The best yogurt is your favorite flavor, frozen and licked from a cone on a hot day. Or it could be the plain variety, mixed with wildflower honey and drizzled over a seasonal fruit salad. In Greece, the best yogurt is combined with cucumber and dill to make tzatziki sauce, traditionally served with pita bread and lamb. One way to get the best yogurt is to visit a farmers market offering freshly made yogurt from free-range dairy cows. But you can also try out the varieties at your grocery store with "Best Yogurt" honors awarded by expert tasters.
Real Simple Magazine Picks
Tasters at Real Simple magazine rated different brands and flavors of yogurt in nine categories. Strawberry and vanilla flavors were the clear favorites, with lemon coming in third. Best "fruit on the bottom" yogurt was Dannon's strawberry, for its natural flavor and not-too-sweet taste. Dannon also won top honors for whipped yogurt with its La Creme French Vanilla Mousse. "Wow! Is this yogurt?," one taster raved. Brown Cow's low-fat Lemon Twist won in the single-flavor category, with Yoplait's Lemon Burst noted as a close runner-up.
Cook's Illustrated Magazine Picks
Cook's Illustrated magazine took a purist's approach, testing plain whole-milk yogurt only. Plain yogurt works well for smoothies or baking -- muffins are especially moist and tender when made with yogurt -- or you can always add your own sweeteners and extras. Two varieties came in at the top. Tasters highly recommended Brown Cow's cream-top plain yogurt for its rich, well-rounded flavor and "especially creamy" texture. Tasters also recommended Stonyfield Farm organic plain yogurt as a close second.
People who love frozen yogurt are loyalists. Reading comments on Internet forums, it seems that yogurt shops all around the country make "the best yogurt in the world." Stopping by your local frozen yogurt place is a special treat, but you can buy some of the best frozen yogurts in the supermarket, too. Fitness magazine editors chose Edy's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends Vanilla as "Best Grocery Store Dessert" in the yogurt category in 2009. In 2010, Haagen-Dazs low-fat vanilla was picked as a "Best Frozen Dessert Buy." Both varieties were lauded for their "you'd think it was ice cream" taste.
Greek yogurt has a different texture and a tangier flavor than American yogurts. Even the nonfat versions are indulgently creamy and thick because Greek yogurt is strained repeatedly to remove most of the liquid, or whey. Cooking Light magazine picked three brands of non-fat Greek yogurt as best, with the grand prize going to Fage, "the gold medal standard." Chobani and Voskos Organic brands were also praised for their texture and taste.
- "Real Simple"; The Best Yogurts; Maureen Callahan
- "Cook's Illustrated"; Whole-Milk Yogurt; July 2007
- "Fitness"; The Best Grocery Store Desserts: Best Frozen Yogurt; 2009
- "Fitness"; The Best Frozen Dessert Buys: Haagen-Dazs Vanilla All Natural Low Fat Frozen Yogurt; 2010
- "Cooking Light"; 2010 Taste Test Awards: Grocery Category Winners; 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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