Friday, March 08, 2013

Greek Yogurt... or Yogurt of the Gods

Greek yogurt sales have skyrocketed in the past five years.  What makes it so special?
Greek yogurt is strained to remove additional whey, lactose and sugar which makes it thicker and some say creamier.  Because it is strained, Greek yogurt provides more protein and less carbohydrates than it's cousin.
Both yogurt and Greek yogurt can be very healthy, but consumers need to be aware of the fat content.  Full fat Greek yogurt can have up to 16 grams per 7 oz serving, so stick to lowfat or 0% fat.
There are many brands of Greek yogurt and even store brands are available. I have found that the "cheaper" the yogurt, the looser it is.
Quality yogurt refers to the ingredients, but still yogurt taste is based on personal opinion and preferences.  Do you eat yogurt for the tang, sweetness, flavor, thickness, protein content?  Each brand has different tastes and consistencies so try a few out and find the one that you prefer.
If you like a thick Greek yogurt or one that can be used in place of sour cream or in spreads, go with the higher priced brands like Fage and Chobani.  If you prefer the brands that are looser, choose the store brands, like Hannaford, etc.
National brands can be found in almost any supermarket.
In my opinion, Fage is the best brand of Greek yogurt on the market. It is consistently thick, has a longer shelf life than many brands and is rich. It is clearly my favorite brand.  I love the plain yogurt as well as the Greek yogurt with peaches on the side.
Chobani was the first brand that I ever tried. It was thicker than traditional yogurt, but still not as thick as Fage.  It is very tasty and I think comes in second in my opinion.

Dannon makes Greek yogurt as well as traditional varieties. I remember Dannon being a yogurt giant in the 80's and I think they are doing well with their Greek varieties current day.  They are similar in consistency to Chobani and as usual, make a very good quality product.

Stonyfield got it's reputation for yogurt making by being organic and local.  Stonyfield is now breaking into the Greek yogurt market as well.  Once again it makes a good quality product and the price is still a bit higher than others.

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