Some thoughts on yoghurt – by Tabitha

23 Nov

When I received the email from Karen on Monday saying this week’s topic was “fermentation”, I was eating yoghurt with mango for breakfast. And yesterday, when I realised that Tuesday was almost over and I hadn’t written my post about fermentation, I was drinking a Vietnamese yoghurt coffee. It seems that in my life, as in my mind, fermentation is inextricably associated with yoghurt.

So here are some thoughts about yoghurt.

Good, thick, full-fat, sugar-free yoghurt is really difficult to find in Hanoi. The French influence here has resulted in a surplus of awful, sugary, fat-free, flavoured yoghurts, which the French love for some reason, and which also probably transport very easily, since their sugar content means they can never go off. The refrigerated aisle of individual “dairy desserts” (like, little crème caramels and rice puddings) is one of the largest in a French supermarket. Surprising, non? It certainly was to me, with my Australian reverence of “European-style yoghurt”.

There is one café here which makes its own yoghurt, which is famous for being Catherine Deneuve’s favourite haunt while she was filming Indochine, one of my most loathed French movies. Apparently she loved the yoghurt, but I find it strangely gelatinous.

But also thanks to the French influence, you can actually get fromage blanc here, which is one of my most favourite foods, and like yoghurt, but better. We buy the one with 7% fat, and it tastes like cream sent from the gods.

In summary, the yoghurt situation in Hanoi is complex, much like my relationship with the French.

Another thing about yoghurt: a friend of ours told us how she had chronic thrush and the old yoghurt trick just wasn’t cutting it, so she investigated other, baseless, miracle cures, including a recommendation for garlic. As instructed, she inserted a garlic clove right up her moot. It did not cure the thrush. Instead, it got completely stuck there for many days and resulted in her entire body emanating a garlic odour, and her mouth tasting like garlic. Isn’t the human body an amazing thing? Who knew that a taste could travel backwards up into your mouth like that? Thank goodness other downstairs odours don’t do the same.

And that is my post on fermentation.


7 Responses to “Some thoughts on yoghurt – by Tabitha”

  1. Richard November 23, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    You made me lol in the office. Getting a lot of strange looks! In other news I read today that garlic is a cure-all for chicken parasites. Not sure how it makes them smell.

    • Tabitha November 25, 2011 at 4:24 am #

      Do you have to insert the garlic in the chicken’s cloaca? I hope not.

  2. Beth November 24, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    I remember that amazing yogurt we had at the Resto-U or whatever it was called in Paris where you add a little bit of sugar yourself. Have never found anything in Sydney to match it.

    • Tabitha November 25, 2011 at 4:26 am #

      That was fromage blanc! Delicousness incarnate. Thanks for reminding me of the Resto-U cafeteria… one of the best things about my Paris year, I reckon!

  3. Justyna November 25, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    I so wanted to make a fart-to-mouth comment at the end of your post, but you bloody did it for me with your second-last sentence. Like Richard, I too laughed out loud. Very enjoyable post.

    Having had the pleasure of experiencing French supermarkets at length every May for a couple of years now, I also have been appalled by the sugary yogurt rubbish. I make an exception for the yoplait delux version though. Because it comes in clay pots. I have collected plenty now and grow basil in them. Recycling at its best!

  4. Jonathan December 9, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    I was actually the one that stumbled upon that article on garlic, and convinced her to try it out…

    • Tabitha December 9, 2011 at 5:45 am #

      Well, I will not be taking your medical advice in future, Jonathan.

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