Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taste test: Flavored yogurt

As promised, I did a taste test with flavored yogurt as well. Oh, the sacrifices I have to make for this blog... And this in not fully sarcastic. I do not like purchased flavored yogurt because it tends to have too much sugar and be too sweet. I eat plain yogurt with jam, but I add just a little bit of jams I like.

So, I found a way to cheat in this flavored yogurt test :P Instead of buying the popular Chobani, I tried the flavors of Fage. The Fage 0% plain yogurt is my favorite anyway. And what's really amazing is that the "flavored" varieties come in special divided containers that keep the flavoring and the yogurt separated. This way you can mix in as much as you want. What confuses me, though, is why the container says not to mix them... Are we supposed to take a bit of jam and then a bit of yogurt with each spoonful? Anyway, I mixed them because that's how I like it :)

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of flavors available, probably around ten in total. I picked only six of them for this taste test. I think the flavors I picked are representative of what Fage offers. And many of the flavors I didn't try are single-ingredient jams that I have in one of the combination below. In order of preference, here are the reviews:

Honey: surprisingly, this was my least favorite. After all, honey and (Greek) yogurt is such a classic combination! Well, it all depends on the quality on the honey, and the one in the Fage yogurt didn't cut it. It was so think that I couldn't mix it at all into the yogurt. At least it tasted ok.

Blueberry/acai: classic example of what I consider "too sweet." I probably added only half of the jam, but it was still sweet. Plus, there were only a few whole berries in the sugary blueberry syrup.

Cherry/pomegranate: not as sweet as the blueberry/acai, but just as syrupy. Again, I wish there was more whole fruit. Plus, it had a little bit of an artificial cherry flavor (think, cough syrup) even though Fage doesn't use any artificial ingredients. I couldn't detect any pomegranate taste.

Raspberry: the jam has the right sweetness and consistency, but no chunks of fruit. I actually like the seeds in raspberries, so I missed them. But I'm sure the majority of the people would prefer the seedless version that Fage used.

Peach: I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Peaches can be very bland if not ripe enough or too sweet in some desserts. I didn't know which one I would get. But the jam in this case was perfect. It wasn't too sweet, but with intense peach flavor and lots of peach pieces.

Strawberry/goji: Goji? What's that? According to Wikipedia, it's a type of berry common in Asia. The strawberry/goji jam did have a pronounced strawberry flavor, but also hints of something new and unique that I haven't tried before. I can't even explain what it tastes like. The reason I loved this flavor the most is because it made me want to try goji berries. Does anyone know where I can find them?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

IP restaurant week pt 4: Parish

Parish is one of those restaurants that elevates comfort food to make it fancy without sacrificing the taste. Ever since Ems and I went there a long time ago, I had wanted to go back to try that mushroom cheesecake. Unlike the spring edition of Inman Park restaurant week, the menu at Parish looked amazing this time. Well, the cheesecake wasn't on the restaurant week menu, but I still wanted to try everything!

All three appetizers sounded interesting: parsnip soup, chicken hearts, and octopus and sausage. I was even considering getting two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree. Snooki got the parsnip soup, which was creamy and delicious. I finally decided to get the sauteed chicken hearts because I know that it's very easy to overcook octopus and make it chewy. My biggest surprise about the meal was the portion size! It was bigger than many entrees and included three huge half-slices of brioche bread. Well, at least the bread was toasted, coated in a creamy sauce, and tasted well. However, I couldn't eat more than a couple of bites knowing that I had two more meals coming up. The hearts themselves were perfect. I even liked how they were cut in bite-size pieces. Plus, they were sauteed in butter, and you can't go wrong with that ;) Unfortunately, the carrot puree was a huge disappointment. The texture was somehow gritty and it didn't even taste like carrots...

I wish I could try all entrees as well: fried chicken, fried mussels, and Israeli couscous. I settled on the mussels. Honestly, I've had much better mussels before, even at gastro pubs. The ones at Parish were sauteed in a butter sauce, but the butter just didn't seem to go well with the mussels. I wish they were cooked in a wine sauce with some fresh herbs and citrus. On the bright side, the fries were really great :) I probably ate more fries than mussels. Anyway, the entree made me wish I had finished all of my chicken hearts and skipped the second course.

At least the dinner ended well. I ordered the banana bread pudding for dessert, and Snooki got the chocolate tart. Both of them came with ice cream on the side. The crust on the tart was a little hard, but it was still delicious. And my banana bread pudding was AMAZING. The banana flavor was very prominent, the pudding was soft without being soggy, and the caramel sauce on the bottom of the plate went great with it. Plus, it was a pretty big potion, too :) Just what I needed after the light entree.

I thought Parish was supposed to serve a mixture of Southern, Louisiana-style food with emphasis on seafood. However, this meal didn't really fit into any of these categories well. There was a lot of seafood, but it didn't seem to be the strength of the restaurant. The chef is definitely creative, but it's hard to attract customers if you can't even describe what kind of food you serve. But if you're looking for a charming place with a unique menu, it's definitely worth a try.