How Yogurt and Honey Can Save Your Soul


I don't really get excited about food," a friend told me once. "If I could take a pill for all my nutrients and have that be that, I'd do it." I looked at her as she spoke, deep into her eyes, to see if I might be able to find some spark of joy in this poor woman's soul. "But that yogurt you had at your brunch the other day! That was the best thing I've ever eaten. I've thought about it every day since." Ah, so maybe that explains how she still has the ability to feel happiness.

The yogurt that introduced joy into Hania's heart is one I've been loving lately: Fage Total, a Greek whole milk product, prestrained so that it's extra dense, almost like a soft cheese, richly creamy with a pronounced tang. It's fantastic folded around fruits; oranges and fresh mint or sweet apples sauteed with thyme are serious winners.

But my favorite way to enjoy this stuff is simple, showing off its own complexities:

Fill up a shot glass with as much honey as you think you're going to need. Dip your spoon first in the honey, get a generous coat of it. Now go for some of the yogurt. As you eat, your tongue first hits the honey on the bottom of the spoon, revealing its sweetness, and if it's a lovely artisanal honey, the flavor of flowers. Then the tart yogurt gives that flavor a little bite before rounding out into the satisfying richness of milk. The sensations on the tongue mirror the movement of these flavors, as the languid syrup meets a cold yogurt that slowly warms in your mouth, melting and dissolving into a soft creaminess. Look up and find yourself smiling.

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