Food Post — Holiday Snack Edition

December 15, 2006 at 1:43 pm | Posted in food | 13 Comments

Just in time for the Holidays, it’s Cranberry Flavored Yop!

Yop

I’m amused by this product, because cranberries aren’t really very French (witness the fact that they are called “cranberries”, rather than some actual French word). And Yop (a thick, full-fat, drinkable yogurt made by Yoplait) isn’t available in America, as far as I know… So it’s kind of a weird cross-fertilization of cultures.

And how did this meeting of worlds go? Okay, but the Yop fared better than the cranberries.

Yop

As you can see here, the color is pretty pale, foreshadowing the weakness of cran-taste in the drink itself. If I closed my eyes and really focused, I could tell I was drinking cranberry-flavor, rather than strawberry or raspberry. But it was really lacking that tart attack you usually get with cranberries — mostly it was just sweet and creamy, like other Yop products. In any case, it didn’t satisfy my craving for my mom’s cranberry-chocolate-chip cookies. Yum.

Moving on.

Belin Croustilles

In the comments to my famed Potato Chip post, it was recommended that I try these Belin Croustilles, which were described as the French “version of the cheeto” (and also, “cheeserific!”). As a long-time closet cheeto lover (they were pretty much all I ate my freshman year of college), I was determined to try them.

Cheetos?

Verdict? Interesting. They’re much paler than the radioactive-hued American cheetos, but with a much more complex flavor. At first, you hardly taste the cheese, but as it mellows, there’s a strong, pungent undercurrent of full-bodied cheese aroma. And in this case, it’s not sharp cheddar, but some unplaceable combination of camembert, reblochon, and roquefort.

And yet, as far as I could tell from the listed ingredients, these “croustillantes” — like their American cousins — contain no actual cheese: trans-fat and chemical flavoring all the way, baby. So how do they get all those subtle flavors of French cheese crammed into tiny crunch sticks without using a smidge of actual cheese? I don’t know, but I’m gonna go ahead and call it a holiday miracle.

And for good measure, I’m also going to throw in this photo of Salade de Chevre Chaud, because I made it this week, and it came out pretty. Enjoy!

salade de chevre

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13 Comments

  1. Goat cheese salade. Yum.

    You can get Yop in Canada…

    I once drove by the Yop factory. It’s down by Auxerre. That’s just a bit of useless trivia…

  2. You inadvertently made a yogurt pun (cross-fertilization of cultures). Or maybe you’re not as innocent as I thought…

  3. JChevais — Canadian Yop? Is it the same? Do they have different flavors?

    Stephanie — Let’s just pretend it was intentional, because that would be pretty awesome.

  4. French for cranberry is “airelles” but I just got that like 2 years ago !!
    And cheese croustilles from Belin are my fav chips ! Cheetos are more agressive and taste more chemical but they’re probably more fun to eat (your fingers look awful afterwards!)..

  5. Jordane — weirdly, I was just at a party where someone told me about airelles… I’d never heard the word before (and apparently, neither has yoplait).

    I agree, Cheetos can be pretty aggressive.

  6. My gosh… that was ages ago…

    Googling gives me: http://www.yoplait.ca/yop/fr/index.aspx
    It appears that English Canada profits from the French Canada connection…

  7. Now I’m embarrassed to say that I go through bags of those Belin fromage thingies… UGH! I never look at the chemical content, guess it’s just the American junk-food junkie in me. I’m a salty cheesy fanatic at heart!

    And um, yeah, they’re kinda like those “betcha can’t eat just one” chips — you really, really can’t eat just one — at least if you’re ME anyway!

  8. I was going to make the claim that cranberries are canneberges (since that’s what they always are in bilingual Canadian packaging). With a bit of research, they are apparently a specific species of airelles.

    I know you can find dried cranberries in France now! Yum — better than chips!

  9. The Yop looks like Kefir that we buy here in the U.S. We can only get the same five flavors-peach, vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, and coffee–so cranberry looks great!
    Jane

  10. Jane – I love Kefir, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it sweetened. Usually when I get it in America, it’s just plain, and slightly sour. But other than that, yeah, it’s a lot like Yop.

  11. Yop is all over the place in France but the French I know, hate it. I think they get their milk quota through hot chocolate and cheese

  12. […] is not the first time this question has come up on this blog. Nearly a year ago, I posted about Cranberry-flavored Yop, at which point I observed that the French must not have a word for cranberries, since the good […]

  13. I first tried the Belin Croustilles when my neighbours brought some back from a visit to his parents in France a few months ago, OMG they are the best potato chip ever. I asked if his parents could bring some over next time they visit last Friday there was a knock at the door and there stood my neighbours missus with at least half a dozen double bags (plus they are all 20% extra) of these savoury delights. I am in Cheese heaven!!!


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