I hated yogurt until i went to Paris this January and lived there for five months. Every major supermarket there has at least two aisles of yogurt selections, and most of those selections are amazing. France is particularly famous for its “pure” yogurt, in all its thick and fresh goodness:
I’m talking about the yogurt in the center of the pile, in the terra cotta pots (the lovely terra cotta pots that are perfect for storing all kinds of ingredients!). It’s made by La Fermière. I wish i had a close-up shot of the yogurt itself. It’s surprisingly firm that you can literally cut it with your spoon; it’s nothing like the runny yogurt we have in the States. It’s not as tart as American yogurt; it tastes creamier, but not at all fatty. It is full fat, but you know what, that’s how yogurt was meant to be. But it’s not like Greek yogurt at all; Greek yogurt is strained, so it’s got a “sticky” consistency–the consistency of acrylic paint. (Pardon the rather unappetizing metaphor. Not hatin’ on Greek yogurt, folks–i actually swear by FAGE when cooking.) Anyway, here’s a pic i found of the yogurt itself; although it’s tiny, you can get a feel for the yogurt’s consistency:
photo credit: Clotilde Dusoulier
I know it’s possible to find the La Fermière-type yogurt here in the States (just don’t remember where, and if anybody knows, please leave a comment), but there is a type of yogurt that i fell in love with in Paris that cannot be found here. And that is Nestlé’s B’A yogurt (can’t find any links to it):
But only the lemon and vanilla varieties had that texture i’m talking about. Both of these yogurts have this grainy, not creamy, texture that cannot be found in the American counterpart. The best way to explain the fundamental difference between the two textures is that the grainy kind melts in your mouth and slides right down, but the creamy kind sticks all over the inside of your mouth and leaves a nasty residue. It’s basically delicate vs. cloying.
I am seriously suffering from French yogurt withdrawal. The closest match in texture i found is…wait, i still haven’t found any! It’s proving to be impossible to find it, and i am slowly forgetting exactly what that texture was like. The closest match in overall quality is Liberté’s yogurt. I’m linking to their 6-grain yogurt variety because that’s the only thing i’ve tried, as it is the only line of Liberté products that is sold in my area. It contains no added sugar or preservatives–just all-natural goodness. I love the plumpness and chewiness of the grains in the yogurt, and the yogurt itself is excellent; its flavor is purer than any other yogurt’s, and you can easily taste the quality of the Vermont milk they use. This is one of the rare products that are “all-natural” and truly taste like nothing but Mother Nature; this is as pure as yogurt can get. It really is perfect, and it is currently the only yogurt i eat and recommend, but i still want to find the aforementioned French yogurt texture here in America.
And so continues my desperate search. Any recommendations? Leave ’em in the comments.