Friday, July 29, 2011

Yogurt tasting

                                                                                                                photo, Dan Ryan

Yogurt is a serious business... have you seen all the brands and flavors in the market? As an experiment we had a yogurt tasting. I bought several brands of just plain yogurt, most were low fat, but some had full fat. Most were made with cow's milk but we also got adventurous and tried a sheep's milk and a goat's milk yogurt. It was a little unfair to assess the thickness because there were several Greek type of yogurts in the mix, which are strained and meant to be thicker, but still, some of the textures were just downright runny. Here are the results, shown in order of how you see the yogurts lined up in the photo above:

Fage 2% cow's milk yogurt — full flavored, rich, thick, creamy and excellent! You could taste the full presence of fat.

Fage 0% cow's milk yogurt — full flavored, rich, thick, creamy and also excellent. Didn't miss the full fat at all.

Stoneyfield Oikos 0% cow's milk yogurt — creamy, full flavored, very good!

Erican full fat cow's milk yogurt — Blechk!! thin and runny, sour, very unpleasant.

Chiobani 0% cow's milk yogurt — creamy, slightly thick not too tart, excellent!

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company sheep's milk yogurt  — Double Blechk!!  Thin, sour, tangy, barn taste, gamey, like strong goat meat (which Dan has eaten in Africa and the Cayman Islands).

Redwood Hill Farm goat's milk yogurt  —  regular yogurt thickness, a little barn taste, but good! Dan says it reminded him of a mild lamb chop. I could taste a pleasant, young goat cheese flavor.

The Fage and Chiobani brands were my favorites. None of the yogurts I tried were as fabulously silky and thick as the Greek yogurt we had in Mykonos—but perhaps I was swayed by the location. Seems that everyone is on the Greek yogurt bandwagon now, and even Dannon and Cabot have one on the market. I've tried other brands of yogurts but they only come in big tubs so I didn't get them for this tasting. The Dannon 0% fat plain yogurt is good for cooking (Indian raita or Greek tzatziki, or marinating chicken, etc.) though I find it a bit too tangy on its own for my liking. I miss Colombo yogurt thoguh, and hope they come back again one day. What's your favorite yogurt?

                                                                                                                photos, Diane Carnevale

Then to jazz things up, we decided to add some honey to the yogurt. I have over a dozen kinds of honey in my pantry—from Italian chestnut to Russian buckwheat (and one of these days I'll do a honey tasting post) but for this tasting we chose a French lavender honey. Sweetness!

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