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French / European-style yogurt?

I spent a brief time in Paris last year, where I became addicted to european yogurt. The ones I liked you could get at any random supermarket (e.g. bon marche), and came in little glass or ceramic jars. Very creamy... is there anything vaguely similar that can be had in the city?

Also, can anyone shed light on what makes this stuff so much better? Is is just higher fat content, or is it something else?

I'm willing to travel for the real thing...

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  1. I'm not sure if it qualifies as European yogurt (or should that be youghurt?), but Greek/Middle Eastern yogurt certainly qualifies as much creamier and tastier than the garbage Dannon et. al. (Stonyfield is owned by Dannon) try to call yogurt. The secret ingrdient is, alas, fat, and lots of it: 20g, 16 of them saturated, in a 7 oz. serving. But life is short, and fat tastes good. Mind you, I don't know if it's just fat. I doubt that it's just fat; my hope is that they use better ingredients, better cows, real milk, and, well, it helps not to have mounds of sugar and corn syrup or names like Danimals added to the yogurt.

    As far as this Mediterranean yogurt option goes, you have a few choices. Total is the big name, available at Fairway, Whole Foods, and, well, most ok groceries, but it's WAY overpriced. I'm a big fan of the Lebanese yogurts you can get in Middle Eastern stores or at Kalustyan's. You can get a good size buckt of yogurt for about $3. Finally, there's that yogurt place down in Soho, but I think it's no better than Total or the Lebanese stuff.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jasmurph

      I think you might be referring to FAGE yogurt. It comes in three types. Total (with the most fat and calories), 2% (my preference) and Light.

      This yogurt can be found in virtually any dairy section. My corner deli even sells it.

      I found that it is the cheapest at Trader Joes...$1.69.

      I add a packet of Splenda, a dash of vanilla and some sort of fruit each morning. It's so much better than the Dannon-type yogurts.

      1. re: jenniebnyc

        I believe the original post refers to yoplait - the french fresh,
        not the supermarket variety available here. It comes packed in
        small ceramic container and was sold for about a year by Ideal
        Cheese on First Ave @ 52nd. The trouble was that it didn't sell
        fast enough and was too often spoiled..perhaps because it wasn't
        chock full of perservative.

        1. re: serious

          yes! ( http://www.yoplait.fr/index.php/en/49... ) here is a picture of it on yoplait's french site, though, oddly enough, it's not listed in their "products" section.

          I am a park slope food coop member, maybe I can ask them to source it..

        2. re: jenniebnyc

          Fage is 1.69 at Fairway as well. I also like the 2% over the 0% (and I love the Total, but alas can only bring myself to get it occasionally). Fairway also has the large tubs of it which is a much better bargain than the individual serving sizes.

          1. re: jenniebnyc

            I also love Greek FAGE (in plastic container with or without separate honey compartment) but I have not seen it in ceramic or glass jars as per OP's request.

        3. Get great full-fat yougurt by the pound at International Foods on 9th Avenue in back of the bus station....about 40th street. west side of street.

          1. i think it's the high fat content. liberte has a high fat yogurt, and the fruity flavors may be closer to the stuff you were eating in france than the tangier greek/middle eastern high fat and strained yogurts. they sell it at fairway.
            though it may not be what you're looking for, i find the ronnybrook farms yogurt drinks extraordinary. they are creamy and rich, but without the super-fatty richness of the high fat liberte (which is too much for me). their product is not 100% consistent--sometimes it's runnier than usual, or sweeter. they have a shop in chelsea market, and are at the greenmarket in union square wed/sat and tompkin square park on sundays

            1 Reply
            1. re: rose water

              I adore Ronnybrook Dairy Farm's yogurt (not their yogurt drinks). But for some reason I think their vanilla tastes funny. I really like their plain. It's only $1 a cup (at 97th St. greenmarket).

            2. Although the higher fat content is certainly an issue, I don't think that's the whole story. I lived in Paris as a student some years ago, and I found the dairy and produce there amazing - far superior to what we have here.

              I recently started eating Emmi, which is Swiss. It's quite good.

              1. It's not just the fat. It's the milk that goes into making the yogurt. Even the mass-produced stuff just tastes better here (in Europe)--I'm convinced it has to do with the diet and treatment of the animals. When I visited the US this summer, I couldn't get my son to eat/drink any milk, yogurt, etc., even when I bought the "organic" full-fat stuff. He said it tasted horrible and made him feel sick--and he was right... In France, the stuff in the glass containers is probably Dannon--unfortunately, their US products don't have anything to do with their European ones. I think the only way to find something equivalent would be to get some micro-farmed local yogurt.

                1 Reply
                1. re: butterfly

                  This is the exact reason why we have bad french desserts in US. WIthout good milk/cream, it's hard to duplicate that rich desserts of France.

                2. Di Palo occasionally has this type of yogurt (it may be Swiss? I've never noted the brand) in little glass containers in the refrigerator section, but not always. I agree that the milk used in European yogurt is superior, but I also think being packaged in glass/ceramic is better for the flavor of dairy products.

                  1. Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. produces some seriously delicious yogurt. Expensive but worth every spoonful!


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RGR

                      Sheep's (and other non-cow) milk yogurt is off the topic here, though it's worth mentioning Woodstock water buffalo yogurt, which is very thick and flavorful. I couldn't eat it every day like I would french yogurt, though....

                      Would it be worth trying one of those yogurt making machines? Has anyone used these?

                    2. Hmmn, another lead:

                      This blog entry says that Grace's Marketplace used to carry french Yoplait:


                      ...but a call to Grace's indicates they don't have it anymore. The woman who answered the phone didn't seem to think they had any french yogurt.

                      The search goes on!

                      1. The breakfast yogurt at Bouchon Bakery is amazing and very European

                        1. Like you I spent a couple months in Europe last year and have come away a yogurt lover, except I hate what's on the shelf in my local markets. I found one at Trader Joe's that's nice but it's only available in Chocolate and Mocha I'm looking for plain unflavored. Everyones post's are great but I'm in southern California. Any help would be appreciated.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jamiegirl

                            I love the "petite suisse" yogurt from Monoprix supermarkets in Paris. FAGE is good, but somewhat different. A brand sold in Dean & DeLuca (from Iceland?) is way too sour. Can anyone suggest something similar to "petite suisse"? Thanks.

                            1. re: Jamiegirl

                              I live in NorCal - but I am sure you could find these in SoCal too - OIKOS or FAGE greek Yogurt, Brown Cow (esp their chocolate - is amazing)

                            2. I LOVE the biodynamic yogurt made by Hawthorne Valley Farms. It's available at the Union Square Greenmarket and also various natural food stores (like Flatbush Food Coop and Park Slope Food Coop, not sure about Whole Foods). This is the only brand of yogurt that I like to eat plain. I go through giant tubs of it on a regular basis, and I never get tired of it. I have tried nearly all the yogurts around (Ronnybrook, Fage, Old Chatham, Evans Farmhouse etc.) and I think Hawthorne Valley Farms is the best so far.

                              1. Not sure if it qualifies as European, but Murrys cheese carries a product called White Cow Dairy Yogurt. It comes in glass bottles, and is amazing.

                                Also, chobani (available everywhere now ) is very good

                                1. Whole Foods carries a brand that I like a lot, I think it's called Sky Top. They only have four flavors- plain, maple, lemon and orange. I love the maple. It's super creamy, sweetened only with maple syrup and isn't too sour. It seems they only stock it at the WF on Houston consistently, occasionally at the one in Union Square, never at the one in Chelsea. I think it may be the closest thing to French Yoplait. Also, the brand that they carry at Saxelby in the Essex Market is creamy and amazing, but they also seem to run out fast.

                                  1. my new favorite is St Benoit. It comes in glass mason jars and is the best yogurt ever - the smaller size comes in a terra-cotta container. Yummmmmm

                                    1. Saint Benoit out of Petaluma, California - it even comes in ceramic jars - yummmm - I like it more than Greek yogurt since they started making it

                                        1. It's also the type of milk - jersey cows , the French Normande, and Indian cows ( along w some others) produce the same kind of milk - the Holstein - more popular in the US - produces a different type of milk - so that may also contribute to the taste factor - the Indian yogurt tastes v close to the French yogurt which is replicated by St Benoit creamery