I always root for a yogurt to be great. Yogurt, at its best, is a heavenly creamy tangy rich concoction (did I use enough adjectives?). I’m talking about Greek FAGE yogurt (which even in its nonfat form tastes rich with the full nuances of milk flavors) and La Femiere yogurt from France.
I’ve seen Saint Benoit (or St Benoit) yogurt on the shelves here in the Bay Area, sold in crocks, an unusual packaging here in the U.S. Last year, they were sold plain, and with plum and honey flavors. I picked one up, and was so incredibly disappointed. I’ve mentioned the bland watery nature of this yogurt in a previous post on my other blog. The yogurt is drowning in water, and tastes much blander than anything coming out of Europe (or I dare say, out of Dannon). Is it the cows? Is it the milk out of the cows? What is going on? I couldn’t finish the crock.
I WANT this yogurt to be great–the idea of a rich and nuanced flavored LOCAL yogurt makes me positively giddy. In fact, this yogurt embraces much of my recent food philosophies. But this is not the yogurt that fulfills that fantasy for me, even though the Becks and Posh bloggers love it. I mean, it needs to pass my taste teset. I seem to be in the minority, because this is a highly rated yogurt with increasing popularity. But then again, lots of people prefer Land o’ Lakes butter over Plugra, too.
I returned to savoring my Greek FAGE and La Fermiere yogurts (I even dream about la fermiere yogurt, it is so good).
But when Becks & Posh raved about San Benoit’s lemon yogurt, I decided to give it one more try. Maybe it was a matter of flavor? (Though I saw the yogurt DROWNING in water on that lemon yogurt post, so I began to have my doubts).
I had very very high hopes. I love lemon yogurt. Le Fermiere makes a DELECTABLE citron yogurt–light, creamy with just the right amount of citron flavor. It is one of my favorite flavors. So when I opened the San Benoit lemon yogurt crock, my heart fell. The yogurt was drowning in water again, and when I dipped my spoon to taste, I encountered the same bland watery flavor and texture.
The lemon was at the bottom of the crock, so I dug my spoon down and mixed it up a bit. I have no idea what everyone is raving about–because the meyer lemon flavoring was overhwelmingly bitter–to the point that I thought i was eating not just zest, but PITH (the bitter white part of the lemon rind). I couldn’t get beyond two bites of this.
So I still dream of a wonderful LOCALLY made yogurt. I still hope.
Update: I went to the Made in France Warehouse Sale again last week–alas, we were too late to nab any La Fermiere citron yogurt, but there were some Mamie Nova citron yogurts. I nabbed a few. Thumbs up! Not quite as rich as La Fermiere’s citron yogurt, but more “lemon-y,” in my opinion. The little bits of lemon zest abound in Mamie Nova’s and it is sweet enough to satiate my sweet tooth. Though the hardcore yogurt lover in me misses the mild flavor of the yogurt itself.