I am a huge fan of yogurt, and when the world went Greek, I went Greek. But, dear Greece, as much as I long to visit you, you are not my #1 anymore.
My #1 is skyr.
To begin with, things I do not want in a yogurt:
artificial sweeteners, xylitol, stevia, any of that crap that fakes sweet and leaves a weird taste. No. No. No. I’d rather be hungry.
Hunks of fruit. Not really a fan, I gotta say. No thank you.
Too sugary: nope.
In fact, my favorite flavor of yogurt is probably… plain.
A long time ago I had a friend from Turkey who truly opened my eyes to yogurt when she introduced me to two things:
Mante: delicious sort of tortellini, meat-filled, and served in garlic yogurt with some of the starchy pasta water. What? Carbs made more carby and, I don’t know, just CARBY-tasting with that starch-water and thick garlic and butter yogurt? I literally have never said this before (and, hopefully, since, because it is uber-dorky) but, whoooo-haaaa! who-ha! OhMylord it is good.
And then she gave me a salty lassi.
Now, before you spit your breakfast on your device, a salty lassi can be good, if, like me, you adore salt and would like to marry it and have little half-salt-half-human babies with it. I want that. Me. I do. And can I have a dish of olive and a few anchovies to go with it? And maybe a warm from the oven salt bagel?
I like salt.
Hello, salty lassi.
Go savory with your yogurt for a change, and not sweet. After all, paneer is made from it… I think. Or can be. Or is just made from milk, but I love paneer too. Whatever, dairy.
Why am I not the size of a grain elevator?
Skyr. It is thicker than Greek. It is less wet. It is denser. It is smoother, somehow.
And it is less sweet, and made with sugar, the white stuff, or the slightly tan stuff that can become the white stuff. And not too much of it. Just a touch.
Or the plain, which is just like soooo much better than sour cream.
Two brands I recommend:
Both are awesome.
Siggi’s has the benefit of being more widely (at least in my area) available, and I love the plain, and the black cherry is okay too, more squash fruit than chunks, and barely sweet. If you like those waters with a “hint” of berry, that’s the amount of flavor I’m talking.
Icelandic Provisions has wonderful plain, and this freaking amazing coffee flavor to go with your third cup of morning coffee.
And here’s another thought, before I leave you to lick out the container (I mean I never shove my face in and get stuff on my nose and embarrassingly lick out a container!):
Spicy food. Do you like it? I do. Can you eat it? I cannot really eat very much of it, and yet, I find it quite very tasty.
Ta-da! Yogurt to the rescue. Throw down some skyr on that flaming mo-fo and you are in like Flint! And what other cliches can I toss out here? I’m sorry; I’m just distracted by yogurt. And there is a rapidly cooling cup of Joe also calling my name.
One other thing I sometimes do: you made some pasta, like orecchiette, or, my new favorite, casarecce. And now you have left over, and it is the next day. And you are hungry, man, hungry! Warm up a tsp of olive oil in a frying pan, and add some of your pasta from the fridge, all gross and stuck in a blob. Add some water, little by little, to separate the pasta slowly, and have the pan over low to medium heat. When you feel your pasta is unstuck and getting warm, sprinkle on a little ground black pepper, a little basil (dried flakes are fine) and garlic powder, and then add in a little scoop (tbsp) of skyr. Plain skyr. Slowly and gently mix it into the water to coat the pasta and become like a slightly sour cream sauce. Then add about two cups more. No. That would be gluttony; don’t do that. Just add enough, slowly, on a low heat, that you feel like you have a creamy sauce for your re-awakend pasta, and that you have the temp low enough that you don’t make paneer. IF YOU MAKE PANEER, can I have some? No, seriously, it is okay to make paneer, but then just lower the heat and try, gently, again. Put it on a pretty plate, or in one of those “I don’t know if I am a bowl or a plate” plates, but a pretty one. And enjoy. Maybe watch some Kitchen Nightmares re-runs. Why not? Gordon is fun.
And skyr is delicious.