• A Shift in US Yogurt Culture

    by  • April 9, 2013 • Benefits of Making Greek Yogurt • 3 Comments

    I grew up on the large buckets of Dannon plain and vanilla yogurt. I never really liked the plain because it was tart. The vanilla was super sweet and just what a little kid wanted to eat. I am fairly certain it was non-fat yogurt and as a result it was pretty runny and thin, but my brothers and I loved it. Because it was something that we bought at the grocery store, and because as a child I had no concept of history I just assumed that it had been around and as easily accessible forever. One night my father told me a story about a woman who would visit the farm he grew up on.

    The story went: When I was little a woman would visit our farm to buy milk. She would walk all the way down the road to our farm house and then ask my father, in broken english, to buy the raw milk from our cows. My father would sell it to her, fill up her buckets, and she would walk back down the road to her house. My father would shake his head and say how strange it was that she wanted all that good milk just to make yogurt. At that time, yogurt was an exotic oddity that that immigrant woman and people like her would make on their own. Not until I was older did I ever taste yogurt. The notion of letting your milk go sour was counter intuitive to the culture I lived in.

    This story blew my mind. Something that was so main stream that they had just developed go-gurt or yo-gurt or whatever, something that was literally a daily meal option for me had only become so when my father was a young adult and that my grandfather regarded as a waste of good milk did not seem possible. Even now, it still kind of breaks my brain. Yogurt was something from the old-world that we new-worlders lost. Perhaps it existed in the States, but it didn’t exist in the middle of farmland in Ohio in the early ’60s. Over the past three years, however, we’ve seen yet another shift in our everyday grocery shopping experience: Greek yogurt. It’s everywhere now. The thick creamy, rich, and delicious food stuff is now on a grocery store shelf from the low cost mega stores like HEB, Giant, Stop and Shop, etc. to the high end Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and local organic specialty stores. But now most of us are realizing that we can make greek yogurt right at home

    It seems strange that it took America nearly 200 years to regain yogurt and nearly 50 more to figure out that homemade greek yogurt was best. Somehow we were so eager to divorce ourselves from the lands of our ancestry that we didn’t have the discerning to get rid of the bad and keep the good. Get rid of the religious intolerance, Puritans, but keep the tradition of greek yogurt! We live in the great melting pot, but a wee morsel of flavor wouldn’t go amiss. At least we are finally correcting this error and Greek yogurt and homemade greek yogurt is getting the spotlight and regard it deserves.


    3 Responses to A Shift in US Yogurt Culture

    1. Jeff runs 4 Protein
      April 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Very interesting story and thanks for the instructions to make Greek yoghurt. I like the product from the stores but do not like the 2% or 0% stuff. I want full fat and 2x protein. Almost 2 years ago I switch my diet to Primal/Paleo. Lost 40 pounds, gained real strength, and my Doctor loves my improved blood test results. Lots of meat, veggies, olive oil, honey, coconut, and a little whole fat dairy. I will try the homemade yoghurt. Also will ask Chobani to make a whole fat version because their Greek is really good stuff but only low fat for now.

    2. Steph
      July 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Hey! Thanks for the tip on making Greek yoghurt! I am on the Paleo/Primal diet as well, and have lost a lot of weight and most health problems along with it. I will never go back to eating any processed foods. Now we make all our own yoghurt, with grass-fed cow whole milk and cream. But, it was hit or miss to whether it was thick enough or not. We’d get the cream top regularly, but that was about it. So now, we can strain that too, and have full fat Greek yogurt. Who ever thought that eating right could be so fun! 🙂 Thank you, again for the yoghurt website! Very informative.

    3. RT
      July 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      In India, especially south India people make yogurt daily at home because its part of every meal.

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