I’ve been slacking on the yogurt review series, so here’s an update:
I’m currently living in Seoul, and i am impressed with the yogurt here, though there’s always something missing (i miss the pure, homemade taste of Liberté, and that unforgettable perfection of La Fermière). Today, i’m going to write about the two Korean yogurts i like the most so far [UPDATE: Maeil’s new organic yogurt mentioned]:
pure by Maeil
viyott by Seoul Milk
I was obsessed with this stuff when i first discovered it. I’d eat it almost everyday–you know why? Cos it was remarkably similar to the firm yogurts i’ve had in Paris and Morocco.
I first bought it when i saw this famous commercial featuring Kim Yu-Na:
At 0:09, you’ll notice that it has a firm consistency. It’s a deceiving image, though–not that it’s not firm, it certainly is–but it’s definitely not silky like that. It’s even better–it’s grainy! It holds its shape on the spoon, and since it’s all natural with no additives, preservatives, or flavorings, it literally tastes “pure” and fresh. One thing turns me off it, though; it’s thickened with collagen. Those cheaters! Is it really only the French who can make firm yogurt with nothing but milk and cream?
UPDATE [18 Jan 2011]:
Sangha Organic Farm
I discovered a new organic yogurt by Maeil that isn’t thickened with collagen, but is still relatively firm. Promising a “homemade taste” and boasting acacia honey as its sweetener (could it be? a near-European yogurt?), it instantly caught my eye. Of course i had to buy it. So with high hopes, i carefully taste-tested it, only to be let down. I think it might be the worst yogurt i’ve had here (to be fair, i only try what looks good, and i usually choose well). It tries to be firm but fails (there’s our proof that Maeil can’t make firm yogurts without collagen), and it tastes like nothing at all. Combine this texture and flavor and you get a yogurt that feels and tastes watered down. They made a milk in the same organic line—“상하목장”—which also disappoints. I miss good milk, in particular, Stonyfield Farm.
I first bought this cos the chocolate-covered cheerios looked yummy. I usually don’t stir anything into my yogurts, but i really wanted to have these “choco rings,” with or without the yogurt.
When i opened the package, i was horrified by its contents. The yogurt was gloopy and all over the inside, with so much of it unappetizingly stuck onto the foil lid, and it looked like there weren’t enough cheerios. I took a deep breath, stirred up the yogurt nice and well, and took a spoonful of it. Of course, it was creamy. Disappointed, but willing to give it another chance, i had some more. ‘Oh wow, this is creamy. Like, good creamy.’ Long-time readers should know how paranoid i am of creamy yogurts, after countless disappointments with American yogurts. But this was a different kind of creamy: this yogurt wanted to be creamy, and it achieved it to a silky smooth consistency, with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. And those choco rings are really good, and there’s definitely enough of them. You can even bend along the diagonal between the two compartments to dump the rings into the yogurt!
I’ve tried the Berry Mix, too, but it was disappointing: the fruit mixture didn’t taste that good, and it had just a tad too much water in it (which we all know is my biggest fear of fruit stir-in yogurts). Nobody does fruit mixtures better than Liberté. I mean, look at this:
That mixed yogurt at the bottom there doesn’t look very appetizing now, does it? The choco ring variety is far superior, and while it’s sometimes a little too much for me to handle (for me, it’s too big a serving for a yogurt that creamy), it’s a nice treat from time to time.
In the next yogurt review, i’ll be writing about the homemade yogurt of a Bulgarian restaurant here in my neck of the woods. It made my knees go weak when i first had it, and it was too euphoric an experience for me to write about; i just wanted to enjoy it. But i promise that the next time i go, i’ll stay sober enough to share the experience with you in full detail.