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Greek Gods yogurt: they ought to be ashamed!

I bought some Greek Gods yogurt this weekend, hoping for a less expensive substitute for my Fage Total addiction.

I did read the label -- the moment I saw the word "pectin" I should have put it down and backed away, but no, I actually bought this garbage.

The label claims this is "Greek style" yogurt and that Greek yogurt is "a thick and creamy yogurt, full of body and rich in taste." However, despite the strong implication, this is not Greek style strained yogurt -- it's regular yogurt with (as far as I can tell) extra thickeners. In other words, it's not even as good as a good quality American-style yogurt. If you ever have any doubts, you can compare the nutritional content: since strained yogurt has more liquid taken out, the nutrients are more concentrated. Fage Total 0% has about 15 grams of protein per six ounces; Greek Gods 0% plain has 6 grams of protein per six ounces -- less than half as much. Furthermore, the extra pectin doesn't make it "creamy" -- it makes it grainy and lumpy. Ick! All this could be forgiven if it tasted good, but it doesn't. Double ick!

They really ought to be ashamed of their deceptive packaging. Yeah, I should have (and did) known better, but if I hadn't been eating real Greek yogurt for years now, and if I hadn't had a carton of real Greek yogurt to compare the ingredients and nutrition statement, then I might have actually believed it was real "Greek style" yogurt.

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  1. Don't say you weren't warned

    Not Greek Yogurt
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/323157

    I thought it was ok for regular yogurt, but to tell you the truth I never bought it again because the price is so much higher and there are brands of organic yogurt in the same store I like more that cost less ... TGG is $1.49 while Brown Cow is $.99.

    Once I got over that it wasn't Greek yogurt I was ok with it even though I'm not interested in buying more.
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322444

    Too bad one of your first Nob Hill purchases was this.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      *sigh* Yup, I shudda checked chowhound! Oh well, at least we brought the topic to the fore again.

      BTW, the GG I bought had pectin, not agar agar. While both are "natural" I agree with the poster who said neither belongs in proper yogurt! I don't know what I was thinking to buy it after I saw the ingredients.

      Fage Total 0% seems expensive, but it's actually not that bad if you consider that if you buy decent yogurt and strain it, the cost per ounce of final product is pretty close to the same. Of course, I buy the larger tubs at TJ's -- the small containers are *really* expensive per ounce!

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        i wish i had seen this post before i bought some the other day. "greek-style" my a**!

        what a bummer.

    2. If I'm not mistaken, this yogurt is made in the Seattle area.

      1. A Great Greek Yogurt (real, not fake or with "fillers") that can knock the socks off Fage (although I love Fage myself) is Voskos...it is produced locally in Northern California by Sun Valley Dairies. My local Safeway used to carry it but stopped (much to my discontent). However, Whole Foods also carries it, I haven't seen it at the local one in San Mateo, tho.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Cat Chow

          i know this isn't much help, but i've seen voskos at pretty much all the whole foods locations in the greater los angeles area. in fact, i just saw it in santa monica about 20 minutes ago.

          ask your local whole foods to order it for you. with products like that, they're often wiling to stock it temporarily [sort of a trial run] to see if it sells...particularly when other locations already carry it.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I hope you're right and WF carries it, even in Toronto. Since Fage apparently can't import to Canada, I'm desperate to find an equally tasty and healthy Greek yogurt.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Voskos is also available at Fresh and Easy Stores (LA and San Diego)

            2. re: Cat Chow

              Has Voskos changed in the past few weeks? I eat the vanilla honey, and this last batch I bought is not as thick as I remember it. It is VERY sweet compared to other greek yogurts. I accidentally spilled some on my desk and just wiped it up. Turns out it left a dry white film behind. Cornstarch is listed as the third ingredient, but I don't remember it being there before. After this last batch, I will not try it again, that is how awful it is. I think I like the Brown Cow Greek yogurt best.

              1. re: sam21479

                i've never had the flavored or sweetened varieties because i prefer to control those elements myself, but the plain is nothing more than skim milk and cultures. you might want to start buying that & just doctor it up to suit your taste.

                i happen to agree with you that Brown Cow is better yogurt, but i like the Voskos containers - since they have actual lids as opposed to that stupid foil, i don't have to transfer the yogurt to another container when i mix everything into it.

              2. re: Cat Chow

                I live in Bulgaria and can testify that if yogurt isn't made in its place of origin, it isn't the real thing. Any "Greek" yogurt not produced in Greece is fake. What makes Greek yogurt "Greek" is the particular bacteria in the air that is unique to Greece. The same is true for both Turkish and Bulgarian yogurt as well. This gives them a flavor that is quite different than yogurt made elsewhere. Yogurt in these countries is made in a variety of styles that are each used for particular purposes. Each region and even village had its own particular version of yogurt, so how a yogurt is made is going to vary widely depending on where the person making it originally came from. It is also going to depend on the type of milk used -- sheep, buffalo, goat, or cow.

                My Bulgarian language teacher had an interesting story that illustrates the point about making yogurt locally. She taught for many years in the Czech republic and would take her yogurt starter with her from Bulgaria. But after using the starter for a few weeks, the flavor of the yogurt would slowly change and eventually would be completely different than Bulgarian yogurt. So even starting with original origin starter is not going to produce the "real" thing.

                1. re: sofianell

                  Note that this thread discusses Greek STYLE yogurt, i.e. thicker than French STYLE yogurt, because it is strained.

                2. re: Cat Chow

                  Sun Valley Dairy produces Safeway private label greek yogurt and Trader Joe's as well.

                3. A terrific really thick Greek style yogurt is the new Stonyfield ORGANIC one called Oikos (odd name, but great product). It is strained and chock full of active cultures. I like it even better than Fage. About the same price.
                  Trader Joe's doesn't compare.

                  Whole Foods has it.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: goldenwhisknyc

                    Before FAGE became this huge greek yogurt trend, Oikos was the only version on the shelf in my area. Now that the local markets (even Stop & Shop) are carrying Oikos and Fage they sit side by side on the shelf...set away from the "other yogurts" (like Dannon) and appear to be running neck & neck on sales. Usually a 5 cent difference at best. I like both, at present FAGE offers more flavor variety.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I like the Voskos brand as well. Now available at Whole foods Oakland. And it is a bargain. The "small" containers of plain are 8 oz and only $1.59 @ WFM. So really really cheap, hardly more than the TJ for 16oz and much better. check it out. The 0 and the full fat are yummy. They also have flavored ones in 6oz cups too.

                      1. re: jade408

                        http://skyr.com/ ...then there's Sigg's (Icelandic) yogurt avail at WF and Chobani sitting next to Fage & Osikos at most of the markets. http://www.chobani.com/

                        Greek yogurt is the *new* pomegranate.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I didn't care for Sigg's at all. I prefer Greek Gods or Oikos.

                        2. re: jade408

                          You can buy the 16 oz cartons of Plain (full fat I think) at the Andronico's in Berkeley for 2.99, although it had been cleaned out in my neighborhood as of yesterday.

                          I am not particularly a yogurt fan, but eat it as a base for Kaki Farms boysenberries and wild blackberries from my backyard. Voskos is plenty fine with me, less tangy than regular yogurts. I had been eating Fage, but don't particularly care for its mildness and slightly whipped texture.

                        3. re: HillJ

                          a little late to the punch, but oikos is good? my stop and shop just started carrying it, in a 4 pack, and i'm curious....

                          1. re: kubasd

                            I think Chobani is better than Oikos. Comes in indiv. servings & tubs. Fage is my fav; 0% fat. But more times than not I buy the Chobani for price. Oikos is okay for baking use. But, if you don't like Chobani, I doubt Oikos will do it for you. Trader Joes offers a delicious Greek yogurt. Have you tried it?

                            1. re: HillJ

                              no, since i moved back to CT i have no trader joe's within a reasonable distance, which saddens me greatly, as i had a trader joe's within walking distance not a year and a half ago.... Does whole foods have any kind of equivalent? I live 20 min from a WF.....

                              1. re: kubasd

                                Okay there's Nancy's yogurt, which for traditional yogurt is pretty darn interesting. Then there is Siggi's yogurt, somewhere btwn Greek & traditional yogurt. But you'll pay dearly for the experience. Whole Foods carries all of the brands of Greek yogurt mentioned in this thread. kubasd, experiment!

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Siggi's is skyr, not yogurt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyr . I'm surprised it's described here as slightly sour. When I was served it in Iceland it was almost bitterly sour, the better for dressing with the sugar and whipping cream that was provided. I like Siggi's, though (and Siggi himself seemed like a nice guy when I met him).

                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                    To my uneducated, yogurt loving tongue it's yogurt and one of the most expensive brands on my market shelve. A real treat when I'm willing to spend the duckets but rarely in my cart. Thank you for sharing your siggi's experience.

                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                        frankly the wiki link you proved states its similar to yogurt, so your point was a bit confusing to me. I responded to this OP over a year ago. but my thank you was sincere.

                                  2. re: HillJ

                                    been eatin' Nancy's off and on since 1972. Love it when I can find it.

                        4. It never ceases to amaze me how obsessed Chowhounders are with Greek yoghurt - there's a thread practically every day!

                          Personally I go for Turkish yoghurt every time. There's an amazing brand I buy at a local Syrian store which has a Turkish lady and a crescent and star on it (can't remember the name). I am trying to train myself to like the 3% fat version, but in reality the 10% is much nicer. I don't believe anyone who says that 0% fat yoghurt tastes just as creamy as the real thing. I would like it to be true, but it just isn't.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: greedygirl

                            Unfortunately Turkish yogurt (for that matter, Turkish anything) is much harder to find on this side of the pond.

                            1. re: BobB

                              That's a shame. I've recently discovered labneh as well, which is to die for. It's a kind of very soft cheese made from yoghurt and just yummy. What about haloumi - is that hard to find too?

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                Well yes, but this is Boston, where we have a very large Armenian community, so you can get their version, but you're not likely to see many Turkish imports.