A friend of mine recently asked me what I miss from Switzerland. One thing I really miss is the yogurt. The Swiss are serious about their dairy products. Even the store brand yogurts (like Coop and Migros) are really good. How I miss Coop’s organic cherry yogurt!
The default Swiss yogurt is made with whole or full fat milk. In the US, on the other hand, the default yogurt is made with low or non-fat milk. With that in mind, it is not surprising that the US version pales in comparison to its Swiss counterpart.
If you are really motivated, like yours truly, it is possible to find full fat yogurt at stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but you really have to examine the entire yogurt section, and even then, you still need to be somewhat wary of what you find. For instance, “Greek” yogurt is all the rage in the US these days. Every brand seems to market some version of “Greek” yogurt, but the only truly Greek brand is Fage. (For an analysis on the current US fascination with Greek yogurt, click here.)
Fage is awesome because its full fat version, which is great for making tsatsiki, is comparable to ice cream. However, it’s still not the same as Swiss yogurt, which is less heavy. Fortunately, I discovered the Quebec-based Liberte brand at the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Coop in Maryland.
Liberte is a nice compromise between the Swiss and Greek yogurt. Not quite like ice cream, but still full of flavor.In San Francisco, I’ve seen it at 26th and Guerrero Market.
In any case, I am thrilled that yogurt options in the US have come along way from the Yoplait days I remember before our move to Zurich. Now if I could only find some reasonably priced quark.