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What's the Deal with Greek Yogurt?

What's the Deal with Greek Yogurt?

Last week I went to the store looking for “regular” plain, nonfat yogurt. Not a particularly unusual grocery item, I figured that there would be several brands to choose from. But that wasn’t the case. There was very little choice among the “regular” yogurts. In their place, I found the shelf crowded with literally dozens of types of Greek and Greek-style yogurts.

The statistics bear out my experience. Since 2008, the share of the U.S. yogurt market occupied by Greek yogurt has gone from 4% to 44%. And that’s big bucks for Greek yogurt makers. Between 2008 and 2013, annual U.S. sales of Greek yogurt skyrocketed from $60 million to $1.5 billion.

This huge increase in the popularity of Greek yogurt made me wonder – what really are the differences between Greek and “regular yogurt? 

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Passover Rolls Reimagined - With Filling

Passover Rolls Reimagined - With Filling

It’s tough to find decent Passover-friendly snacks other than fruit or carrot and celery sticks. Sure there are Seder leftoversmatzo pudding or kugel and charoset on matzo, but I’m talking about something that isn’t messy and doesn’t require either a fork or a dust pan and broom to clean up the crumbs.

Why not a Passover roll with a surprise filling? Bizarre? Only if you haven’t ever had a Passover roll. They’re delicious and definitely way better than plain matzo on their own, but in my house, once the Seder is over and we still have a weeks worth of Passover eating, the rolls take on added importance. Whether for a lunch or snack, they become "alternative sandwiches" - delivery vehicles for whatever is on hand as a filling. 

 

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How to Make Charoset

How to Make Charoset

One of the essential foods served during a Passover seder is the charoset. Also spelled haroset, this mixture represents both the suffering of the Israelites and their redemption.

Charoset looks like mortar, a reminder of the bricks and mortar the Israelites used to build cities for Pharoah during their enslavement. But it also represents fruit orchards, where the Israelite women went to give birth to their children in hiding during the enslavement in Egypt, when Pharoah’s decrees would have put their male newborns at risk of being taken away.  (Remember the Old Testament story of Moses in the bullrushes, hidden from view?)

If you’re not having a seder, should you stop reading right now? Absolutely not. Charoset is a fruit concoction that you can add use in a variety of ways. Somewhere between a salad and a paste (depending on how you make it and what ingredients you use), it is delicious on crackers or added to plain yogurt, and it is a great topping for ice cream.

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