.

I anticipated a thick creamy drink in a tall glass.

Instead, this plastic cup with aluminum peel-back cover arrived.


Oh yea, and the straw. Don’t forget about the straw.


I opened the lid to reveal a very liquidy yogurt substance, that I should have shaken. D’oh!

I stirred fast and furious and the smell wafting up to my nose was tangy. Tangier still than the tangiest yogurt. Did I mention the straw and the liquidiness?

I leaned in, took the straw in my mouth and sucked up…straight and pure buttermilk.

And then I washed my mouth with my çay and desired Ayran no more.

Incidentally, I began to notice that every corner kiosk sells Aryan, that many many Turkish children gleefully plead for and enjoy sucking on an Ayran, it’s everywhere in Istanbul!

Somehow, I was still sated by my single sip.



Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.

17 responses to “Ayran. Don’t be fooled, this is buttermilk.

  1. I guess you could say it’s a cultural thing?

  2. EW! They serve this stuff (or something similar) at this Turkish place by my work. My friend always drinks two of them, and how he does it is beyond me. I hate yogurt … so I guess I’m not a good person to have a positive opinion on the stuff 🙂

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  5. None

    Yogurt is invented by the Turkish people, so obviously they will have variety, plus original ayran is made differently than the premade buttermilk tasty ones.

  6. Anonymous

    its not buttermilk.

  7. Yummmmm!!! Landed on the blog since I could recollect what they called Buttermilk in Turkish. Actually, I thought Ayran was yummy!! Buttermilk is a common drink in Indian meals too. When I visited Turkey, I consumed it everyday with every meal. In fact the taste was precisely to my liking. And it’s better than the sodas we consume any given day. 🙂

  8. i do love Ayran and i drink alot of it as matter of fact iam working on having same product in my country by contacting the mother company

  9. Ismat

    Doooh. .. ayran is not butter milk.
    Ayran is tangy yoghurt ie..older..mixed with water salt and dry mint added.. so its a yoghurt drink.simple as that

  10. 612io

    The first time I tried it (10 years ago) it wasn’t in my palette either. However, nowadays I drink it once or twice a week during lunch. Especially tasty in combination with a piece of good bread, and a slightly sweet tea. I like the tang and the saltyness. It is also very refreshing after sports!

  11. Mezzem

    I dont know wether or not you tried it while eating but Ayran goes great with either a Kebab or with Lahmacun. Ayran should be salty, also its great to drink if you have a fever it helps bring your body temperature down (also eating natural yoghurt during a fever does the same thing). Also another thing to note, in Turkey not all brands make there Ayran the same, some are more salty, others are less, others are as you said tangy it all depends on which brand you bought.

    • Thanks for the tips! I will try it again with your advice in mind, and to pair it with different foods to see how it tastes to me that way. Overall it wasn’t a negative experience, more a surprising one.

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