Peterborough is North America’s leading producer of yogurt soda … so what’s yogurt soda?Did you know that

Peterborough is North America’s leading producer of yogurt soda … so what’s yogurt soda?

Did you know that Peterborough is the largest producer of yogurt soda in North America? In 2015 alone, 2.3 million litres of Ontario milk was processed in Peterborough by CDC Inc. (636 Queensway Crt., Peterborough, 705-750-0662) to make Mashky yogurt soda for the wholesale market.

Peterborough is the largest producer of yogurt soda in North America? In 2015 alone, 2.3 million litres of Ontario milk was processed in Peterborough by CDC Inc. (636 Queensway Crt., Peterborough, 705-750-0662) to make Mashky yogurt soda for the wholesale market.

Product developer Sarah Khabbazi says that their commitment to local sourcing goes beyond their milk.

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“We try to keep our business local because we love Peterborough and we want to help the economy to grow here and develop more,” she says.

A variety of yogurt sodas are made at CDC Inc.’s new facility, the leading producer of yogurt soda in North America (photo: Eva Fisher)knosh mar2
A variety of yogurt sodas are made at CDC Inc.’s new facility, the leading producer of yogurt soda in North America (photo: Eva Fisher)

CDC Inc. — better known as Persian Empire Distillery and Mashky Yogurt Soda — made headlines in early February when they opened their expanded new facility on Queensway Court. They are best known locally for their “Persian Empire” line of spirits, including a cashew nut liquor known as fenni and an apple vodka made with 100% Ontario apples.

For owner Bruce Khabbazi, yogurt soda is a family tradition — his father made yogurt soda in Shiraz, Iran.

The name “Mashky” comes from the tradition of storing yogurt drinks in a goatskin pouch. Merchants would load the pouches of yogurt onto a donkey and call out to people to come and buy. People would bring buckets and pitchers to fill from the pouch. Mashky is an Armenian word that can roughly be translated to “skin”.

Yogurt soda is an ancient drink popular in many middle eastern countries. Mashky produces five different flavours of yogurt soda inspired by the multicultural regions of Iran — each province has its own traditional taste, and that is what Sarah and Bruce try to capture with their products. These include a low-salt version, a mint version, and even a lactose-free option.

The taste is light and refreshing, with gentle carbonation from the active bacterial cultures in the yogurt. It would be excellent as an accompaniment to lamb, souvlaki, or spicy food.

It can also be mixed with Arak, an unsweetened anise liquor available from Persian Empire — if you prefer your yogurt soda with a kick.knosh mar