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missing yogurt

I love real yogurt. I remember when Yoplait and Dannon tasted like yogurt, now they taste like candy. I usually pack it for breakfast or lunch, but I will stop since I can't find any that does not include High Fructose Corn Syrup. The last batch I got - sweetened with Splenda (Yoplait) ALSO includes High Fructose Corn Syrup! It seems so pointless. And pretty much all of it is fat free. Why? If I'm buying a dairy product, I want it to be a dairy product. Now Yoplait "thick and creamy" has corn starch even. So what is it now? a custard? A paste? It is actually just gross.

I don't have a whole foods or wild oats or anything around here, I'm stuck with the general brands, so short of making it myself, I guess I just have to give it up. Just whining, sorry.

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  1. Here in Philadelphia, we are lucky to have access to all the Lancaster County amish-produced dairy products.

    "Pequa Valley Farms" full-fat yogurt is fantastic. Layer of cream on top. The plain is double-thick like Greek-style yogurt. The fruit ones are pretty sweet, but at least made with sugar rather than corn syrup.

    1. Not sure where you are, but I always get plain low-fat yogurt, usually Too Good to Be True or brands that I've found in the "health food" section that tend to be organic. Can't remember names, but generally plain yogurt is better quality, no additives and then you can add your own fruit if you want. Much tastier and better for you.

      Also, there was a thread on here recently about how easy yogurt is to make yourself. I might try that one day.

      1. I don't know if Astro is a brand found outside Canada, but it is superb and, here in Toronto, it is far better than the Dannon-Yoplait muck that is on offer.

        3 Replies
        1. re: LJS

          Astro is good. But, I think it is just Canada. But, I don't know.

          However, my absolute favorite is Liberty Organic yogurt. The Rasberry and the Mango/Apricot are particularly good -- and I'm usually the type that likes to buy plain and flavour it myself. It is available at Big Carrot (a local health food store here in Toronto) and also at Loblaws (the major nation-wide grocery chain). If it is made on a scale of production for Loblaws, maybe its available south of the border? I don't know though.

          I think you should try an ethnic grocer or two. My local indian grocer carries a local dairy's yogurt (Hewitt's) which is top notch and availble in full fat. I've only seen Hewitt's a few other places (Big Carrot included). Therefore, I would think that maybe your local ethnic shop might also carry your local dairy's yogurt. There are a lot of cuisines that absolutely need yogurt and I'm sure there is someone making stuff acceptable to that community.

          1. re: Atahualpa

            I love Liberty's maple flavour. They even carry it at the Pape/Danforth IGA now. They do have it at Whole Foods in Toronto.

            1. re: Atahualpa

              The Liberte Mango/Apricot is definitely one of my favourites, I've found I can get it in other major supermarkets in the Toronto area as well. It's the closest I can get to Mango yogurt I loved in France.

          2. Look for Greek style yogurt. Trader Joe carries it, but I'm not sure if it's reached the general supermarkets or not. You can get it from whole milk to fat free. I buy mine from a Middle Eastern grocer. It's real yogurt, the old-fashioned kind with less water than regular yogurt and no added junk.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cheryl_h

              Keep buying yours from your local Middle Eastern grocer. I bought some TJ's "Greek Style" last weekend. After I got past the now all-too-common TJ's spoilage issue (mold growing under the cap) I had to face the quality issue - the texture was more like cottage cheese. Ick. I'll be starting a separate anti-TJ's rant on the midwest boards in the next day or so.

              1. re: Loren3

                This must be a regional or store-specific thing. I've never had any spoiled products at my local Trader Joe's. In the San Francisco area their Greek-style yogurt is good and the price is unbeatable.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  The dairy is uneven at the stores in the LA area... the Studio City one is good, the Toluca Lake one... not so good.

            2. Are there any Greek stores in your area?

              1. We've moved the recipe for making yogurt at home to the Home Cooking board:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. Try buying plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit and extracts on your own. I agree with you that many brands are glorified pudding, custardy processed creations that have no business being called yogurt.

                  1. Look for Middle Eastern markets in your area -- Greek, Lebanese, Israeli, Turkish, Armenian, Persian. Middle Eastern yoghurt is still yoghurt as we know it. It comes plain. Typically it's blended with salty foods, but it works really well with sweet foods.

                    Greek yoghurt tends to be much, much thicker than the old American yoghurt, but you can thin it with a tablespoonful of milk per cup yoghurt and it'll work fine.

                    You can make "old-style" fruit yoghurt by putting some really great fruit preserves in the bottom of a bowl, adding M.E. yoghurt in an 8:1 ratio, and mixing with your spoon.

                    1. thanks all. None of those brands available here, they sure sound good though. No "health food section" either. It will definitely be a matter of occasional out-of-town yogurt splurges. I haven't looked at the Asian market in the nearest city -they have expanded so maybe they have more mid-east stuff now.
                      I do like plain yogurt-with-my-own-stuff (or even just plain), but can you believe that I can not get the individual tubs of plain yogurt here? That's what I'm missing, the grab it and throw it in the lunch sack kind. Actually, I should ask the grocery store owner to stock it, then if I buy it all the time maybe he'd keep it around.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Betty

                        Betty, treat yourself to a few of those small reuseable plastic containers and create your own indiv portions for lunch! I feel for ya!

                        1. re: Betty

                          You don't have any health food stores where you live?

                          I've never seen an Asian market with Middle Eastern stuff.

                          1. re: Betty

                            I once wrote to Dannon asking why I can't find individual size plain yogurts in the stores, and they wrote me back and told me to ask my grocer to stock them.
                            Also, write to nice people at Fage http://www.fageusa.com and ask where is the closest grocer that carries their yogurts. They're uber-nice. I heard that Target now carries Fage too.

                          2. If your grocer carries Dannon, their La Creme line more closely approximates their European (and more authentic) styles of yogurt - creamier (vs. gloppy) and not as sweet. I've found vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry in my local stores.

                            There have been several threads on this site over the years about the quest for the perfect yogurt, and a lot of personal preferences enter into it. It sounds like your taste is similar to mine.

                            Do look for the Emmi or Liberte yogurts. They are well worth it. Smooth but not runny, fruity but not sweet, few adjuncts and just enough sugar to smooth the edges. Maybe if there's a gourmet deli somewhere nearby, they could get some for you. In my town, I buy those brands at a liquor store (!) that has a gourmet cheese and olive shop attached.

                            Good luck!

                            1. I agree with you. Flavored yogurts are uber sweet. While not convenient, I recently discovered the joy of yogurt in China. Yogurt is relatively new in China, as it is not traditionally a dairy loving culture. Yogurt in China is subtly sweet and flavored. They don't scream STRAWBERRY, LEMON, or BLUEBERRY, most likely because the Chinese are not mammoth sugar consumers.

                              1. Maybe see if any is being made by locals and sold at farmers markets. I gave a suggestion to a farmer two years ago that led to me starting my consulting business and now I get quarts of organic, pasture raised, whole milk, goats yogurt free for life.

                                1. My sister also doesn't like how sweet Dannon and Yoplait are, but she does OK stirring her own fruit into the Dannon plain yogurt. I agree with the post above, that it can be hard to find individual servings of plain, but the larger containers aren't that big, just not convenient to plop in your lunch bag before work.

                                  1. You forgot to mention the foam--or whipped--yogurts out there now. That's not what I think of when I think of yogurt. All the HFCS in yogurt (well, other places too) bothers me -- why is it so present? I alternate between plain Stonyfield Farms and Fage Greek yogurt, adding fruit and/or honey to both. The TJ's Greek-style yogurt tasted odd to me, and it had a strange texture.

                                    1. I love Stonyfield but hate Dannon. I don't think I am an authentic yogurt eater but I do recognize that Dannon tastes more like bad pudding. What's the thoughts on Stonyfield?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: eve

                                        Stony's a bit to watery for me but DH loves it.

                                        1. re: eve

                                          Stony tastes grainy to me, like the pectin is separating out of it.

                                        2. I just got back from a trip to Mexico, and had some Yoplait Mango Yoghurt. It was surprisingly good, too, with bits of mango, and not too sweet. Packaging was the same as Yoplait in the US, but labels were all in Spanish, and declared that it was "Hecho en Mexico". I can't recall if I've seen mango Yoplait yoghurt in the US or not, but anyway, I was thinking of checking the Mission Street Safeway (SF) to see if they have the Mexican version....

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                            In the US it's marketed as their "Sapor Latino" series - mango, guava, passionfruit, etc. You may be able to contact Yoplait to find out where it's available. I've had the best luck in big groceries located in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

                                            1. re: Loren3

                                              Thanks for the tip! Sounds like the Mission Street Safeway (in SF's Mission District) might be just the place to find it then...will take a look. Would enjoy trying the gauva as well.

                                          2. No, my small Oklahoma town doesnt have health food stores, and our tiny farmers market doesn't have any refrigerated goods and is closed for the season. The simple life. But, since the Asian market in Stillwater knows it has to supply the entire international student body, I think part of their expansion was adding some ethnic groups.