Before I get in to my latest offering, a bit of history is in order. In the tenth century A.D., an inventor (at best) or (more likely) scientist with a severe lack of cleaning skills stumbled upon what is now known as yogurt. Pliny the Elder has the earliest writings about it, saying that the Turks he encountered discovered a way to knew how “to thicken the milk into a substance with an agreeable acidity”. Look it up. I don’t make this stuff up. I’m sitting here typing away. My mental image of Pliny the Elder in my head makes him look a bit like the Roaming Gnome from the Travelocity commercials. I could be off.
So Pliny was wowed by Yogurt as he sat scribbling, no doubt, around a campfire or a candle’s glow late at night. He had taken in this dairy delicacy in all its glory, and felt compelled to write about it. As someone who has battled yogurt several times in the past, I’ll admit that the only words I’ve ever used to describe it are of the four letter variety. There was one brand of yogurt that I ate as a kid once in a while that I actually asked for at grocery store time, and that was Old Home’s Soft Whip. It was a perfect blend of soft-serve-ice-cream texture with Pixie Stik flavor and, I’m sure, sugar content. It was absolutely delicious! I craved it, and as an alternative to the Yoplaits of the grocery world, it wasn’t half bad!
But Soft-Whip went away and was probably replaced by Go-Gurt or Danimals, or something better suited to a Saturday morning cartoon commercial break. And at that point, I stopped eating the stuff. Because everything that wasn’t Soft-Whip was nothing more than curdled milk. It stunk when I opened the lid. It had *shudder* that nasty, watery liquid on the top that only occurs in things that are spoiled! So for the past twenty five years, I have had a healthy aversion to the stuff.
I read today that cereal with milk is in danger of losing its place atop the list of most-eaten breakfast foods – to be replaced by yogurt and granola bars – and it bothered me. I grew up on three cereals as a kid, with three others occasionally brought in as treats. Cheerios, Corn Chex, and Kix. While Wheaties, Kellog’s Corn Flakes, and Rice Krispies made up the ‘others’ list. I always felt a little twinge of excitement pouring a bowl of Chex (still my favorite) and anticipating the exact moment when the crunch/soggy ratio was just perfect. I’d tear in to the bowl with the tenacity of a raven on a roadkill skunk!
Nowadays it is a totally different story. Parents routinely have chocolaty, marshmallowy, neon colored, gimmick cereal in their pantries!
And so we turn to yogurt and granola? Really!?
When I decided to transform my diet routine I read up on yogurt and decided that it might just be time to give yogurt a try again. When I imagined what my reaction would be, I couldn’t help but get the image from the Pet Store Scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure out of my head. Pee Wee (me) finds that the pet store (my refrigerator) is on fire, and rescues the animals from certain death (breakfast). However, he passes by the snakes (yogurt) while saving each and every other animal, until finally only the snakes remain. At this point, he takes a deep breath, grabs the snakes (again, yogurt), and runs out, hands full of snakes, spins, and topples to the ground.
However, my real life yogurt experience hasn’t turned out this way!
I’ve found that I actually like it! And I’m not even talking about the high sugar fake healthy yogurt stuff. I went Greek. And I went Greek with several different brands! Chobani, Greek Gods, Dannon Light-n-Fit Greek, Oikos, You name it, I like it! Now, don’t get me wrong here. I still have to look away from the yogurt when I first open it, until my spoon has a couple seconds to get that watery gunk off the top, and I still have a hard time with the smell. But I’ve found that I really do love the taste. If I add my own fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and pineapple, I have a hard time thinking of anything else I’d rather eat! And the best part? It’s actually good for me! So the lesson of the day is that while we may have deeply held beliefs about food that we may have tried before, don’t be afraid to go back and try again. Maybe it’s a matter of maturing senses, maybe getting tougher as we age, or maybe just getting over the small fears. Whatever it is, it’s worth a try.