Greek Yogurt: Hype or Genuine Good Food?

Is Greek yogurt worthy of all the hype?
@Ruby3881 (1997)
Canada
June 4, 2017 8:33am CST
Are you a fan of yogurt? If so, you've no doubt noticed how many different yogurts are on the supermarket shelves these days. Probiotic yogurt, stirred yogurt, low-fat yogurt, Icelandic skyr - even kefir has become available commercially in many stores. But by far the most popular these days seems to be Greek yogurt. Have you tried it? I'd like to know if you think it's worth all the hype. I have eaten yogurt regularly since childhood, when the popular brands were selling a set style "fruit on the bottom" yogurt in individual cups. I remember the jammy fruit tasting a bit funny to me at the time, so if I could get the stirred, or Swiss-style, yogurt then I would choose them instead. But when I was in my late teens, a friend from Iran taught me to make my own yogurt. Around the same time, I discovered both plain Balkan-style yogurt and full-fat yogurt made with cream, served sweet with fruit, vanilla, or coffee flavouring. I was in love! These days, I don't much care for the high-fat, sweetened yogurts. But I have stayed with my plain Balkan yogurt all these years. I still buy the same brand I did when I was a teenager. Now my kids love it too. When the Greek yogurt came out, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean, Balkan yogurt has been good and thick for decades. It's nothing new! I looked into it and learned that some Greek yogurt is made with partially evaporated milk, which not only makes it thicker but also raises its protein content. Greek yogurt may also be strained. It's good for cooking because of the lower water content. We tried Greek yogurt because I am a huge fan of tzatziki, which should be made from this kind of yogurt. But honestly, I have to say that I didn't find anything spectacular about it as a yogurt to eat with a spoon. Would I cook with Greek yogurt? The real stuff, absolutely! (Be careful your "Greek-style" yogurt isn't made the cheap way with thickeners!) I will buy Greek yogurt if I need it in a recipe. But for my breakfasts, I'm sticking with my good old Balkan yogurt. I like the taste and texture of this yogurt the best for eating by itself or with fruit and/or grains. It holds up really well in a parfait if you enjoy that. I just like to eat it side by side with fresh fruit. Or I'll top it with a little granola and dried cranberries. That's my favourite breakfast! Do you eat Greek yogurt by itself? Do you think it stands up to other popular styles, or would you reserve it for cooking? Image: Pixabay user chapmanizer, CC0
22 people like this
26 responses
@LadyDuck (187776)
• Switzerland
4 Jun 17
I was talking about yogurts with my doctors 4 days ago. 99% of those on the shelves are no more real yogurts. They are full of sugar and they do not contain the active lactobacillus acidophilus that is what makes the yogurt good for our health. I make yogurt at home.
4 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I know that the question of active culture is an issue in the United States, but I wasn't aware this was a concern in Europe too. In Canada, a product must have active culture to be called yogurt. Of course, some yogurts may have different bacteria or combinations of two or more bacteria. And in some products, there may be a higher percentage of bacteria than required by law. But they do all have a certain minimum. I very much agree about the sugar, though. And the sugar substitutes. Those tend to be overused, even here in Canada. And we've got some products where the sugar substitutes are not declared on the front of the package. So it's important to really read the label well when buying flavoured yogurt. Myself, I prefer the plain. I buy Astro. It has only milk, cream, and cultures. When I can, I do sometimes make my own too.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (187776)
• Switzerland
7 Jun 17
@Ruby3881 Until a few years ago in Europe the yogurt was real yogurt, but now you have to read carefully the labels twice to be sure that there are the bacteria inside and that there are no added sugars. I wonder if this happened after the European unification, w I hate many changes they made.
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
@LadyDuck I must say that I find it surprising this would be an issue in Europe, as you tend to have stronger laws there for things like GMOs. Maybe you're right, though: maybe it is a result of the EU...
2 people like this
@allknowing (72842)
• India
5 Jun 17
http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/shrikhand-recipe/
As you would have guessed none of what you have described I have access to. But we too have what we call shrikhand that is mainly from curds which you call yoghurt. We add different fruits and sometimes just have a flavoured shrikhand Looks like our Shrikhand has some resemblance to the Greek Yoghurt you have mentioned. Here is a shrikhand recipe http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/shrikhand-recipe/
3 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
It looks like it would make a lovely dessert. Greek yogurt would probably work well in this recipe if it's meant to be rather thick.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (72842)
• India
8 Jun 17
@Ruby3881 It is thick and most importantly yummy too (lol)
@Corbin5 (122428)
• United States
4 Jun 17
Oh dear. Greek yogurt is a food item I cannot tolerate due to its too-thick nature and the tendency for it to coat the mouth for far too long. I do not drink milk or eat eggs due to such a strong dislike of the taste, but I can eat Cheddar cheese on occasion.
3 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
My mother dislikes milk for much the same reason as you, Deborah. It seems anything that is lower in fat is OK for her, though.
1 person likes this
@prashu228 (25520)
• India
4 Jun 17
Never tried geek yoghurt. It's not common here Have a great day
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
It's interesting to see what foods migrate to what parts of the world. I wonder why Greek yogurt hasn't been introduced in India? I would think there would be a market there.
1 person likes this
@prashu228 (25520)
• India
7 Jun 17
@Ruby3881 we use normal yoghurt here, and buttermilk is used everyday with our food..from centuries
@Lizzyib (758)
• Canada
4 Jun 17
I like plain Greek yogurt on it's own. I also use it in recipes in place of sour cream sometimes or use it for dressing and it's great on top of a baked potato
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I do the same with my Balkan yogurt. I mix it with sour cream, too, in order to stretch the cream or lower the fat content.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (20096)
• India
4 Jun 17
Though I do buy and have yogurt,I am not much of a fan.I have not tried the Greek Yogurt.The last one I tried was Blueberry yogurt.
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
My kids love blueberry yogurt but I must confess it's not among my favourites. I like cherry - especially black cherry, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, and even coffee yogurt. Mostly, I just get the plain Balkan yogurt for myself, though. Then I add my own flavourings if I want to use any.
@celticeagle (121017)
• Boise, Idaho
5 Jun 17
I have never tried Greek yogurt. I eat Yoplait and that is what I like.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
Yoplait is, I think, a Swiss-style (stirred) yogurt. That was what I ate for many years, partly because it was one of the few options available and it came in lots of flavours. They seem to have added a lot of sugar substitutes to their products recently, though. They are on the ingredient list but nothing is on the front of the label, here in Canada. They just one day started replacing sugar with alternatives. That did give me pause, as I don't like to eat artificial sweeteners for health reasons.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (121017)
• Boise, Idaho
8 Jun 17
@Ruby3881 .......I don't eat much yogurt and haven't tried Greek. I don't like artificial sweeteners either. Will have to look into that.
@pumpkinjam (5800)
• United Kingdom
4 Jun 17
I like some flavoured Greek yoghurts but I don't like plain ones. If I have yoghurt, I look for low fat but also make sure they also have a low sugar content because there are a lot which are low fat but have so much sugar that you'd be better off having the full fat ones.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I don't care for the yogurt to be sweetened at all. If I add fruit, that's enough sweetening by itself. It doesn't need extra sugar. (I do confess to adding a little sugar if I make coffee flavoured yogurt, though!)
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
7 Jun 17
@Ruby3881 I don't add sugar to anything (except the occasional cup of tea or coffee), I also prefer to sweeten things with fruit. It tastes nicer and better for health.
@FourWalls (16219)
• United States
4 Jun 17
I've heard that "Greek yogurt" packaged here is nothing like "real" Greek yogurt. I had a coupon for a free Greek yogurt so I got some, and there was no difference. Greek yogurt is supposed to be very thick, but what I had was exactly like "regular" yogurt. I don't know if I'd like "the real thing" or not.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
Yes, some "Greek-style" yogurts use gelatin and other thickeners. This is also the case with other types of yogurt. I don't see any good reason for adding such ingredients, except to lower manufacturing costs at the expense of both authenticity and quality.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
7 Jun 17
Which brand did you get, I wonder? I've found a lot of pseudo-Greek yogurts on the shelf in the grocery stores. I tend to only like the FAGE Total plain yogurt (the full-fat one).
1 person likes this
@GreatMartin (6517)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
6 Jun 17
Like everythign else today--too many choices and all are 'the best'!
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@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
It does feel a bit as if some of these "choices" are more about market shares than food diversity, doesn't it?
@Kandae11 (40339)
5 Jun 17
I have been hearing quite a lot about Greek yogurt, but I haven't tried it. I use the Probiotic.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
My mother buys a popular yogurt that is supposed to keep you "regular" because of its probiotic properties. That same brand was sued over exaggerations of their health claims. I think they now have to state that the benefits are achieved only if multiple servings are eaten each day. But I've read that in their own studies, some of the very benefits they hoped their yogurt would provide were also seen in the control group. I don't think they're publicizing that information!
@YrNemo (14736)
5 Jun 17
Greek yoghurt is thicker, creamier for sure. We use the plain one for tzatziki sauce, and the sweet one for eating with some pastries. (To tell the truth, other than that, I can't tell one from another .)
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I haven't tried making tzatziki with it yet, though I should! It would save me straining the yogurt before I add the other ingredients.
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5 Jun 17
I'm not a fan of greek yogurt, but my husband likes it. I love Tzatzki. I wonder if I have ever had it made with greek yogurt.
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@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I love tzatziki too! In fact, we had some the other night with souvlaki. There is never enough tzatziki to please my family. We are all huge fans.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36626)
• Singapore, Singapore
4 Jun 17
I like the original Greek yogurts made with sheep milk, but I do not eat them often because they are fat. The ones sold in France and made with cow milk are light yogurts, and I prefer to have a good old classic yogurt than one these pseudo-Greek yogurts. Generally I dislike light/0% fat yogurts.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (1997)
• Canada
7 Jun 17
I like the thicker yogurts too, though I think I've mostly only had those made with milk or cream of cows.
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@drannhh (15241)
• United States
2 Jun
I like kefir or buttermilk cheese better than yogurt and it is easier to make. I just pour my ferment into a nut bag and hang it over a dish to catch the whey overnight and in the morning, it is breakfast!
@paigea (22675)
• Canada
20 Jun 17
I do like Greek yougurt. Liberte, is one brand I like.
@mom210 (6805)
• Atlanta, Georgia
20 Jun 17
I have noticed that the flavors and kinds have taken off over the last few years. If I did eat it, I would be confused what kind I should get.
@PainsOnSlate (20822)
• Canada
16 Jun 17
I love yogurt and use it in place of milk (which I don't like to drink) on my cereal for breakfast. I have no favorite, they are all so similar . My husband is Greek, you would think he would like it but no - it all tastes very similar.
@thelme55 (15633)
• Germany
7 Jun 17
I love the natural yogurt. I mostly use this for my salad dressing, ice cream and cakes. I have not tried Greek yogurt yet although I love Zaziki. Is Zaziki made of Greek yogurt? I wonder.
@BettyB (4205)
• Summerville, South Carolina
7 Jun 17
I'm not much of a fan of yogurt. I'll eat it but I don't go out of my way to get it. My mother in law has it for lunch every single day.