Food

Taste from home

3:13 PM

In Switzerland yogurt is more likely a fruit yogurt than a plain one, not that the plain doesn’t exist, but we prefer the fruit variant.
Every supermarket has their own brand and many flavours, classic and seasonal, the only denominator being that we like to have real fruit in our stuff and the least sugar possible as to not spoil the natural taste of fruits. I obviously grew up thinking that the way to have yogurt was with various type of berries or orchard fruit, the plain natural yogurt being reserved for cooking dishes, or as part of a salad.
So imagine my surprise when I moved to India! Not that I have anything wrong against plain yogurt, in fact Indian dahi even taste better than Swiss plain yogurt and has a creamy thickness my homeland version lacks, but back in 2003 when I first arrived there was no fruit dahi, the only way to have fruit dahi was to puree a fruit and mix it in, and since it was 2003, there wasn’t even that much choice in fruits it was : apple (costly), mango(only in season), grape and oranges (again only in season), and banana (all year round, cheap but repetitive after a while). I found out that Indians didn’t really eat a lot of fresh fruits and that getting a fresh fruit basket as a gift was a big deal…that of course has changed over the years, and I will get back to grocery shopping then and now in another entry.
So for the longest time, it was that, banana dahi or nothing, and considering our budget in the early days, it was banana in the fruit bowl and nothing else or almost anyway.
In later 2005 or early 2006 (I don’t remember exactly now) Nestle changed my Indian world as I came to know it by introducing two flavours of dahi in individual serving, while I don’t remember the date, I remember stepping into my local supermarket and having the brand promoter offer me a free container to taste on the spot: Strawberry, and when he asked what I thought of it I said “You just made me a little less home sick” and he offered me the mango one to try, and then I filled my basket with them.
For the longest time after that, this was only Nestle, and it’s two flavours, no other added to their range, no other brand taking a dip into this new trend. In fact for the longest time nestle was along with Nilgiri the only brand to do yogurt in pots.
It’s only after shifting to Navi Mumbai that I found out that in the state of Maharashtra the French brand Danone was not only in India but had 3 variant of flavoured dahi: Mango, Strawberry and Vanilla :

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The two fruit variants aren’t as good as the Nestle one, so I forgot about these fast, but the vanilla one is delicious and I even cited it as one of the only thing I will miss about Mumbai before we moved back briefly to Bangalore.
Still in my dump in Navi Mumbai, this is also when GO the new brand of dairies on the block came with inventive flavours as well: mixed berries, lychee, pineapple, strawberry banana and mango, they are good, but funny enough you don’t find them as often as before these days.
My guess is that since the media emphasised more and more about the necessity for India to start eating healthy and add more fruits and veggies into their life the dairy industry jumped on the opportunity to promote dahi sweetened with real fruits (in small amount but still real) as a healthier snack alternative than a pack of cookies or namkeens. After all one container of these fruit dahi is around 100-130 calories, are filling enough as a snack, and do satisfy the sweet craving as well. 

This weekend I found one dairy brand that has been in business for a little while finally coming with a fruit variant:

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Or more exactly two flavours, and in a now established market of fruit flavours they chose to go with two flavour none of the other Indian based brand has: Raspberry and Plum. Which is a nice thing to see, because frankly, seeing the same old Strawberry and mango flavours done by all the other yet again would have been something that would not have pushed me to buy mother dairy dahi.
Now these two are probably not the best, as my husband pointed, they are a bit too sweet for his taste (and mine as well) the reason being that a lot of sugar goes in the ingredient list, the calorie content of the 100g pot is a 148, by far the highest of all. But they win where flavour is concerned because no one else has these, and they are made with real fruit, the raspberry one even has enough small chunk of the fruit in it to make me forgive the high sugar content in the mix. So that is definitely one I’ll buy again.
My favourite of all remains the vanilla Danone though, and Go Lychee if I can find it which is less easy now.
And of course I still like my good old plain desi dahi as well, particularly in oats with nuts and fresh sliced fruits and cinnamon (no added sugar) as in a Swiss style muesli.

5 comments

  1. Oh I wish I could find these here. I haven't seen anything but plain and I stopped even paying attention a while ago. I think I will definitely be taking a second look next time I go grocery shopping. It would make such a wonderful treat. Something new, exiting and different lol. Danone is an interesting brand name. In the US we have Dannon. Sounds like they are both high quality brands. I'm excited. Something new to shop for.

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  2. Danone is a French based brand, I was surprised to see it in India as in manufactured in India to be honest, they are not yet available nation wide as they don't have many plants, just before I left Bangalore last August they started selling it in some place there too, you find it everywhere in Mumbai, it's my favourite even for plain yogurt because it's thicker than the others and it comes enriched with minerals and vitamins.

    I think you could be able to find Nestle Milk maid dahi, because that one has been there forver, how is the dairy section in Hypercity in Amritsar? The Hypercity in Navi Mumbai had a huge section with all brands of dahi available.

    I'll have to post about GO cheese, because they just launched speciality cheese at an affordable price, it's not the best cheese in the world, but it sure taste better than the rubbery crap that is commonly called cheese around here. GO is an Indian brand too, they have a website too but I don't remember the link, they are going out massively to be the Indian speciality dairies brand.

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  3. nice idea...thanks for sharing....

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  4. There was a really good brand a few years back, it had plain yogurt on top and a layer of fruit puree at the bottom, you had to mix it after opening. I LOVED that! Sadly, its been a while since I've seen it anywhere...I think they stopped producing it :( Yes, flavoured yogurt really is something that should be widely available here, especially as this is a hot country! Some other, more localized companies come up with good fruit yogurts every once in a while, but they always seem to stop producing them, OR the shops I have access to stop stocking them :( Why :( ?? I sometimes mix jams with yogurt, but its just not the same.

    I Have been reading your blog religiously, I've just been really busy with college the past few months to write to you :) Really - I have no idea how you can maintain a blog with sooo much writing, even when you're busy! I know I couldn't >.<

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  5. Hi Yvette nice to hear from you.

    I'm a compulsive writter, this is why I keep my blog going.

    I vaguely remember seeing such a brand of yogurt in Bangalore once, I don't remember the name and it wasn't in the shelves long enough, sad because as you said it's a hot country, and a fridge cold pot of fruit yogurt beats an ice cream on most days :)
    And yup mixing Jam with yogurt is definitely not the same.

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