Monday, July 7, 2014

The Vile Joy of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is pretty mainstream now and has been for a long time. There are several varieties at the store, both full fat and skim. It has taken me a while to get into it. Yogurt in general took a while for me to get into, even the Yoplait kind full of sugar and flavors that suggested some rich dessert. Even the type with "fruit" on the bottom. I don't like the texture of yogurt because it's basically goop. But if it's frozen and sugary, I can make it work.

Still, I was on this diet a while back where you had to have lean protein every three hours, and it allowed fat free Greek yogurt as a lean protein.  I figured I could live on the stuff. It's very low calorie and low sodium.

I took one bite of plain Greek yogurt and spit it out. Oh God. Oh God! It was so so gross, like swallowing an entire olive. 

I didn't even like the flavored Greek yogurt. I tried all the sugary versions. Vanilla, cherry, banana, honey, fruit on the bottom. No. Nope nope nope. I wanted nothing to do with Greek yogurt.  Oh, but I tried.  I added honey, bananas, peanut butter, pumpkin butter to sweeten it up.  I added ranch flavoring, spices, tried to make it savory.  Each time I was left with an icky, tangy, sour aftertaste that reminded me of bile.

One day I dipped a pretzel stick into it plain, just mindlessly while I was at my desk tooling around with a spreadsheet.  To my surprise, it was tolerable. "Hmm," I thought, "This does not taste like stinky expired milk." Actually it finally dawned on me that it reminded me of sour cream.

Now, I'm no dummy. I had heard that you could use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  I just did not believe it. It tasted too vile, too strong and sour cream was mild and delicious. But that is only because when I hear the word yogurt I expect sweetness and goo, or even ice cream. 

But if I shut my eyes and tell myself it isn't yogurt, that it's sour cream, I now like Greek yogurt better than sour cream.  I know this because I went to Chevy's this weekend and had sour cream on a quesadilla and thought, "This would definitely taste a million times better if it was Greek yogurt." 

People tell me there's a difference in flavor between the Greek yogurts: Stoneyfield, Fage, Oikos, Chobani, but they all taste exactly the same to me. Only now that I am not expecting candy, I can get along with plain Greek yogurt just fine.

So now I use plain Greek yogurt as a dip for my celery and a topping for my Triscuits. It makes me feel like I'm eating potato chips, and who doesn't want their food to feel that way?

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