Remember Life Before Greek Yogurt?

When I was a kid, I remember that there were two kinds of yogurt.  There was the kind with the fruit at the bottom, and the kind where the fruit was already mixed up with the white yogurt.  I liked the kind with the fruit at the bottom, so that I could eat small spoonfuls of the white yogurt until I saw the deep colors of the fruit, and pretend that I was an archeologist dairy.

Today it seems like the yogurt of those days is out of style, and has been supplanted by Greek yogurt.  I admit that the containers of Chobani have taken over so much of my own refrigerator that I hardly have enough room for the 5.0 liter box of wine.  And with good reason—the yogurt is delicious, and I can feel the active cultures improving my digestion and reading comprehension.  One website ( even touts its products as containing the qualities of the gods.  But how did Greek yogurt come to be?

According to legend, Epimetheus, who was a Titan until he was traded to the Jets as a third-string quarterback, was entrusted with equipping all of the creatures, including humans, with whatever they would need to survive in a very dangerous and expensive world.  To birds he gave beaks, to rabbits he gave speed, to elephants he gave size, to house cats he gave cute faces and arrogance.  He was satisfied with the job he had done, and planned to reward himself with a whole season of Dawson’s Creek on DVD.

His twin brother, Prometheus, came up behind Epimetheus, flicked his ear, and said, “What are you up to, Epilady?”

“Don’t call me that, Prometheus.”

“Oh, and what are you going to do about it?  Tell Dad?”

Epimetheus didn’t reply.  Prometheus seemed to always know what to say, whereas Epimetheus never thought of a good retort until days later.

“So these are the celebrated humans?” he asked Epimetheus.

“Yes,” Epimetheus said, and smiled, proud that finally he had done something that Prometheus had not.  Let’s see him criticize me now, Epimetheus thought.

Then Prometheus said, “The humans have no yogurt.”

“What do you mean?  They have yogurt right there.  See that man scraping the inside of the container, trying to get the last bit of fruit?  It’s an annoying sound, I know, but—”

“What I meant is that they don’t have Greek yogurt,” Prometheus said.

“Greek yogurt?  But that’s just for the gods.  Dad said that Zeus keeps it…”

“Who cares what Dad said?  What are we, little kids?  Little Titanettes?  Remember when I called you a Titanette, and made you dress up like a little ballerina?”

“Yes, Prometheus.  I do.”

“And then you cried in front of all the gods?  Oh, how I miss that Golden Age.  But listen, I think these humans could use Greek yogurt.”

Greek yogurt was indeed reserved for deities, which, along with incest and turning themselves into aquatic birds, ranked among the gods’ favorite pastimes until Dancing With the Stars came around.  Zeus, the king of all the gods and keeper of the remote control, had deemed Greek yogurt too tangy and creamy for mere mortals, so he kept it locked up in his safe with his thunderbolts and auto insurance policy.

One afternoon, Prometheus crept into Zeus’ room while the safe was open.  Zeus was trying to decipher the supplemental coverage clause in his policy and reached over to his telephone to call his carrier, and had his back turned to the open safe.  So Prometheus crept in, grabbed the Greek yogurt from the safe, and gave it to the humans while Zeus was still listening to all the choices on the menu.  The humans were then able to enjoy the tangy and creamy food, but with greater nourishment and active cultures.  Equipped with numerous and diverse bacteria, humans became the masters of the planet, and soon filled the Earth with their offspring and their offspring’s music.

As punishment, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock, and every day a bird would come by, eat his liver, and chastise Prometheus for not getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids.  This went on until Heracles persuaded Zeus to replace Prometheus with Charlie Sheen.