I’ve been looking for yogurt in glass jars for years. My Instagram envy ran high every time I’d see photos from someone’s Parisian pied-à-terre, with little glass pots of yogurt gracing their breakfast tables, along with baguettes and café au lait.
Now, before you diagnose me as someone in need of a vacation (I am, it’s true), let me say it’s not just the romance of foreign packaging that’s at the root of my longing. It’s also the plastic containers that fill my recycling bin. Glass isn’t just more attractive than plastic, it’s more sustainable.
So, when I saw yogurt in glass containers at my local grocery store, East End Food Co-op, I was thrilled. Not only were they in cute, reusable glass jars, but they also had French-inspired flavours like rhubarb, fig, and nut. I took some home and was even more pleased to find out that this yogurt was only very lightly sweetened, allowing me to focus on the richness of the yogurt and the flavour of the compote at the bottom.
I was so impressed that I contacted the producer, Laiterie Chalifoux, to find out more about it. I learned that they were just launching Riviera Petit Pot in English Canada and they were kind enough to send me samples of the entire line.
This includes three kinds of yogurt – set-style yogurts, organic yogurts, and goat milk yogurts; sour cream and crème fraîche; and cultured butters, including a goat milk butter.
Needless to say, I started experimenting in the kitchen right away.
The crème fraîche was a perfect excuse to make twice-baked potatoes, paired with a sharp cheddar. The sour cream topped nachos with homemade refried beans, then perogies from one of my favourite local purveyors.
The sample of set-style yogurt Riviera sent me was coconut-flavoured, which sounded like a great base for the Honey-Yogurt Mousse I decided to make. I topped it with crème fraîche whipped cream, for a little added decadence.
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp brown sugar
a dash of vanilla
Put the whipping cream and crème fraîche into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
The other two yogurts Riviera sent me were an organic yogurt with rhubarb compote and a vanilla goat yogurt. I didn’t get too fancy with these, enjoying the rhubarb yogurt just as it was and lacing the vanilla yogurt with frozen blueberries, for a breakfast parfait. I had some leftover coconut yogurt, too, which I ate with some fresh mango.
As for the butters, I’ve been working away steadily at the salted cultured butter, spreading it on toast each morning. Cultured butter is great for baking, but since I had two pots, I decided to bake with one and enjoy the other slowly. The goat butter was the one I was most interested to try in a baked good, as I hadn’t worked with it before.
I belong to a baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie, and one of their March selections seemed like a tasty way to test drive the goat butter.
The orange cake I made with the goat butter was moist and delicious, made even more so with the last of the crème fraîche whipped cream. I was happy with how the flavour of the goat butter worked in this sweet cake and now I’m curious to see what it’s like in savoury baked goods.
I still had half a jar of crème fraîche left, so I decided to use it for a special breakfast. Eggs en Cocotte are easy to make, but they present as though they’re part of a weekend brunch buffet. It’s the spoonful of crème fraîche on top that makes them so rich. As you can see from the photo at the top of the post, these eggs can make even a weekday breakfast feel special.
Eggs en Cocotte
For each serving, you will need:
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tsps caramelized onions
- 2-3 leaves fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°.
Boil a kettle of water, then set aside.
Butter ramekin(s) and place them in a shallow pan.
Spoon onions into ramekin and sprinkle rosemary over them. Break an egg into the ramekin, then season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon crème fraîche gently on top of the egg. Repeat for each serving.
Pour water from the kettle into the pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Slide the pan carefully into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. If you like the yolk fully set, you might need to add a few more minutes.
After a week of indulgence, I can safely say I’m a fan of everything Riviera Petit Pot has to offer. The flavours are richly European and the jars are attractive and infinitely reuseable. I especially like the quantity in each of the jars of sour cream and crème fraîche – they’re the perfect size for setting out at table if you’re serving something like blini or perogies.
Riviera also produces plastic lids for the jars, which are useful when you’ve only used a portion of a jar, or if you want to transport salads, parfaits, or any other concoctions you create to fill your jars. For a limited time, Riviera is sending 4 lids free to Canadians (excluding Quebec). You can find details, here.
I’m grateful my discovery at the food co-op led to the opportunity to try out the whole line. They’re going to be regular items on my shopping list from now on.