Ayran or laban is a cold beverage of yogurt mixed with cold water and sometimes salt; it is popular in many Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Southern European countries.
Similar and possibly related beverages include the Indian lassi and the Iranian dûğ.
Turkey is the biggest producer of ayran in the world, and has researched the subject extensively. In Turkey, ayran is often regarded as a separate category from other soft drinks.
International fast-food companies in Turkey, such as McDonald's and Burger King, include ayran on their menu.
In rural areas of Turkey, ayran is offered as a "standard" drink to guests.
Ayran is usually served chilled, and is a common accompaniment to any form of grilled meat, pastry, or pilav.
Ayran also enjoys considerable popularity in the Greater Syria region, where it remains widely available on the market. The Syrio-Lebanese Leben 'ayrân is mostly made out of strained yoghurt and has a sourer taste than the mainstream Turkish Ayran.
Ayran is commonly consumed with fast food, such as Banitsa from street vendors. The Bulgarian Ayran is typically not salted.
In any country with a significant Armenian population, one can find the Armenian "Թան/T'an", that can be either carbonated (as in the Eastern Armenian Culinary culture), or non-carbonated (as in the Western Armenian Culinary culture).
In the Persian speaking world, ayran, named "Dûğ / دوغ" is often drunk in a carbonated form. In rural Iran one will often be offered dûğ that is a lightly seasoned with different spices, such as black pepper or Mint.
To add a photo, please follow this submit form.
Ayran the Turkish Drink, ayran.com