joghurtbecher © beierle + keijser (via lensculture)
I haven’t found a new favorite yogurt, but i did try some worth blogging about. First up, Liberté’s Méditerranée line:
Donna-Lynn Kovic from Liberté left a comment on my first yogurt post notifying me of Liberté’s upcoming lemon and coconut flavors in the Méditerranée line. As per her suggestion, i contacted Julie Rivest in the marketing department to find out where i might be able to find these supposedly “European-tasting” yogurts in my area of Central Jersey. I didn’t have much luck finding grocery stores near me that stocked them, but when i went back to NYC for school, i found these everywhere and eventually bought some from my favorite local cheese shop, East Village Cheese. I’d been reading all over the foodie blogosphere that the Plum & Walnut flavor from this line was jaw-droppingly good, so naturally, i bought one of those, and one of Lemon and one of Coconut, both favorite flavors of mine, though i gotta admit, this is the only brand i’ve ever seen carrying coconut-flavored yogurt. I normally hate fruit on the bottom yogurts (the water from the fruit purée forms nasty clumps in the yogurt once it’s mixed in), so i was disappointed to find out that the plum+walnut mixture was in the bottom of the cup. But there was a resurgence of hope when i pulled back the foil lid and noticed that there wasn’t a single drop of that disgusting liquid that forms on top of most yogurts (which FAGE nicely avoids by placing a sheet of fibrous, woven parchment directly on the top surface of each of its yogurts). I thought, as long as the fruit mixture is similarly devoid of extra liquid, this could turn out to be good.
I wanted to taste the yogurt by itself to inspect its dairy goodness, so i held off on bringing up the mixture and scooped up a bit of the yogurt at the top. Then, a beautiful thing happened: the spoon left behind a crater in the yogurt, and i could tell that the texture was not too unlike that of La Fermière‘s, the French terra cotta pot yogurt i raved about in my first yogurt post and have still not been able to find here in Northeastern U.S (any leads, folks?). So with bated breath, i tasted the yogurt, and though the flavor was not like La Fermière’s, the texture was similar, maybe even better. It was less tangy and more airy than La Fermière.
I stirred up the fruit on the bottom, and lo and behold, there weren’t too many clumps being formed! And any that did form, i could easily integrate by stirring, which doesn’t work nearly as well with Dannon’s fruit on the bottom. As for the flavor, the plum and walnut mixture is just as amazing as every food blogger has claimed, and i’m ashamed that it took me so long to find it and try it. I tend to shy away from yogurt with solid stir-ins, but i really liked the crunch from the tiny walnut pieces (the plum is puréed). The Lemon was very good as well, packing a stronger lemony punch than the Dannon all-natural lemon i featured in the first yogurt post, and the Coconut’s flavor was good too, but i wish it didn’t have coconut flakes.
But there’s a reason why none of these have made it to my favorites list, despite their killer flavor and texture: they’re way too creamy! They’re full-fat yogurts, which has got to be why the texture is so perfect, but after half a cup, i get full and start to feel nauseated. I’ve always had a hard time consuming too much of any high-fat dairy product, like frozen custard, really creamy cheese, etc. I finished the Plum & Walnut because it was my first time having it and it was just so good, but i didn’t feel so good afterwards. I wasn’t even able to finish the Lemon and the Coconut. And i haven’t had any Méditerrannée yogurt since.
My mom recently discovered Emmi at our local A&P in Central Jersey, and being a yogurt enthusiast/adventurer herself, she bought one Muesli and one Black Cherry. If you read my second yogurt post, you know that i wasn’t too happy with Emmi’s Pink Grapefruit, which is supposedly its stand-out flavor. But she liked both, especially the Muesli (the light blue in the lower right). I looked inside the cup to make sure its texture wasn’t any different from the Pink Grapefruit’s, which was abominable, and it looked exactly the same, so i didn’t even try it. Despite my protests, my mom kept going on and on about how yummy it was, so the last time she bought the Muesli, i tried it. Just as i had thought, its texture was as equally off-putting as the Pink Grapefruit’s, but i kept reluctantly eating it. You know why? Because the flavor was out of this world! Here are just some of its ingredients: White Wheat (interesting), Apples, Peaches, Pear Purée (usually a given, and always good), Hazelnuts (!!), Whole Barley (<3), Strawberries (not too common in a Muesli), Raisins, Banana Purée, and Oats (again, <3). With an all-star (and all-natural) cast like that, how could you go wrong? I’m also a professed muesli addict, so that helps. This was like the flavor-perfect goodness of Liberté’s Pear-flavored Six Grains yogurt (first yogurt post feature) combined with the irresistible crunch from hazelnuts and a constantly changing flavor palette from the wide array of fruits used. Emmi’s texture is actually worse than Liberté’s Six Grains’, and i still think the latter uses the best quality milk that i’ve ever found in a yogurt, but the fruit combination and the hazelnuts is what really makes this yogurt. I think i might even be able to forgive the terrible texture and the fruit chunks.