Sunday, 28 March 2010

Lacking Culture? I have plenty......

I have many vices in life. I have long battled with my nicotine addiction, drink more than I probably ought and have a tendency to binge on certain foods. Curries, crisps, cheese & Ginsters savoury products have all formed a considerable part of my diet along with a life-long love of yoghurt. However, it seems that I have cracked this particular vice and may never eat yoghurt again.

Let me explain.....My wife Mel has very few vices. She doesn't smoke, drinks in moderation, keeps fit by cycling to work every day and running and swimming regularly. However, she has one very worrying vice that she doesn't seem to be taking control of and in fact it seems to be getting worse. My wife has a QVC problem. I often switch on the TV to find it already on the QVC channel. Strange packages arrive regularly though usually it's the latest Gerald Ratner style costume jewellery or cosmetic products extracted from plants that never existed. I can live with this vice as I usually match her shopping habits with my own purchases of books and CD's that weigh the postman down most days.

However, her QVC addiction took a worrying turn a few weeks back when she proudly announced that we are now the proud owners of an 'EasiYo Yoghurt maker'. (their capitalisation not mine). Now, I'm a sucker for a gadget as much as any other man and as I mentioned I do have a penchant for Yoghurt of any description so I was fascinated to learn how this contraption might work. We excitedly opened the box, expecting to find some kind of dairy churning device, or maybe some bottles of live culture which would be added to effect the process.

It transpires that the 'Yoghurt maker' (I will stop the quotation marks soon honestly) is in fact a plastic container which is accompanied by several sachets of powdered yoghurt and some pouches of flavouring and some......actually that's it. You take the sachet of powdered yoghurt, put it in the plastic container....sorry the 'machine', add some hot water and then put it in the fridge for several hours and eventually you gets something that resembles Yoghurt. I say resembles because it's not like any yoghurt that I have ever tasted.

The package comes with a booklet explaining the health benefits of yoghurt and some suggested recipes(!) and the sachets are available in all kinds of yoghurt, French style, Greek Yoghurt, Natural - you name it they are all available. The booklet contains photographs of people excitedly consuming their EasiYo yoghurt with the kind of facial expression that suggests they have only just received their delivery from QVC.

After significant experimentation, it appears that they are all exactly the same. They taste like Yoghurt would if you dried it out into a fine powder, added some hot water, put it in a plastic container, shook it up a bit and left it in the fridge for several hours. Sure, the flavourings make it palatable and slightly more like Yoghurt but not much.

This 'device' (no honestly I will stop soon) can save you literally pennies over a decade providing you are the kind of person who eat Yoghurt in quantities ordinarily consumed annually by a small country. By the time you have bought the sachets, added the flavourings and made a batch you have racked up a household debt which only Ocean Finance could resolve but you also have enough culture in your fridge to organise your very own jazz festival.

Consequently, Yoghurt has pervaded every corner of my life. It is everywhere I go, skulking in the fridge forcibly evicting fresh foods and arguing with the cheese. It has started appearing in cereals, lurking in dips which I am consuming in vast quantities and it appears there is no food substance which wouldn't benefit from the addition of yoghurt. I must assume that my cholesterol levels are at an all time high. Still EasiYo tell me, the addition of the culture 'Biffidus madeitupus' will help my stomach combat other nasty bacteria that I didn't even know I possessed. Presumably these bacteria get so pissed off with the vast amounts of dairy produce that they have to share the stomach with that they pack their bags and leave.

I have a vision that the man behind this brand (it must be a man) lives on his own Carribean Island, counting his money and avoiding any contact with dairy products of any kind. I imagine that the people at QVC who peddle this shit possess more Yoghurt than Ski and Dunsters Farm combined.

Now that I am cured of my desire to consume yoghurt of any kind, I wonder whether the same principle would work with my other vices. After all, the other great 'maker' in my life - the Sodastream cured me of craving carbonated drinks for almost ten years.

Perhaps QVC sell a 'Cigarette maker',or  a 'Cheese machine'. Tune in to find out.


  1. "Don't worry; I just love punctuation!!! Not yoghurt, though!"

    Nigel (hants_bluepants)

  2. haha, love it! the jazz festival line cracked me up, keep them coming mate!

  3. Don't ever be tempted by the 'lifetime guaranteed' fountain pen that will spear a Coke can either. You'll be paying 2.95 p+p for a new 5p nib for the rest of your life. You could just buy a proper pen from a real shop in the first place, alhough that way you wouldn't get the propelling pencil with it..... that you never wanted.