Friday, August 24, 2012

Seriously. Yogurt?

Yogurt. Who knew it could be so complicated?

Remember being a kid, and the excitement when your mom bought you one of those single-serve yogurts in one of four flavours - strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or peach?

How times have changed.

My daughter fell in love with yogurt after one bite. She is yogurt crazy. There are days where other than tuna salad, all she eats is yogurt. (We'll save her tuna fetish for another post...)

But choosing yogurt is complicated. Honestly, I just didn't realize how many yogurt choices are out there. No-fat, low-fat, 2%.  Sweetened with sugar, or Splenda, or aspartame. Plain. Flavoured. Fruit on the bottom. Stirred or set.  Probiotic. Greek. Mix-ins. Parfaits.  For crying out loud, the yogurt aisle is bigger than the snack food aisle!  Don't even get me going on the organic options.

So I go on a hunt for the best yogurt for my daughter. At first I just give her our usual yogurt - a plain, local, organic, full-fat yogurt. This seems okay to me.

But then my family visitor mentions that I should be giving the wee one a higher fat selection. (Yeah. One of my many appointments is a once a week visit from someone at Public Health. I guess they think having a premature baby makes me especially unable to parent.)

So I search high and low. Aha! A Balkan yogurt with 6%. Let's try it.

Nope.  Daughter spits it out.

Then, as I'm standing staring at the yogurt for twenty minutes, a complete stranger asks, "Have you tried this Oikos yogurt?"  No, I say, making conversation. She proceeds to spend the NEXT twenty minutes telling me how great it is, and how the key lime variety is better than dessert, but she can never find it, and she's called every grocery store in Guelph, Kitchener and Cambridge trying to find it.

Seriously. Yogurt?

So next time I hit the grocery store, I take a look and there's the key lime. I decide to buy two packages. And yes... it might actually be better than sex (although considering how infrequent that is for me these days, I wouldn't take my word for it).

I love it so much that I ask the yogurt lady when it's going to be delivered next. Yes. We have a yogurt lady!  For three weeks in a row I buy out all four packages of key lime.

My daughter loves it, but it's only TWO percent fat and has a lot of sugar. So I keep looking.

Next, I find Liberté's Mediteranée yogurt. SEVEN (yup, seven) percent fat. Oh my.

It tastes like eating butter.  I go crazy and buy four packs.  I'm sick of key lime. Mediteranée comes in blackberry, strawberry, citron, vanilla, mocha - they are all incredible.

But I'm really not sure she should have all this sugar. I'd rather add unsweetened apple sauce. So... I keep looking.

And then one day it happens. I find an organic, plain Greek yogurt with TEN percent milk fat.  It looks like condensed sour cream. It sticks to the spoon when I turn it upside down.  My daughter loves it.   I choke back the $6.99 price tag and buy two tubs a week for the next few months.

Then, seemingly at first blush, my new crush vanishes.

I track down my yogurt lady. "What gives?"

It's been discontinued. Who knows why?  She tells me it's been a great seller, but Loblaws won't be carrying it anymore.

I try other stores. I even drive to the next city. No luck. I'm starting to feel like the key lime crazy lady. Soon I'll be calling around!  In my desperation I actually go to Walmart, the final frontier for me in groceries.

And there, nestled in the yogurt cooler, is a brand new yogurt. It's labelled "Best New Product 2012" by Canadian Living magazine. It's Astro Greek Yogurt. Plain.  Unsweetened. Ten percent milk fat.  Only $4.99.

It is everything I have ever wanted in a yogurt. My daughter loves it so much that she finishes the 500mL tub in less than a week. I start making up excuses to drive twenty minutes to Walmart for yogurt.

Then my yogurt stars align.  My local grocery store now sells it, too. I'm ecstatic. I actually dance across the aisle to my husband with two tubs in hand. He walks away quickly and pretends he doesn't know me.

Look out. If I meet you in the yogurt aisle, I'll probably start telling you all about my new crush.

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