I liked Greek yogurt before Greek yogurt was cool.
In the High and Far-off Times when I was a resident, I worked with another resident whose family was Palestinian. She was a lovely young woman, though I don’t recall much about our interactions with each other. What I remember most clearly was the yogurt.
One day, we happened to be having lunch together. At some point she brought out this ingenious little carton of yogurt, with an attached compartment that had honey in it. I’d never seen one before, and the brand “Fage” was unknown to me. However, having spent lots of time in the Levant growing up, she was raised eating it. She peeled off the foil covering, canted the honey container so the contents dispersed on top of the yogurt, and let me have a taste.
Pure, sweet and creamy deliciousness. A mouthful of heaven. It instantly ruined me for the insipid dairy products I had previously enjoyed as “yogurt.”
Did I mention that it was full-fat yogurt? It’s an important detail.
Years later, the Better Half and I took a trip to Greece. Yogurt with honey was on pretty much every menu we saw, and we ate it a lot. Because full-fat Greek yogurt topped with honey is joy in comestible form.
At some point Greek yogurt became a popular food item in the US. I think for a while the stuff I found on the shelves (which I once had to look around for) was still made in Greece, but now everything I see is made in the US. And everybody’s into the Greek yogurt biz, including some companies that I generally like but who strain credulity when trying to tie the product into their brand image.
All of that is fine by me. Except now that it’s Greek yogurt a-go-go here in these United States, all the product I can find is tailored to American tastes. Which means it’s all low- or non-fat, because fat is evil and must be expunged from all we consume. And of course, that means in order to be palatable (plain non-fat Greek yogurt having a taste and mouth feel roughly equivalent to an industrial adhesive) it comes with sweetened fruit jelly admixed or on the bottom.
Whither the full-fat option?! While I will purchase the non-fat Chobani with the blueberry concoction on the bottom for snacks and such, I would also like to buy the good-tasting stuff with the fat in it! Fat is delicious! Why has our country’s perverse inability to eat like sane, moderate healthy eaters robbed me of even the availability of the yummy stuff??!?!? I eat chopped vegetables drizzled with walnut oil for lunch pretty much every day so I can indulge in the consumption of animal fats from time to time without worrying about it!
I want the full-fat Greek yogurt with the honey on it, America! You don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to, but why can I no longer find it on the shelves of my grocery store, you dessert-ruining martinets?!? AAAAIIIIEEEEE!!!
So that’s this week’s Question — what trends in this country have ruined something you like? What was going along perfectly well before American popular culture loused it up? And where the hell can I get some decent Greek yogurt around here?