I have the most enormous crush on this yogurt. It has lured me away from last year's favorite and lodged itself squarely in the center of my yogurt-loving heart. But we're doomed to star-crossed love; this yogurt is only available in the Bay Area. If you're there, or if you're visiting, here's why you should try it.
I get so annoyed when food writers wax fulsome in their praise of food experiences located in just one or two faraway places. All too often this perfect ham, this marvelous coffee, this one cheese, are only available in a coastal location far from me here in the Midwest. I get a little indignant over the ink poured out on the specialties of just one or two major metro areas. So to be writing one of these pieces myself makes me sigh.
But that doesn't change how good this yogurt is. It's worth it.
I first tasted this yogurt at last year's Fancy Food show in New York City. I stopped at the California Milk Marketing Board's booth, and they handed me a little cup of creamy yogurt, flecked with vanilla. The yogurt was surprisingly un-sweet; it was creamy, and not too tangy, with a full, rich taste of vanilla — unmarred by sugar. It was pure vanilla, pure creaminess. I was totally hooked. It was the best thing I ate at the show!
So when I was out in the Bay Area in December I picked up a few pots of this yogurt at the grocery store and indulged. I tried their fruit-on-the-bottom varieties too, and they were very good, but my heart belongs to the vanilla. It's simple enough to eat for breakfast, and not too sweet. And yet all that real vanilla feels luxurious; I could eat a pot all by itself for dessert.
Sheep's milk sounds unusual, but it's not nearly as tangy and assertive as goat's milk, especially in yogurt. And some people find it easier to digest than cow's milk. It certainly makes a creamy, delicious yogurt.
Bellwether is looking for nationwide distribution, so hopefully I'll be able to get my fix here soon. Until then, all you lucky Bay Area folks should certainly look out for this stuff.
• More about Bellwether Farms: Bellwether Farms
Related: Loving Right Now: Liberté Yogurt
(Images: Faith Durand)