So, the French are serious about their yogurt. It's called yaourt and it seems to rival the baguette in the importance of daily consumption. (Well, okay, nothing beats the baguette here, but it's close!) When you go to the marché, there is a full, double-sided aisle fully loaded with yogurt.
I've been wanting to take some photos (just with my phone) for weeks now, but the aisle is always so busy ... I just felt too creepy taking photos. So I came first thing this morning, right after they opened the store. (9:00am. Nothing is open before 9:00am except ... the boulangerie, where you can buy baguettes. Of course.) And even still, I had to circle a bit until it was relatively empty and pretend to be looking at my phone for something very important. Click. Click-Click. (I don't know why I feel so embarrassed! I wouldn't care at all, back in the States...)
So let's break it down. On the left you have primarily the natural, unsweetened, and not-excessively-sweet-good-for-breakfast yogurts. Mixed in you'll find some crème and some yogurt-like cheeses. Judging by the amount of these yogurts I see it people's carts, I'm pretty sure they have it for breakfast just about everyday. And maybe lunch. And some of it goes in sauces. And baked goods. And as a topping.
On the right it's all dessert yogurts. I don't even know how to describe it. As Pops said, "It's like a parade of every kind of dairy deliciousness you could imagine..."
And it's not just straight yogurt. It comes in multiple forms: mousse, crème brûlée, fruit compote, tiramisu, rice pudding, with meringue ... and in flavors that will make your brain explode just a little, every.single.time. (Fleur de sel caramel, chestnut mousse, apple tarte, caramel, dark chocolate pistachio, lemon zest ...)
And all kinds of yogurts come in the standard paper or plastic tubs, but often in darling glass jars or even petite terracotta pots (See above photo, middle and to the right). It's also worth noting that yogurts are typically smaller in size than American yogurts. A culinary French theme is definitely: Better to have a little bit of something exquisite than a ton of something subpar. I think this is an excellent philosophy that I will adopt as soon as I stop eating three at a time.
I'm told that everyone here eats a yogurt after dinner. And at school, the kids always have a yogurt as an option for dessert at lunchtime. So I pretty much take this as permission to eat yogurt all the time, anytime. (PS- Did I tell you I was off dairy and gluten for 10 months before we came to France? I think that might be against the law here. And I am very law abiding.)
So would you be as infatuated as me? Even if you aren't normally a yogurt fan, does this pique your interest? What would you go for first?