New Foods

Time to alert my readers to a couple of foods i’ve recently discovered.

First, the easy one:  Once Again sunflower seed butter.  Saw this at Rainbow Grocery and gave it a try.  Got it home and already had the first spoon in my mouth when i noticed, in 4pt. type on the front label

“Lightly Sweetened”.

  Sigh.  Don’t usually buy stuff with added sugar but fortunately they weren’t exaggerating, as it is just barely sweet, and that marginal sweetness snuggles up to the light saltiness in a warm, brotherly manner.   My God, is that stuff ever good.  And yes, they do offer an unsweetened version, but at 8 gr. of carbs per two tablespoons when a serving for me is less than half of that, i can deal with the carbs.  Try this stuff if you have any taste at all for sunflower seeds.

I wrote three or four years ago about how i’d been quite happily eating Fage Greek yogurt but switched to Smári Icelandic yogurt (AKA skyr) after a handsome serpent in Whole Foods offered me a taste and writhed in pleasure over my astonishment that a non-fat yogurt could be so thick and have such a creamy mouthfeel. So αποχαιρετισμός Φαγε , halló Smári.

However, when i moved back to San Francisco, the pint tubs of plain Smári had been dropped by Rainbow Grocery.  Grrrr.

Oh yes, they stock a variety of Smári yogurts that are sweetened and flavored with fruit, but i refuse to even taste one because i know it’ll be utterly delicious and thus another carbohydrate bomb temptation when i’m already having to navigate my way around the city carefully to stay out of Satan’s grasp.  As it is, every time i go out shopping using Valencia Street, i have to shoot through a strait with Scylla (Mitchell’s Ice Cream) on my left and Charybdis (Dianda Bakery) on my right.

Luckily, Rainbow now carries a new brand of plain Icelandic yogurt in pints, this one called Siggi’s.  Like Smári, it’s made in this country by Icelandic immigrants, so i thought i’d try it.  Oh wow. Puts Smári in the shade, if not the Arctic winter darkness, mainly because they offer a version that is not just “whole milk” (3.5% butterfat) but rather 4% butterfat that’s so damn thick you can slice it.  Well, especially if you take your first few spoonfuls by running the spoon carefully down the side of the tub and then extracting the yogurt straight up so that you dig a hole down to the bottom of the container and then drink the whey that accumulates, leaving the remaining yogurt even thicker.

Not, of course, that anyone other than dedicated aficionados would go to such depths, but i highly recommend Siggi’s yogurt even for normal folks.

This afternoon, in the interest of science and the progression of knowledge, i conducted an experiment.  In Rainbow Grocery i purchased little individual servings of fruit-flavored yogurt for taste testing.   Smári whole milk blackberry and Siggi’s 4% fat mixed berry.  And while i was at it, another brand of skyr they’ve started carrying,  the Norr whole milk black currant, with the plan that i’d compare a bite or two out of each and then consume the remainder over the next two days.

The Norr was pretty good, but not worth saving for another day, so i ate it all.  The Smári was excellent, so good that i ate it all.   But Siggi’s was the best, and i couldn’t stop.  Which just goes to prove that we shouldn’t buy flavored yogurts.

Try Siggi’s 4% plain.  As they say in Reykjavík , “Það er þykkt.”  It is thick.  And do not be misled that the front of the container, which plainly reads, ”

Siggi’s

Icelandic style cream-skyr | 4% milkfat | strained whole-milk yogurt

per serving

6g Sugar | 25g Protein | 230 calories”

That 6g of sugar per serving is absolute truth in advertising, the amount of naturally occurring lactose in the milk.  They do not add any sugar to their plain yogurt.  I checked.  Eat Siggi’s.

Meanwhile, another piece of the new Transbay Terminal.

Transbay Terminal bus ramp

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