Aglaia Kremezi and I share an interest in Fage yogurt--except hers is familial, mine obsessive.
When I went to visit the idyllic farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom that produces Butterworks Farm yogurt, I developed a daily addiction to two yogurts: Butterworks, which is delicate and junket-y (think fragile pudding) and has the wonderful flavor of milk from the cows the Lazor family raises; and Fage, which was then called Total--a strained yogurt, with the thick and creamy texture or crème fraîche or fromage frais. It was, and is, hard to believe that the nonfat yogurt is really nonfat, and the full-fat tastes as rich as the (in fact richer) crème fraîche.
I still go through large quantities of each kind every day, so maybe I'll live as long as Aglaia's grandmother, who prescribed a pot of yogurt and bread for supper or a late-night snack, though I have a feeling the vaunted Mediterranean diet, as eaten when it really was the Mediterranean diet, had a lot to do with her incredible longevity.
But I've long wanted to visit the Fage plant in upstate New York, to see firsthand the differences with the farm panorama the Lazors present--if anything, more rustic and picturesque than any idealized label could portray--and get a sense of why Fage's version still seems so much subtler, tangier, and better than the various Greek brands that have rushed to copy its success. Aglaia's incredible array of recipes and beautifully written memories will get me there one summer's day soon.
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