Daniel Carasso, creator of Dannon yogurt, dies at 103


On Sunday, Daniel Carasso, founder and honorary chairman of Group Danone, died at his home in Paris. A titan of industry, he had the rare distinction of transforming both the world of business and the world of food.

Carasso was, in many ways, responsible for the current association between yogurt and France. With industry giants La Yogurt, Dannon, and Yoplait long occupying a central place in the American fermented milk pantheon, it's easy to forget that yogurt was a staple of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European diets long before the French got their hands on it. In fact, although Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sent a batch of the food to the court of Francis I in the 1500's, the dish failed to catch on for almost four hundred years.