I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a ‘savory’ vegetable yogurt. Upon discovering Blue Hill Yogurt’s flavors include Beet, Parsnip, and Butternut squash, I was both curious and apprehensive. Even as I tasted them, I found myself thinking about them. I can imaging the butternut squash, delicately flavored with sage and maple, dressing my curried sweet potato salad or along side a day-after-thanksgiving cold turkey sandwich. The Beet could be the base of a beautiful borscht or dolloped on a summer gazpacho. The parsnip I haven’t figured out yet.. which is a remarkable thing to say about a yogurt. It’s a flavor so subtle and yet so complex that it needs to be enjoyed alone and contemplated.
Vegetables for the yogurts are sourced from neighboring family-owned farms, freshly puréed at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Upstate New York, and then blended with milk at Maple Hill Creamery in Stuyvesant. Inside of every yogurt lid is a picture of one of the family’s 100 percent grass-fed cows, including Annabelle, Daisy, Luna, Sunshine, Tulip, and Nelly.
Barber’s brother David and David’s wife, Laureen, started serving the pastel-colored scoops at their famed Greenwich Village restaurant, Blue Hill, a few years ago, and today, Barber’s yogurts are available in Whole Foods stores across the northeast. The blends are tart and creamy, but subtler than the Greek variety, as the earthiness of the vegetable purée balances out the tangy flavor of the yogurt.
“Blue Hill has dairy in its roots. Blue Hill Farm—the family farm in the Berkshires, and the original inspiration for Blue Hill restaurant in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY—was a working dairy from the 1860s through the 1960s. Three decades later, we refurbished the farm and brought the dairy back to life. The story of Blue Hill Farm is in many ways the story of the Blue Hill restaurants: sustaining the iconic landscape of the Northeast in pursuit of great flavor. And now Blue Hill Yogurt is a natural extension of the same idea: supporting farms that raise dairy cows in the best possible way and using their well-pastured grass-fed milk; sourcing delicious, local vegetables from neighbors in the region; and preserving a dairy tradition that connects our family, Blue Hill, and the Northeast. This is what it means to “know thy farmer”.
In addition to the amazing food at the Blue Hill group of restaurants, take time out to visit the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Their mission is to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits all, Increase public awareness of healthy, seasonal and sustainable food, Train farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques, Educate children about the sources of their food, and prepare them to steward the land that provides it.