Straus Family Creamery

Full day of foodie activities today: a cookie party at 11, then the 18 Reasons book club discussion of Nicolette Hahn Niman’s Righteous Porkchop. As I sit here looking up how damp weather affects cookie baking, I’d just like to say that Righteous Porkchop has already done one good thing for me, besides once again making me think carefully about my choices of animal-based foods: it pointed me to the Straus Family Creamery, their happy cows, and the awesome yogurt they make.

Super awesome California yogurt

I picked up some of Straus’ plain, whole milk, “European style” yogurt last night and poured it into my cheesecloth-lined colander to thicken it up. Purely out of habit–as the yogurt plopped in, it was clear there was no need. When I scooped it out this morning, there was a little whey in the pot, and the yogurt had thickened somewhat, but it would have been delicious straight from the container. Super tangy, too. I ate it for breakfast with a persimmon from the farmers’ market. (Persimmons are my grandmother’s favorite fruit. When I was at UT, I would pick some from the trees along Waller Creek and take them to her.)

Super awesome California breakfast

I never thought I would have a series of yogurt revelations in my life, but Straus yogurt makes the fourth one, so I guess they’ve gotten significant. The first was my first taste of whole milk yogurt, in Guatemala. I was told to eat yogurt to see if I couldn’t get some good bacteria to knock out the parasitic amoebas I’d picked up. In the supermarket, I couldn’t find any low fat or fat free yogurt (the stuff I was used to eating from my dancer days), so I “settled” for whole milk. It was so much better than the others, it made me realize that yogurt could actually be good.

The second was Liberte yogurt, from Quebec. Made with whole milk, cream, and yogurt cultures. We would buy these by the dozen in Boston, and we went looking for sources (Rainbow, Bi Rite, and Bristol Farms in the Westfield Center) as soon as we moved to San Francisco. We will happily eat this in lieu of going out for ice cream. It’s that good.

The third was strained yogurt. I picked up some Fage for some reason and loved the texture–somewhere between Liberte and labna. Then I realized I could achieve the same effect for less money if I was willing to pour regular yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined colander and leave it to drip overnight. This has been my habit for a few months.

But now Straus Family Creamery yogurt has shown up to usurp that. I’m sorry, Pavel’s, but I have a new love. I hope you’ll understand.


3 Responses to “Straus Family Creamery”

  1. 1 Dave
    October 24, 2010 at 20:49

    I’ve recently made my first purchases of of stuff from Strauss Family Creamery. I’ve been buying their 1% milk and their half and half. I like both even more than the other organic dairy I’ve been buying, but I have a little trouble telling when I’ve held onto it too long. I don’t go through a lot of dairy anymore. With the half and half, I can tell by what it does when it hits the coffee. With the milk, I’m never quite as sure. It’s probably just paranoia. I’ve not yet sampled any bad milk, but pouring a glass of milk and seeing small chunks in it makes me uneasy.

  2. October 26, 2010 at 09:00

    We had a supplier in Boston whose milk was like this (unhomogenized but pasteurized, I think), and that freaked me out at first, too. We eventually learned to overlook the chunks. And it never did seem to go bad.

    I got Straus milk for the cookies, and I drank a little by itself. I’m sure it was excellent milk, but it didn’t do it for me the way the yogurt did. I was reminded that I love dairy products (yogurt, ice cream, butter, cream in my coffee, whipped cream, hot chocolate, cheese) but don’t really care at all for milk by itself.

  3. 3 Julie
    October 27, 2010 at 21:33

    Straus is excellent! I eat the whole milk vanilla yogurt most days, and generally feel good about them, and also their foundation funds some (ahem) worthy causes — though I seem to remember, and am now trying to track down, a controversy earlier this year from one of the food listerves I am on, about the owner’s seeming nafarious activism around downgrading organic pasture standards thereby further diluting “organic”, even though it’s well-documented that their own farm and the ones they source from are exceptional. I am googling and trying to find it.

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