Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Friday, May 25, 2007

On Yogurt

I was raised eating yogurt. From about the age 0f nine or so, I had one in my lunchbox nearly every day. Those were the days when yogurt choices were fairly limited. Perhaps a store carried two or three brands. My stepmother always bought Dannon, either strawberry, blueberry, mixed berries or vanilla. Although I liked yogurt, it seemed to me that there was too much fruity goop at the bottom and I would only stir up a small amount of it into the creamy white part. When my spoon made its way down to the goop it was time to throw the yogurt out. I continued to eat yogurt in this manner at least until the end of high school and most likely beyond. Despite a brief period when I tired of yogurt and stopped eating it altogether.

After I graduated from college, I discovered Paris and the pleasures of creamy yogurt. The yogurt choices I found in the nearby Monoprix (a large French supermarket chain) were overwhelming. From adorable rounded glass jars to tiny individual containers, in zero percent fat and full fat. There was a yogurt to suit every taste.

Somehow I settled on a yogurt produced by Danone (creature of habit) called Bio Natur. It was a plain, unflavored yogurt which contained some mysterious, supposedly healthful ingredient called bifidus in it. I fell for its plain and simple goodness. I felt like I was doing my body a favor when I ate it. After that discovery, there was no going back to American Dannon.

When I came back to the U.S., I sought out other kinds of yogurt.
For many moons, Stonyfield Farms was at the top of my list and I ate only that in a variety of flavors, being partial to vanilla and plain. The creamy layer on top was a bonus rather different from the Brown Cow variety which seemed sour.

For several years, I alternated brands, buying either plain or vanilla. I tried Hawthorne Valley, Seven Stars and others, buying whatever was available. I also discovered goat-milk yogurt which was a short-lived habit once I discovered how caloric it was.

When I first met A., we would breakfast on giant bowls of thick, full-fat yogurt topped with granola and fresh fruit. Those were happy mornings, for now A. no longer eats yogurt, claiming he has developed an intolerance to it. Yogurt though, is still a part of my breakfast.

I thought I had found my yogurt niche but then I encountered Greek Yogurt. The thick texture of even the lowfat versions is astonishing. They even contain active yogurt cultures. These have now become my yogurt du jour although I still have the occasional Stonyfield.

Meanwhile, Izzy is following the yogurt trail. Greek yogurt has become his yogurt du jour and it can always be found in his lunchbox. How it is prepared, is another story...

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