A still from Yoplait yoghurt launch ad in 1982

Slightly Bemused writes:

I went to the shop today, and was delighted to see something that the past few times has been sold out. About two weeks ago one of the ladies who works in the shop, and always has a smile for me (and a very nice but large husband, and some absolutely delightful kids – don’t worry, that is not where this is going) recommended a yoghurt. I had not had it before – caramel and toffee flavour. Probably not good for my cholesterol, but is a yummy dessert as the wind picks up outside and the rain drives against the window.

And it got me thinking of my first yoghurt – a raspberry flavoured Yoplait. I was 8 years old. Apart from the fact that this was a veritable taste explosion I had never experienced before, the reason I remember it is the friend who shared it. I think in many ways we remember the most important things by the people who were part of that time with us.

He lived round the corner, we were in the same class in school and there was a group of about 4 of us who did our best to terrorise the neighbourhood. We two were on the way home, and his house was first. We went there to watch something on TV (sorry, the yogurt experience made me forget what), and his mother gave him a yoghurt. She apologised to me – she had not expected me, and only had the one left. My friend promised to share.

And so in a situation that would give our Chief Medical Officer paroxysms today, two snot -nosed kids shared a yoghurt with the same spoon while not watching television. Naturally, it was gone all too soon. But he taught me the proper etiquette for eating yogurt: you lick the lid, and when the spoon cannot get any more out, you run your finger around the pot and lick the remains off a digit which of course had not been washed. I did not share that bit, his largesse extended to spoonfuls and half the lid, but not fingers.

I have sat on many flights over the years, and often if it is a morning one, they might serve yoghurt. I always lick the lid, thinking of my friend, I do not always run my finger around for the last bits, depending on how horrified the look is from my fellow passenger in the row when I lick the lid. Of course I smile at them, but never explain.

One was a Swiss colleague, and her look was wonderful. When I smiled, she snorted, and made a comment to the effect of ‘When Irish eyes are smiling, you have to wonder what they are up to”. She was Swiss French, her husband was Swiss German and was sitting a few rows back. They spoke to each other in English. The yoghurt was peach flavoured.

And of course this evening, when I crack open this new yoghurt and settle down to watch something silly, I will lick the lid, I will use my finger to get the last bits, and I will think of my friend, and the lady in the shop with the nice smile who introduced me to this new treat. And I will smile at the horror of a colleague on a plane. In honour of Dr Holohan and in the interests of my own safety, I will wash my hands before and after.

Slightly Bemused‘s column appears here every Wednesday.

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27 thoughts on “Lifting The Lid

  1. GiggidyGoo

    The first experience of it I got was a fellow in school started eating them – actually drinking them, which was quite a feat – at break time. The smell of sourness off his breath at the time put me and many others off yoghurt for years.

    Used to use the Yoplait chocolate flavored one as a pour-over for ice cream.
    It was made in Inch (the shortest distance between two towns – Arklow and Gorey – in Ireland) as far as I remember, and the factory was closed down in the late 80s/early 90s. (The IDA grants ran out I believe)

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      omg do you remember the yop craze, if you didn’t have a yop and a shellsuit were you even living !
      we didn’t have yogurt when I was a kid in the house, I’m sitting here desperately trying to remember my first one … thanks slightly !

  2. Clampers Outside

    Can’t remember my first, but my favourite is the thick creamy ‘Irish Yoghurt’ brands’ Rhubarb and Custard…. I know custard is not yoghurt, it’s custard flavour :0)

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Quick tip for anyone that’s constipated (as you mentioned Rhubarb and Custard flavoring Clampers). The Rhubarb and Custard sucky sweets in the small boxes at the Aldi checkout are just great. Suck six or seven in a row, and wait. I normally take them before posting here.

  3. Harry

    I remember there were Yoplait ‘set’ youghurts which were different because they were less messy. They probably went on to become petit filous

  4. Lilly

    This reminds me of going to McDonald’s with a friend in college. He was a big fan of McDs, whereas it wasn’t a thing for me growing up. I’d been on occasion but never really thought of it as a treat; (that would be Bewleys). We sat down and he proceeded to pour his chips into the side of his burger carton with the practice and precision of a priest preparing communion at mass. I realised I hadn’t been doing McDs correctly ‘til then.

  5. Cranky Cooke

    Ah yes licking the lid…. many was the time I cut my tounge on the foil lids, now they are plastic so one more childhood injury and experience is avoided by modern youth!

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      Aldi’s croissants ( from frozen) are the closest you’ll get to the real thing in Ireland and the Belgium Chocolate mousse au chocolat is insanely good.

  6. Rosette of Sirius

    Think it was 1978 but I distinctly remember the yoghurt. It was a Yoplait Vanilla flavored pot. The older styled tapered pot. It was a confusing taste at first. Slightly sour but still sweet with that hit of vanilla. It was all in all divine. Today, I only eat natural and greek yoghurt – sometimes either full or some fat but mostly 0% . I gave up sugar, or foods with added sugar a few years ago and I honestly could not go back to flavored yoghurt now. The sweetness hurts me!

    That said, I do miss the old style pots. The still sell Yoplait in the US in those tapered pots and would love to see them back.

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      wouldn’t it be nice to be having breakfast outside on a sunny Greek terrace overlooking a sparkling blue med, greek yogurt with a dollop of local honey and an iced coffee

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        If in that part of the world overlooking the Med, it would have to be eggs Menemen with Aleppo pepper and, yeah, I could go with iced coffee…. but would prefer decent pot of tea….

          1. Rosette of Sirius

            Actually, Bibi’s in D8 does one of the best turkish eggs ever…. It’s a while since i was able to hang around that part of town, but if you get the chance, try them….

    1. Just Sayin

      Was gonna say that, but I see that 2 of ye have gotten in before me.

      A very creamy yogurt if I remember.

      And a great marketing campaign for the time, alsost a big as “Who shot JR”

  7. Liam Deliverance

    Yoplait changed the shape of the tub recently, upped the price by a considerable amount, was the price increase to pay for the new shape tub?, then they went back to the old style tub as in the picture above, no reduction in price and to top it all have discontinued a few of their classic flavours, so eff ’em I say

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