Originally written 14 December 2015 while living in San Sebastian, Spain.
Spain generally has shitty yogurt. Spain also generally has shitty grocery stores. This morning I went to the grocery store Lidl near my house and after five minutes of frantically dodging old people and unsuccessfully trying to find any yogurt that didn’t look terrible, I finally gave up and left and went to Eroski.
Eroski is substantially better than Lidl but still by no means what I’d call “great.” Like I said before, great supermarkets do not exist in Spain. Actually that’s not completely true. The Corte Ingles supermarkets are the only supermarkets in Spain I’ve ever witnessed that might be termed “good.” You can get Fage yogurt there (though sometimes only the nonfat variety which is awful), the aisles are fairly ample, and the selection is noteworthy..
In San Sebastian there is no Corte Ingles supermarket, so I’m forced to make due with my two favorites: Eroski and Super Amara. Super Amara is wonderful (Spain wonderful); they have a variety of yogurts and not all of them make you want to wretch. The best one they have, one that’s also carried by Eroski, is called “Goenaga.”
Goenaga comes in little blue tubs (the normal version) or green tubs (the low or nonfat version). Unless you’re suffering from some kind of bizarre yogurt mental illness, you’ll buy the blue tubs. You’ll take them home, you’ll perch over them like a vulture poised over fresh carrion, and you’ll be delighted to find a little pro-biotic layer of creamy film on top that your spoon will slice through to get to the even creamier goodness beneath. You will not eat one tub. You will eat at least two. And if you’re like me, you’ll eat all four tubs in one sitting, stopping rarely to breathe and ending with a dreamy smile on your face.
This little rant on yogurt leads to an even bigger rant on Spain in general. There are some wonderful things about Spain. There are some things that Spain, and Spaniards, do really well. Yogurt, generally, is not one of them. Supermarkets are definitely not one of them. Ethnic food isn’t of them, either. What do Spaniards do well?