Three Greek Yogurts
Photo by John Kiely
The biggest explosion of supermarket choice seems to be in the dairy aisle, where the small yogurt section has lately become the Wall of Yogurt. I'd been happy enough with Dannon and Yoplait, but then came Fage Greek yogurt, and the inevitable me-too Greek yogurts, so I decided to give three of them a try.
Of course I had to start with Fage (pronounced Fa-yeh), and two other big players, Chobani, and Oikos, the newest arrival from the Dannon group. Oikos is being advertised as "Possibly the best yogurt in the world". Possibly, huh? You're not too sure about that, are you, Dannon?
Unmixed I chose strawberry, as that was the flavor I found in common, and opened each container to taste before stirring. The Fage was plain, with a separate spoon-friendly compartment for strawberry preserves. I'd never tried Greek yogurt before, so I was surprised by its sour cream-like density. The taste was more like a yogurty-tart whipped cream.
The Fage strawberry preserves are something special. They have a light and clean fruit flavor without being sugary. If Fage put them in a jar, they would be my new favorite strawberry preserves.
Choboni was plain, with the strawberry preserves on the bottom. It was naturally sweet, from milk sugars, yet a little tart at the same time, and smoother than Fage.
Oikos comes premixed, with sugar and fruit. The taste is slightly sweet. The texture in the mouth is fluffy. I've eaten plenty of regular Dannon strawberry yogurt, and Oikos tastes the same, despite its different consistency.
Mixed I ate the Fage with some of the strawberry spooned on. It was a delightful mix of sweet and tart dancing on the tongue. Not wishing to be influenced by ingredients, I hadn't looked at tiny warning on the label, "Suggestion: Please Do Not Stir." That's a damn good suggestion, as the Fage turns into a non-distinct flavor hole when mixed. However, it was so delicious before mixing, I felt compelled to buy one again the next day, and eat it properly.
Choboni tasted better before I mixed it. With the strawberry preserves, it took on a taste that was not artificial, but rather faintly medicinal. I was suspicious, because the maker of Choboni is called Agro Farma, but in fact the yogurt is "natural." Thinking it might be the strawberries, I bought another Choboni from a different store. The medicinal taste was less, but detectable.
Oikos was the same after mixing. It is "Probably the thickest Dannon in the world."
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.