The first time I shopped at Monoprix I thought I had gotten turned around. Wasn't I just on the yogurt aisle? So I peeked around the corner and yes...yes I was just on a yogurt aisle. One of the two yogurt aisles. On the day I brought my camera to photograph the yogurt aisles, Monoprix was doing some interior redecorating, so instead of the 2 full aisles, there were 2 1/2 aisles of yogurt with more jammed on the ends:
|six shelves high and about 10 feet in length, this is one side of a yogurt aisle|
|Six shelves high and about 18 feet in length, this is another side of a yogurt aisle|
|Another side of a yogurt aisle, about 8 feet in length and 6 shelves high|
It's kind of funny how we manage outside our comfort zone. The first several times I bought yogurt I chose Yoplait. In a sea of unfamiliarity, Yoplait was a name I knew so I could just buy it without having to figure anything out first. I guess you can only tolerate so much new stuff in a day, or week or month. I distinctly remember noticing the gazillion types and brands of yogurt but I also distinctly remember completely ignoring that fact and zeroing in on what I knew so that I could concentrate my efforts on the part of my shopping that would require a lot more time, patience and translating.
As I became more familiar with my surroundings and the Parisian way of living, I stepped out of my comfort zone much more often, or most likely, my comfort zone grew. When shopping became more second nature, I started focusing on new and different things. I remember watching another couple navigate the yogurt aisles, and I saw the gentleman select a pack that came in glass jars, so I decided to look for them. For the first time since I'd been in Paris, I think I spent about 30 minutes just on the yogurt aisles, looking at all of the brands, types, flavors and packaging.
The array of yogurt is amazing. There's cow's milk yogurt, goat's milk yogurt, sheep's milk yogurt, low-fat yogurt, non-fat yogurt, greek yogurt, flavored yogurt, plain yogurt, organic yogurt, yogurt that contributes to your digestive comfort, yogurt that's more like dessert and fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. If there is a different way to make yogurt, you will find it here. To say I was overwhelmed by choices is an understatement!
I was thrilled though, when I found yogurt in glass jars that wasn't goat's milk or sheep's milk yogurt!
|Citron, Vanille and Nature are the three flavors I found - Citron and Vanille are wonderful!|
The yogurt in the little glass jars was amazingly good. To be fair, since I always bought yogurt with the least amount of calories, I wasn't used to sugar-sweetened yogurt with real fat in it. Still, it was like eating dessert!
Emboldened after trying something new and loving it, I searched out other yogurt brands. I went to the Franprix market, it's about 1/10 the size of Monoprix so there weren't nearly as many yogurt brands-types-flavors to choose from. What they did have though, was vanilla yogurt in lovely blue crocks. I had to try it.
|la fermiere yogurt|
This yogurt was really good! It is excellent by itself and even better with fruit. I couldn't help imagining all the wonderful things I could do with the empty crocks.
|I love these blue crocks and think they would be perfect for pots de creme!|
Well, if Franprix has La Fermiere, surely Monoprix does. But I was wrong (and I was right). Monoprix didn't have it the first time I looked and now presume they were just out. But I found another brand, in brown crocks! I had to try it.
|This is Danone brand, it is very thick and creamy. We tried vanille and Mure (blackberry)|
These are amazing yogurts and I don't think there is anything low-fat about them! They are rich and thick and creamy and incredibly delicious.
|Very thick, very creamy fruit-on-the-bottom blackberry yogurt - yum!|
I am quite sure I have never seen yogurt in glass jars or charming crocks in the U.S. For that reason, I have sortof somewhat resolved that for my remaining time here, I am going to treat myself to the best yogurts I've ever had. I'm not big on souvenirs from souvenir shops, but my yogurt jars and crocks are definitely the type of souvenir I like. No matter what I choose to do with them, they will always remind me of my time in Paris and the incredible yogurt here.
|I love the little glass jars and the blue and brown crocks. I've got quite the collection!|
For many months now, yogurt has been a nearly daily staple in my diet. I don't always eat the rich and creamy yogurts (too many calories I'm sure!), but something I have definitely learned to love is a rich and creamy yogurt with fresh fruit.
|Apples and creamy vanilla yogurt - a refreshing combination|