Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coach Farms Yo-Goat

Coach Farms Yo-Goat not only has a hilarious name to make it stand out, it is also very unique. It is a drinkable yogurt, and therefore is very thin. I didn't get a sense that I was consuming yogurt as I gulped it down. Lassis and kefirs are much thicker.

The flavor I tried was strawberry, but it was so lightly sweetened that I didn't taste any fruitiness at all. There was a slight aftertaste at first that made me think of soft goat cheese. I didn't notice the cheese-flavor as much as I consumed more, though.

Yo-Goat has a lot of calcium (30% of the RDA), a moderately high fat content (8 g), medium amount of calories (160 calories), and a reasonable amount of carbs (15 g), but no fiber. These days, most commercially sold yogurts come in 6 ounce containers, but Yo-Goat is a full cup (8 oz). It cost me $1.69 at my local grocery store, Fairway. Hence it holds its own against the other yogurts out there.

If you are seeking a unique drinkable yogurt, I'd definitely recommend Yo-Goat. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again for myself, but I think it would be good for days when I am traveling and need a yogurt that does not require a spoon, so we shall see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pudding in "The New York Times"

Although all my posts on this blog have thus far been about yogurt, my original plan was to also review delicious, creamy, thick, and luscious puddings. I adore pudding. Perhaps a decadent chocolate pudding garners less respect amongst dessert-a-holics than rich chocolate cake, but it (or any flavor pudding) is just about the perfect way to finish a meal (or have a snack) in my mind.

It seems like my enthusiasm for pudding is more than matched by Melissa Clark. Her article, "You Call That Pudding, Grandma?" in today's New York Times explores many mouth-watering versions of chocolate pudding. I want all of them, except for maybe the spicy flan.

Clark's article inspired me to get my act together and round up some puddings to write about. I was supposed to eat many delicious treacles, custards, and puddings while I was in London in March, but somehow managed to not eat anywhere in which these traditional treats were served. (Meaning: I ate at a lot of fast food places, although in retrospect, I bet Pret a Manger serves up something good. Their fresh yogurts, which I ate many of and neglected to review, are superb.) Back in the US, I've only had Kozy Shack rice (and once, accidentally although pleasaingly, tapioca) pudding. This is good stuff, but not as motivating to write about as the goat's milk yogurt that I have waiting for me at home. From now, on I pledge some pudding reviews.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nuttin', Honey!

Nancy's Honey Yogurt is supposedly lightly sweetened with honey, although it doesn't taste at all sweet to me. Never mind, though; I love this yogurt! It has the consistency of sour cream, thicker than many yogurts but not Greek-style by any means. It is smooth, tart and tangy, and makes a delightful smoothie. What I like best about it, though, is its versatility. It's really perfect as a base for yogurt-based (or even sour cream-based) dips, including tzaziki (my favorite). I must admit that in this house, we do something a little unusual with the yogurt -- we eat it with rice. My husband is Iranian, and rice with yogurt is a common treat. In fact, when I met him, his most frequent bachelor dinner was rice, yogurt and raw onion. It sounds strange, but it grows on you.

It has 8 grams of fat (4 saturated) in a cup, so again it's a little fattier than you might prefer if you're watching your fat intake, but they do have low-fat and fat-free versions. Just not, sadly, in the honey variety.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chobani Non-Fat Vanilla

Although I swear undying love to Fage non-fat Greek yogurt, I felt that I needed to try some other brand for research purposes. What if, as deliciously perfect as it is, Fage was the second mass-market Greek yogurt out there? I'd be missing out.

A few weeks ago, my friend Sara emailed me and asked me about Chobani. Since I had yet to try another Greek yogurt from the grocery store (although I have eaten homemade Greek yogurt at two local diners - Big Nick's is utterly fantastic; Manhattan Diner is OK), I could not provide any thoughts. Now I can: buy Fage.

Perhaps this is unfair because I bought vanilla instead of plain. The vanilla left a horrific aftertaste in my mouth. While very thick, it also was hardly smooth. Little pieces and chunks annoyed my tongue. However, it is very low in calories (only 120) and carbs (13 g) for a sweetened yogurt. The cup only provides 20% of the RDA for calcium. At $1.69 for 6 oz., yogurt this nasty is a rip off. (I bought an exotic apricot mango goat milk yogurt for only 10 cents more - can't wait to eat that!!)

To be fair, I will pick up plain Chobani to see if it is as good as the plain Fage. I only hope that it is much better than the vanilla.

Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have You Any Yogurt?

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company makes sheep's milk yogurt in three flavors: plain, ginger, and maple. Although they are rather pricey ($2.79 for a six ounce cup in the cheese department of Fairway, my local grocery store), I am obsessed with them as a once in a while treat. I tried the plain first (super tangy), then the ginger (very good, and I don't even like ginger!). Yesterday I finally ate the maple.

Clearly, I saved the best for last. Every bite of this luscious yogurt was rich and flavorful. It was not too sweet, but not too tangy, either. While not as thick as Greek yogurt, it has a good consistency that is not too thin. The yogurt has a very good amount of calcium in it, at 29% of the RDA. Supposedly it is higher in protein than cow milk yogurt, although no amount was listed on the nutrition facts label.

I would eat this every day, if not for three drawbacks:

1. Price.
2. It only comes in full fat - 8 grams per serving (5 of which are saturated), which is a lot.
3. No fiber, although the carb content (15 g) is lower than many yogurts, so the lack of fiber to offset the carb load is not too bad.

The verdict: if price were no obstacle, this would be my daily yogurt. OK, I might alternate it with a Greek yogurt since I love how thick Fage is, but I'd definitely eat the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company stuff more than once every two weeks if I could.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pavel's Russian yogurt

I was curious to try this yogurt for two reasons. First, at my local grocery stores, there is a lot of variety in yogurt brands, but every store I go to carries Pavel's. Second, I had a co-worker at my old job who brought her lunch in a Pavel's yogurt container every day for five years. I never figured out whether that one container lasted five years or whether she replaced it periodically with newer containers.

Anyway, I'm padding this a little bit because I was somewhat unimpressed with the yogurt itself. I bought the low-fat version, which may have contributed to my disappointment, but especially compared to the last two yogurts I reviewed, this one seemed thin and watery. It didn't even have an especially tangy flavor to make up for the consistency. I stirred it quite a bit when I first opened it, but it still didn't get smooth. I stirred in some jam and it was certainly pleasant and palatable, but not something I'll seek out again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Greek Gods Redux

I was tempted by the Greek Gods yogurt after Suzanne's review, and I saw that they had a honey yogurt. I mistakenly assumed it was a honey yogurt in the style of Nancy's Honey yogurt, which is a favorite in our house (and the subject of my next post). It is, however, just a honey flavored Greek yogurt. Well, I thought it was delicious! It has a delicate flavor and a thick, creamy texture, almost like pudding or flan. I am not a yogurt afficionado -- I'm perfectly happy with Yoplait -- so I haven't had too many fancy yogurts. What this reminded me of more than anything was one of the strained yogurts I've had at various Middle Eastern restaurants. It's approximately the same consistency of the Lebanese yogurt dish labneh. I would absolutely buy this one again, and I may have to if my husband eats the rest of it. Incidentally, I think it might make an excellent smoothie with a banana and a scoop of peanut butter.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feeling Sheepish

The first time I tried Old Chatham Sheepherding Company's Sheep's Milk Yogurt, I bought a container of plain. I ate it without adding jam, which I usually do to plain yogurt to get a hint of sweetness, but I wanted to see how sheep's milk yogurt tasted plain. I liked its intense tanginess, but thought I should try one with flavor. My friend Sara M. recommended the ginger flavor, so for $2.79, I scooped one up at my local grocery store in the cheese section.

Keep in mind that I don't particularly like ginger, so this was potentially a stupid and costly yogurt decision. Yet I enjoyed the ginger even more than the plain. The chunks of ginger were not overwhelming, and the contrast between the ginger and the sour yogurt made every spoonful heavenly.

When I indulge in another sheep's milk yogurt, I think I will mix in some berry jam or even crack open a jar of fig jam that I bought a few weeks ago and have not gotten around to you. Very nice.

St. Benoit


St. Benoit home page

I bought this yogurt primarily because I wanted to contribute to this blog. Also, it came in a cool ceramic container. It is described as an "artisinal, French-style yogurt made in small batches." The container is supposed to be one serving, but with 9 grams of fat, I decided to call it two servings and round out my mid-morning snack with some fruit.

There were three varieties on the shelf (the others were plain and strawberry), and I bought the Meyer lemon. It has a medium-thick, slighty grainly texture and is not as sweet as I initially expected. It isn't overly tart, though, and tastes strongly of Meyer lemons, which are sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed this yogurt, but at over $2.50 for one serving and with the high fat and calorie content, I will probably not be purchasing it again. I will, however, find a use for the cool container!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Props to Fage on "The Biggest Loser"

In the most exciting moment on TV these days, Rocco diSpirito just commended Fage non-fat yogurt as a prime ingredient for homemade ice cream! Given how much I love plain, fat free Fage with mere jam added, I bet it makes a lusciously creamy ice cream. Now if only I had an ice cream maker!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

C'est Bon for Real

Yoplait's slogan is, "C'est bon!" However, I am of the opinion that Yoplait is shitty yogurt. Not the nastiest yogurt on the planet by any means (see: whatever the Dannon fat free, sugar free stuff is), but not very good. I'll eat if I have to, but way prefer other mass market products, like Stonyfield Farms. (Although I prefer my yogurt without small pieces of glass in it - my friend told me that all Blueberry Stonyfield Farm yogurts were recalled because they may have shards of glass in them.)

This brings me to Liberté Yogurt. For 99 cents, I secured a 6 oz. carton of Six Grains Yogurt with pear. It is low fat, with no sugar added, has no aspertame, and is rBGH free. The taste is superb. I think the six grains (barley, oat, rye, wheat, rice, and buckwheat) add an excellent chewy kick, and are better than granola. The chunks of pears were large and sweet.

On the downside, the yogurt is not very thick. I'm not expecting Greek-style thickness, but I think even Stonyfield is thicker. It's not liquidy, but anyone looking for a thick yogurt might be disappointed. It also has a little less calcium (25% RDA) than some other brands.

Still, I will definitely buy this yogurt again (and again). It also comes in strawberry, raspberry, and peach. How do you say "yum" in French?