The sisters are devoted to making the age-old health food the old school way: milk, muslin and plenty of patience.
“We make our yogurt over 48 hours,” said Min-seong, 34, breaking down the process of heating milk, introducing the bacterial culture and then fermenting the milk until it transforms into yogurt.
After the fermenting process is over, the yogurt is strained with cheesecloth for up to 12 hours to remove much of the liquid whey.
|Parlor M’s signature menu (left) -- yogurt topped with fresh fruit, honey and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese -- and yogurt topped with mango, passion fruit and toasted coconut flakes (Photo credit: Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)|
|Customers can pick from around 30 toppings and eight sauces and syrups at Parlor M (Photo credit: Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)|
Three styles of yogurt are sold at Parlor M -- low-fat, classic and rich and creamy.
“Our low-fat yogurt is made with 1 percent low-fat milk,” Min-kyoung, 31, said, adding that the classic is strained for a shorter time than the rich and creamy, which is strained for 10 to 12 hours.
Yogurt buffs will instantly recognize Parlor M’s strained variation as Greek yogurt, that thick, luscious treat that started to gain noticeable traction in the US market several years ago.
According to the New York Times, “Greek yogurt, with its beneficial probiotic bacteria, high protein content and rich flavor, is one of the most popular health foods in America, comprising a billion dollar market.”
For those who want a thick and creamy yogurt, strained yogurt is not just a wholesome snack, but a tasty one that can easily be swapped in for breakfast or dessert.
In fact, it was the siblings’ use of strained yogurt for a dessert at home that spawned the menu item.
“My sister made Greek yogurt at home for dessert,” said Min-seong. “We topped it with strawberries and honey and cheese. Everyone loved it so much.”
Now that creation is Parlor M’s signature, a layering of fresh fruit with honey and finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, a treat that Min-seong likens to cheesecake in terms of flavor.
|At Parlor M, yogurt is made in-house and then wrapped in cheesecloth and strained for up to 12 hours to create luscious, creamy Greek-style yogurt (Photo credit: Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)|
|Parlor M, a strained yogurt shop, opened in Seoul’s Seorae Village in July (Photo credit: Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)|
There are other options as well, including the option of selecting from around 30 toppings and eight sauces and syrups to create your very own version.
Toppings include everything from mango to passion fruit to toasted coconut flakes along with whatever fresh produce is available that day. Also from May through September, Parlor M adds frozen yogurt to the menu using “our own recipe,” according to Min-kyeong.
Parlor M opened in July 2015 after the sisters decided to trade in their careers for something completely different.
“We wanted to do something new,” said Min-seong. “My sister knew about Greek yogurt.”
Min-seong explained how yogurt making started off as an at-home hobby.
To learn more about yogurt, the siblings traveled through Europe for two months, sampling yogurt by the spoonful in countries like Greece and Denmark.
All that experience has been channeled into Parlor M, a small, seven-seat shop located in Seorae Village.
From behind the counter, the sisters are busy filling cups with one of the three varieties of yogurt available, hoping customers feel the same way about yogurt they do.
“It tastes good and is healthy,” said Min-seong.
551-33 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Sunday
Strained yogurt costs 4,300 won for 130 grams, for 6,900 won one can enjoy 130 grams of yogurt with three toppings of choice and one sauce or syrup
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)