Curds and Whey
So I am trying to like Greek yogurt. Why? I don’t really know, it just seems like the thing to do. My Aunt Pat has tried to get me to eat it as a way of removing high fructose corn syrup and other nasty evils from my diet. My friend Toni-Lei seems to like it and she is one of the most health-conscious people I know. I keep seeing those Chobani ads on TV and those people certainly seem protective of their Greek yogurt. I guess I should just give it a go.
So, I am strolling through my neighborhood Albertsons, and I head to the yogurt aisle, where my “Thick & Creamy” Yoplait is calling to me with a seductive voice, and I try to make a little sense of the new “Greek” yogurt phenomenon. There seem to be about 25 different brands of Greek yogurt in this store, and none of them are sporting a sign saying they are delicious, nutritious and don’t taste like a science experiment. That means I have to navigate these whey strained waters alone.
How’s your digestion?
As I am comparing the appeal of Oikos (which sounds like it should be a pork product for some reason) and Fage (which may have been a medieval torture device) I notice another woman in the aisle, with the same befuddled expression I know myself to be wearing. She looks at me and asks if I know the difference between probiotics and live active cultures. I am certain my blank, uncomprehending stare must have told her that I was an expert on the topic. “Not really” I said, “I think they are both good for the digestion.” A nutritionist, I am not. She informed me that her husband, Jeff, needs to regulate his digestion and she is looking for new things for him to eat. She wants to get him to try the Activia but she isn’t sure if he will eat it. Jeff seemed to like the Chobani with honey, but she thinks he was just saying that. She has decided it must be the live active cultures vs. probiotics that is the problem and needs to take something home that he will enjoy eating and will keep him regular at the same time.
Now, I am happy that Jeff has a loving wife to ferret out this information for him. I am glad to hear he possibly likes the Chobani (I put one in my cart to try) and I am sorry to hear about his digestive woes. I am just not sure I needed to know any of this before making my selection. Mrs. Jeff seems like she could talk about it all day.
After some polite, “Good Luck” and “Thanks for the suggestion”, etc. I ducked out of the aisle and wandered through the store. I wandered for about 10 minutes before I felt it was safe to return to my search for the worlds greatest Greek yogurt. Seeing that Mrs. Jeff has taken her active culture angst elsewhere I head back into the fray.
Some fifteen minutes pass as I compare labels. Fat content, carb content, and sugar content. Probiotics vs. live active culture (thanks Mrs. Jeff). Fruit on the bottom, fruit on the side, and plain. Calcium, protein, Vitamin D. I feel absolutely no savvier than when I started. My Yoplait is calling again, beckoning with its Key Lime Pie and Cherry Cobbler yumminess. I am beginning to feel like I did in 7th grade when I took an Algebra test I hadn’t studied for, so I compromised. I put in my cart four Yoplait, one four pack of Activia, and one each of the Chobani, Dannon, and Fage Greek yogurts. I defy anyone faced with the same situation to have done otherwise.
Well, the Yoplait was great and I did get the light version so it was fewer calories.
The Activia was okay, but a little runny for my taste. The Key Lime flavor was good, and the vanilla with a little Kashi thrown in made a great snack.
The Chobani with honey was the first Greek yogurt I tried. If you are new to Greek yogurt, don’t make this mistake. I can guarantee that Jeff lied to his wife on this one. The first spoonful was such a shock to my system that I actually looked at the container to see if I had picked up a tub of sour cream by mistake. It was so sour it made my jaws hurt. I offered some to my co-worker to try on her breakfast burrito. After adding about 1/3 cup of Kashi I was able to get it down, but it made me fearful to try the other brands.
The Fage with strawberry was actually good, once I incorporated all the fruit. I know that adds a lot of sugar to the process, but really people, what do you expect of me? Every hit of the plain yogurt left my eyes watering and my jaws cramping. The fact that the fruit was in a little side car on the yogurt cup was interesting, but made it harder to incorporate all of it into the yogurt. It took a little stirring to smooth out texture, but overall it was not bad.
Dannon blueberry was great, again after a vigorous stir to ensure there was no hint of plain white yogurt left in the cup. The flavor was sharper than regular yogurt, a little more acidic. The blueberry flavor was fairly fresh-tasting (for yogurt fruit), and the texture was smooth.
So, not a smashing success overall. I’ve asked my forum of facebookers for their advice and everyone but me seems to love this stuff. I have been told that the Oikos (remember, not pig product) is delicious and also got a rave review of the Greek God with honey. I guess I will just have to keep trying to find the one I like. I just hope Mrs. Jeff isn’t at the store when I go back…