Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rachel's: Wickedly Above Average

The blogosphere's been buzzing over Rachel's Wickedly Delicious Yogurt, a UK fave that debuted in the States in 2007, with words like "yummy," "yum," and "yummo" as well as "healthful" and "nutritious." Rachel's is definitely a strong, tasty yogurt, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it the "world's best yogurt," as one blogger does.

Aromatherapy in a Cup?

At about $1 a cup, Rachel's is reasonably priced. Otherwise, this is not a sensible yogurt. The two lines - Essence and Exotic - scream free-spirit silliness and nonsense to me. Rachel's describes Essence as "blissfully blended mood-inspiring yogurt, the essence of scrumptious satisfaction" and Exotic as "luscious blended yogurt inspired by the planet's most alluring fruits and flavors."

Here's one blogger's take on this:
I couldn't agree more.

Well, I decided to give it a try. It couldn't be worse than the goat yogurt of yore.

Rachel and the Giant Peach

I started with the Peach Green Tea - aka Revive - of the Essence line. The "all-natural" ingredients include grade A pasteurized nonfat milk, evaporated cane juice, peaches, green tea, cream, fructan, natural flavors, pectin, agar, DHA algal oil, annatto extract, vitamin D3, and live and active cultures. That's a lot of "all-natural" stuff I had to Wikipedia. All-natural and simple are not one in the same when it comes to the marketing of food.

The yogurt was a pleasant peach color with a pleasant peach smell. The taste was more peach than green tea, but Rachel's is definitely distinct from other peaches out there. The uniqueness of Rachel's is subtle, so all I'll say is it's different and better than the mainstream of Yoplait and Dannon. That said, it's still a tad too sweet for my taste buds.

Here's how Rachel's describes the experience of eating the Peach Green Tea:
Get up and groove. Sweet peachy pleasure gets lively with jazzy notes of natural green tea. Bring on the day.

Someone in marketing needs to stop smoking the ganja.

Onto the Exotic Pomegranate Blueberry. This one had the same creamy and luscious consistency as the peach as well as the same heavy taste. I found the Exotic even sweeter than the Essence. The blueberry was stronger than the pomegranate, but both were outshone by the sweetness of the yogurt. In the end, I preferred the Peach Green Tea over the Pom Blueberry.

What does Rachel's think of the Pomegranate Blueberry? Break free from the berry-blend blahs. Classic blueberry meets sassy pomegranate in an unexpected burst of pure fruity exuberance. My earlier point stands.

A few spoonfuls into the Exotic, I realized that Rachel's would be better as a dessert yogurt than a snack or breakfast yogurt. The taste is too rich and sweet for a pick-me-up.

Healthful, Schmealthful

While Rachel's Wickedly Delicious may be a more healthful dessert than German Chocolate Cake, Twinkies, or a pint of Häagen-Dazs, it's not that healthful as far as yogurts go. It's got some good stuff like calcium; vitamins A, C, and D; and omega-3; but it's also got a lot of sugar - 26 grams - with only seven grams of protein.

If you're looking for a healthful yogurt, go nonfat Greek or skyr. If you're looking for something sweet with a strong, distinct taste that's health-neutral, Rachel's it is.

I still have a few flavors in my fridge - Plum Honey Lavender (aka Calm), Kiwi Passion Fruit Lime, and Vanilla Chai (aka Relax) - and I plan to try them all. Let us know what you think of Rachel's, and be on the lookout for our first blind taste test!

In conclusion, here's a photo of our cat Osca, also a yogurt enthusiast:

No comments: