Friday, November 16, 2007

The one true yogurt drink

It has come to my attention that not everyone in my acquaintance is familiar with these:

Jeremy and I have always called these "yogurt drinks." I don't know what they're intended to be called - Actimel, maybe?

Anyway, yogurt drinks and the Palmers go way back, all the way back to 2002 when we were living in Russia. That's when we discovered drinkable yogurt, as well as its (mildly alcoholic, as we found out later) cousin, kefir. I have nothing against regular yogurt, but there was just something so...Russian about taking along a few bottles of kefir and some bread and cheese on an overnight train ride. So it was only natural that when Actimel yogurt drinks started appearing in the stores in Moscow that we would love those, too.

At first, we could buy a six-pack of Actimel for 45 rubles (about $1.35 back then). Then, as happened many times during our year in Moscow, the stores figured out that they weren't charging enough for a great product and the price went up, first to 60 rubles and eventually to 75. Not such a good deal anymore.

Fortunately, we discovered, of all things, an Actimel outlet store of sorts (really!). And it was located, of all places, just off Red Square. So every once in a while - okay, several times a week - we'd head over there and stock up on bargain-priced yogurt drinks. Why were they bargain-priced? Because they usually expired that day or the next. Thus, it was not uncommon for me to come home from work in the early evening, walk into our apartment, and see tiny yogurt drink bottles strewn all over the kitchen and Jeremy lying on the couch, whining about having drunk so many just to save them before they expired.

These delicious yogurt drinks eventually followed us around the globe, though we had to do without them for a while when we lived in Utah between stints in Russia and Syria.

But in Damascus, they showed up again, although at a prohibitive cost. Only a couple of stores in the city carried them, and I'm sure that the Saudi expats were the only ones who could afford them. I think we mostly just gazed at them wistfully as we passed them by.

Finally, America caught up with the active cultures trend, and our special yogurt drinks arrived in the States at last. The first time I saw them in the refrigerators at Costco, I could hardly keep myself from dancing with joy right there in the aisle.

Now I'm just waiting for all the additional flavors to come: orange (my favorite, but sadly unavailable around here), pomegranate (!), and blackberry/blueberry.

If you haven't tried these yogurt drinks, maybe you should give them a chance. They've never let me down.


sarah said...

that's like the seinfeld episode when they're trying to decide exactly at what point food expires. lol

Kristen said...

I've been drinking "yogurt smoothies" for some time, so I don't know if they are as good as this particular brand, but mine are from Yoplait and Tillamook Creamery...A different brand I purchased recently was acai-pomegranate-blueberry flavor. Mmmmm!


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