Friday, June 20, 2008

Taste Test Results in Yogurt Over-consumption

Since I started YoBlog, a yogurt taste test has been in the forefront of my mind. YoBlog is about a yogurt quest, and nothing embodies that journey more than sitting down with cups upon cups of yogurt and searching for the true best yogurt.

Through the taste test, I had hoped to pinpoint the best of the best yogurt with an easy-to-explain methodology and a definitive outcome. The taste test was to be no frills: no sweeteners, fruits, or chocolate to mask the authentic taste of the yogurt.

I rounded up eight types of plain yogurt for the taste test: Cultural Revolution, Siggi's Skyr, Horizon, Wallaby, Stonyfield, Brown Cow Cream Top, Whole Foods 365, and Seven Stars Farm. Some were nonfat, some lowfat, and some quite fatty. (Brown Cow and Seven Stars, I'm looking at you!)

Here's a music video I made of the experience:

Like Fools Rushing In

So, I made a few mistakes. First and foremost, too much yogurt. At the midpoint, I thought I was going to throw up, and I relied on sheer stubbornness to get through the taste test. I only had a dollop or two of each type and cleansed my pallet throughout the taste test, but there's only so much no-nonsense yogurt a yogurt-lover can stomach.

Next - and this may have contributed to the first point - I failed to check that the yogurts were fresh. This was only a problem with Cultural Revolution: I couldn't tell if it expired or if rank was the actual flavor. Unfortunately, Cultural Revolution was the first yogurt I tried, so that flavored the rest of the taste test. I shudder thinking about that yogurt.

Ultimately, while I expected a range of tastes, smells, and textures, the yogurts were more alike than different. Cultural Revolution was the clear loser. Seven Stars stood out as the best, but if you want to avoid the 11 grams of fat in a serving of Seven Stars, Siggi's Skyr is a stellar nonfat alternative. Brown Cow deserves an honorable mention.

To be truthful, though, Brown Cow, Horizon, Whole Foods 365, and Stonyfield were so similar that it was hard to tell them apart.

I started the taste test with high expectations: an objective, systematic test tempered by my own yogurt authority would give rise to a compelling narrative and a definitive outcome. By the end, high expectations morphed into a stomach ache that left me in the fetal position on the couch with a lot of cognitive confusion. What happened? Can I make it to the toilet if I have to throw up? How will I write this up on the blog?

At least I have plenty of yogurt for YoBlog's first recipe review this weekend.


Sarah R said...

I am choking down a container of Cultural Revolution yogurt and I noticed there is no date or anything on it. My hubby picked it up for me at the local food co-op and luckily he only got one container of it. I'm thinking, is this crap expired or is that just the taste? So, of course, I google this yogurt to see if I can find out if it is SUPPOSED to taste like this or if I'm going to get sick later. Today's my birthday and I really don't want the skidders on my birthday!

Anyway, 2 thumbs down for this crap.

Now, if I could only find a high-fructose corn syrup-free yogurt that tastes like Yoplait Thick & Creamy, I'll be happy.

Anonymous said...

@Sarah - Thanks for stopping by! It's good to know someone had the same experience with Cultural Revolution that I did. Yes, after the taste test, I checked out the cup, and no fresh date! Isn't that against the food rules, or something?!

I checked out their Web site, and they say Cultural Revolution is authentic European yogurt. I know European yogurt has a different texture, but seriously, this stuff is rank.

Have you tried Siggi's Skyr? It's Icelandic yogurt that's thick and velvety. No sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. They use agave nectar to sweeten it along with actual fruit! Not sure if you'll find it at Whole Foods in WI, but we've got then in Whole Foods in Chicago.

Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog, and your son is adorable! My best friend loves the cloth diapers too.

Here's to better yogurt experiences next time!

Sarah R said...

Thank you! I will look for that yogurt you mentioned. It was almost comical as I was taking my first bite of yogurt. I had just sat down at my desk (I always eat my breakfast when I get to work) and I was taken aback by the horrible taste. I stirred really well, thinking it just needed to be mixed. It was supposed to be peach flavored, but I tasted no peaches, just sour, nasty, ew. DH paid over a dollar for that yogurt. No thanks! I had him read your review of it just so he doesn't think I'm crazy!

About the cloth diapers, I think I FINALLY figured out the wash routine. It takes a few times to figure it out because it all depends on your water type (ours is really hard), the detergent you use, etc. etc.

Giselle Dozier said...

awww, thats so sad! hope your feelilng better :-)
I will def stay away from it them, there's nothing more irritating that wasting your whole break time returning something (and then you dont even get to eat anything) but I'v always loved the 365 brand, cause I'm a cheapo and usually it's just as good (if not better) than some of the fancier stuff. Seven stars is good too though :-P

-Giselle <3<3<3

Giselle Dozier said...

I think everyone reeeealy deserved a vacation this summer...(I just finished four years of art school) so I don't feel too bad about slacking :-P

-Giselle <3<3<3

Hannah said...

love it! You should do a post on that delicious yogurt that's greek and comes with a little pouch of honey attached. Such a pleasure to have you at my blog, stop by anytime.


Sara said...

but you didn't try Fage? Best yogurt of all time. It's like crack.