Monthly Archives: March 2010

Stonyfield Greek Yogurt

Since I’ve been skipping out on my blogging fix the past few weeks, I wanted to do a quick review of a product that I literally just sat down to eat and felt compelled to write about. It’s a well known fact that writing scathing reviews is more fun and easier to do than writing a good review so let the fun begin. Lately I’ve had a slight obsession with Greek Yogurt (specifically Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt) and since Walmart didn’t have Chobani, discouraged as I was, I though I’d try out Stonyfield’s Organic Greek Yogurt line, “Oikos”. I love their organic plain yogurt so I figured this couldn’t be too bad. That was a pricey mistake. What I have grown to love so much about this kind of yogurt is, firstly, its smooth and dense consistency (not at all a gag-inducing consistency like regular yogurt can be), and secondly, its unique tart flavor. It’s so rare to find food that has that kind of tartness naturally and isn’t a form of candy. Hence, when I opened up the Oikos Greek Yogurt and found about a half inch of golden watery liquid in the bottom of the cup (it was honey flavored), I was slightly deterred. I thought that maybe it wouldn’t water it down too much and it would just add a nice sweet flavor. Unfortunately, it did water it down, swiflty converting that thick creamy consistency into a watery, grainy one. P.S. I have no idea where the “grains” came from. Those were weird and I’m thinking maybe they were solidified bits of honey? The flavoring also over-sweetened it and eliminated the tartness I like so much. I realize that I could have chosen a flavor that wasn’t “honey”, clearly a sweetening agent. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to add sweetness but stay true to the tart nature of the food. Anyways, no hard feeling Stonyfield, I still love your regular yogurt. However when I go Greek, I’m sticking with Chobani.

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Fry Bread

Last semester one of my friends and I had the pleasure of watching “Smoke Signals” for a class we were taking together (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/). Based off of the lives of several youths living on an Indian reservation, the movie explores cliches about Indians that are well known throughout the U.S. such as alcoholism, poor living conditions, traditional Indian practices, and spirituality to name a few. Ironically, in comparison to something like, say, “Dances with Wolves”, it almost seems less “authentic” in its Native American-ness because there aren’t as many theatrics. Of course, that’s the case with most Hollywood movies; more theatrics, less reality.

The movie (Smoke Signals) is based off a screen play by Sherman Alexie who creates (in my opinion) a rather unremarkable character named Victor Joseph, and a completely enthralling character, Thomas Builds-the-Fire. Since I didn’t intend for this post to turn into a movie review, I’ll just say that in several shots, Thomas is wearing a shirt that says “Frybread Power”. It sort of looks like a Superman shirt. Fry bread actually becomes a pretty significant part of the film for several reasons but mostly, its one of the few similarities that the viewer can initially find between Victor and Thomas in an otherwise very strange relationship between two personality opposites; they both love frybread.

So anyways…my friend and I wanted to try out this food that’s sort of deified in the movie. Our professor sent a really cool link that has frybread recipes from different Native American tribes, each with their own twist (http://www.manataka.org/page180.html). We tried the Cherokee one and it turned out really well. A few tidbits of advice however. Firstly, make sure your oil is super hot (obvious advice for most, but being a frying newb and all, I had to learn from experience). Also, roll the dough balls out as thin as you can. We both agreed the thicker ones weren’t as tasty. As for toppings, the website has lots of recommendations. We tried strawberry jam, powdered sugar, apple butter, honey, and rice.  I really liked the rice and apple butter and my friend preferred the honey.

I feel like I should put up some sort of disclaimer that my intent in this post isn’t to become a kind of food orientalist and exoticize the traditional food of Native Americans. Whenever I make food that’s not from my own culture I realize I’m removing it from its cultural context, so creating a kind of balance between respect and curiosity is always tricky. However, this website seems to show a lot of pride in their food traditions and since they’ve posted it on the internet, seemingly with the intent of sharing, I thought it was okay. I really enjoyed trying these recipes out and the nice thing about breads like these (similar to other flat breads) is that you can kind of dress them up or down. Pairing them with something sweeter like honey pulls out a different flavor from the frybread than pairing them with something more savory like rice. Either way, I thought they were delicious.

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