I’m known to aggressively adopt the “When in Rome” mantra.
Especially when I’m in a new city.
I pity those poor expats in Shanghai who drop obscene amounts of money on home comforts such as Nutella, McVite’s Digestives and Nature Valley Granola bars. Why would anyone want expensive stale granola bars when there’s a plethora of freshly baked, delicious (and dirt-cheap) chinese pastries that you can have instead? Just because they different doesn’t mean they can’t be equally delicious.
I never turn down a brunch offer. Never. Honestly, brunch is the most brilliant invention of 21st century. When else can you have a meal that is the ultimate melange of sweet and savory, carbs and protein, and coffee and mimosa? That’s right, you can’t. It’s brunch or bust.
Naturally, when a Danish friend suggested ditching our early morning Financial Crisis lecture for a nice cozy brunch – I thought “Why not? After all, I AM in Denmark, and this is a Dane suggesting it…”
(Though rest assured that I would definitely not make the same decision in the US)
Ofcourse, my mind went directly to yogurt parfaits. There are only two foods in this world that I cannot live without – yogurt parfaits and artichokes. But honestly, what’s not to love about yogurt parfaits? They’re uber healthy, deliciously fruity, and, if you’re a seasoned parfait maker, they look fabulous.
You couldn’t ask for a more versatile dish. It’s comfort food with bananas and chocolate granola. It’s fancy with figs, black currants, and honey. It’s healthy with toasted quinoa and blueberries. And, most importantly, it’s always delicious.
But on this day, Ida and I were feeling quite fruity. So we pieced together a toppings bar of strawberries, peaches, blueberries, pears, cactus figs (of course, Ida just had these lying around) along with some muesli, honey, and jam. Naturally, Ida had some peach and lavender jam which she bought in Paris. We may or may not have created and eaten multiple parfaits per person….
But here’s the thing. What makes or breaks a parfait is the yogurt. Rich lusciously thick creamy greek yogurt is the secret to the perfect parfait. Never buy that runny watery stuff. It’ll ruin everything. I promise. You can thank me later.
I can swear by Trader’s Joe’s 0.2% greek yogurt. It’s the best. I truly can’t taste the difference between that and the more expensive Chobani yogurt. You can even buy the full-fat version for a really lovely creamy parfait. Alas, we’re in Denmark and there’s no Trader Jonas anywhere in sight. Thankfully, Scandinavians love their dairy, and I’ve been able to find some great alternatives.
(Note: Don’t even try looking for good yogurt in china, it simply doesn’t exist. All yogurt in china is watery and full of sugar. There are some creamier options, but many of those companies recently got busted for putting industrial rubber materials in their yogurt to give it a better texture. So stay away.)
First we have Skyr – which is a high-protein Icelandic cultured dairy product. It’s technically a cheese, but trust me, it tastes nothing like cheese. It’s a bit sweeter than greek yogurt, but has the same wonderfully creamy consistency. You can get Skyr in the us too, but it’s insanely expensive – so just stick to normal greek yogurt.
But I was lucky enough to stumble upon a large tub of 0.2% Fage Total greek yogurt (only found at Føtex), which was my second favorite greek yogurt when I was living in the US. If you’re in Denmark, never buy Anton’s Greek Yogurt, the texture is repulsive. It’s weirdly grainy and smells of old socks. I unfortunately learned the hard way.
Perfect Yogurt ParfaitsMakes 4 Servings
1 500ml tub of Fage Greek Yogurt (or any other greek yogurt of your choice)
1 Pear, sliced
1 Nectarine, sliced
1 Box of Blueberries
1/2 Box of Strawberries, sliced
1 cup of Museli
Honey to taste
Jam of your choice
- Add a layer yogurt then jam then granola then fruit. Repeat until you run out of space in your bowl. 😀