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Best Yogurt on Earth?

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I have a good new year's Chowhound topic: what is the best yogurt on earth?

I'll suggest Liberte's (Quebec) Mediterranee Coconut, more a desert than "subsistance" yogurt it has a great coconut flavour and some cream (17 grams fat per 6 ozs./170grams). This is a great daily dessert, I regularly mix it with fruit, cereal, or have it just on its own.

Hounds, what are your favorites?

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  1. I have to agree that Liberte's blackberry yogurt is my favorite. I love the fact there are actually blackberries on the bottom. However, I equally love Chobani's strawberry yogurt and good old trader joe's vanilla yogurt.

    1. I just tried some Liberte this week, and it's very good. Mostly, I'm grateful that there are so many great choices widely available these days.

      1. Almost all of Liberté's yogurts are amazing—the coconut and lemon are great. I think my favourite out the bunch would be the dulce de leche.

        1. Homemade by far.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Hey Sam, I had a "yogurt maker" about 30 years ago that I never really used... as I recall I was to mix milk (only whole?) with a bit of yogurt starter and let the culture develope with a little heat provided by the "yogurt maker."

            Much more recently I've made creme fraiche mixing sour cream and cream and putting it on the radiator in my kitchen. Could I take the same approach for yogurt?

            Thanks!

            1. re: steinpilz

              Absolutely yes. Let me give you more details tomorrow if you indicate you want them.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Definitely, please. Thanks Sam!

                1. re: steinpilz

                  We've split off the recipe to Home Cooking at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678873

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Completely agree with this, Sam. Homemade kicks the tail end of any commercial yogurt I've bought.

              1. re: LauraGrace

                I agree. And it just so easy to make - provided you have a thermometer and bit of left-over yoghurt. The only thing easier is ricotta.

                1. re: Paulustrious

                  http://kissmyspatula.com/2010/01/03/h...

                  Don't stop there, make goat cheese!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I can get most things in this city (Toronto) but rennet escapes me.

                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      not necessarily. are you anywhere near Grande Cheese?
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1029...

                  2. re: Paulustrious

                    I don't have a thermometer - but just keep the stuff at warmer than body temp.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      I have a meat thermometer that works great for the scalding and cooling step. I don't trust myself to do the "wrist" check.

                      1. re: LauraGrace

                        Sam:
                        It's not the fermenting temperature that is important, but the initial 'scalding' when I bring it up to 180F / 80C to alter the milk protein structures.

                        In terms of keeping warm for the next 24-48 hours the jars just sit happily away on my UPS.

                        Laura: I use a meat thermometer as well. I find I have to be careful not to let it sit on the bottom as it registers a higher temperature than most of the milk.

                        1. re: Paulustrious

                          I never do any scalding and still don't know why people insist on doing so. I use two liters of UHT whole milk, tad of brown sugar, starter, 380 grams of whole powdered milk, and water to make a total of 3.5 liters. Just heat in the MW and keep warm all day. Perfect. Always. Thick and good!

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Ah, but the magic word there is UHT: UHT milk is heated to temperatures over 275 degrees. You could argue that it's pre-scalded.

                            All I know is that if I'm making my yogurt recipe (half gallon of 1% milk, starter, one cup of whole milk powder) with milk that's simply pasteurized as opposed to ultra-pasteurized -- that is, heated to a lower temperature for a longer time than UHT milk -- then the resulting yogurt is considerably looser and less creamy if I don't scald the milk. If I'm using UHT milk, I can skip the scalding step, but if I'm not, the yogurt is considerably less good if I don't scald the milk.

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              Fungy, funny I was just thinking the same thing. You're right. Someone on another thread was looking for UHT milk; and apparently it is not very common in the US. All of our milk - and there are many brands - is UHT. So people in the US probably have to scald their milk to make yogurt. To me that would be a big bother.

              2. Can't say it's the best, since I haven't tried them all, but Neal's Yard has a Greek style yogurt that is strained (to remove excess water) that is excellent. My recent favourite mix is with mint, honey and dried figs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: limster

                  Would that be the same Neal's Yard that markets small batch English cheeses like Mrs. Appleby's Cheshire?

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    Yes - I get mine at the Borough Market branch.

                2. Liberte's Plum and Walnut is awesome, and Stonyfield Farm's Cream top maple are my two favorites, so good! You can feel the fat on your lips after you eat the maple one, but it is so decadent and delicious!

                  1. Brown Cow Peach Cream Top is devine.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                      Have not had the Peach cream top, I shall have to search it out now

                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                        Those Brown Cow cream-top yogurts are my absolute favorite! Can never eat less than two at a time. My favorites are the Vanilla, Cherry Vanilla, and Creamy Coffee. YUM!

                        1. re: CookieWeasel

                          I only buy the plain, but the top is fabulous. I add some berries or chopped nuts. Oops. wrong yogurt; I buy Stonyfield's plain cream top and add stuff w/o sugar.

                      2. Thanks for the responses, I got the plum/walnut and the blackberry today and will report back!

                        BTW, I saw an announcement on the Liberte site that the cocoanut is new this spring. They must have been testing it in Boston.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: steinpilz

                          Maybe new for the States? It's definitely available up here in Canada.

                        2. http://skyr.com/
                          Have you given Siggi's yogurt a try? I really enjoy it.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            I will look for it!

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Yes!! Siggi's is amazing. I was a diehard homemade yogurt fan, but since I discovered Siggi's at Wegman's, I admit I'm sold. Even though it's $1.99 for 8oz....but it's 16g of protein, and shockingly fat free. Geez...it's totally worth it.

                              1. re: RosemaryHoney

                                Hi RosemaryHoney (two of my fav flavors!). I enjoyed a plain Siggi's yogurt with blackberries and nutmeg this morning and used the remaining plain one in a Thai dish this evening. Do you enjoy the flavors or doctor-up the plain like me? I have noticed that Wegman's has a more consistent supply of Siggi's over Whole Foods.

                            2. Veloutela, strawberry. Alas, only available in Greece, as far as I know.

                              1. Picked up a couple different Liberte yogurts the other day, though not the plum and walnut others are raving about. So far I've tried the blackberry and the raspberry with grains, and I'd classify them as very good but not at the level of my beloved Fage 1% with a dollop of Hero strawberry preserves mixed in.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: beachmouse

                                  Where do you get Fage 1%? I'm using the 2% (delicious), and have seen the non-fat and full-fat versions, but haven't come across a 1% (I'm in NYC) - and I don't see it listed on the Fage website. Not being picky, but if they've got a 1%, I'd like to give it a try.

                                  1. re: Striver

                                    Typo there on my part. I meant the 2%.

                                    1. re: beachmouse

                                      Thanks! Thought I was missing something. :)

                                2. The best yogurt I've ever had in my life was my first taste of Greek yogurt while traveling in Greece in the 80's- the kind that had been hung in a cheesecloth bag overnight - served with honey. It changed my life. In general I think the higher the fat content, the better the taste. I love Liberte, Brown Cow cream top, etc., but I'm always looking for good tasting yogurts that are fat free or at least low fat. Everytime I find one I like, it is taken off the market a year later - very frustrating.

                                  I love skyr.is blueberry - but I hate those fragile little spoons that come with it, and I wish it didn't cost so much. I also like Wallaby maple and Fage.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                    You mean labneh? You can do 'filter' your own yoghurt to make the cheese. I suspect it ends up with a fairly high fat content if you start off with 6% yoghurt.

                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                      Yes, labneh is my favorite, w/ a sprinkle of zahtar & a drizzle of olive oil. Labneh can be found in stores catering to a middle eastern clientele.

                                    2. re: woodleyparkhound

                                      I love the Wallaby maple, but I think the Wallaby dulce de leche might even be better.

                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                        oh, the higher the fat, the better the taste, for sure!

                                        1. re: bakersdelight

                                          Absolutely! Though Fage 2% is surprisingly decent for reduced fat. I love the cream top on Stonyfield's.

                                      2. The homemade yogurt at Ooloonthoo, on Roatan. http://www.ooloonthoo.com

                                        1. The Best yogurt I've ever had is a whole milk grass fed Jersey cow milk called Pequea Valley Farms yogurt. It's made by an Amish dairy outside of Philadelphia. I call it "ice cream for breakfast." The maple, lemon and black cherry are outstanding.

                                          When I can't get my hands on Pequea Valley yogurt (I live in Ohio and have to make special east coast road trips to get it), I settle for Stonyfield whole milk vanilla and Brown Cow Maple. Liberte Coconut and Lemon are delicious although I cannot understand people's obsession with their whole grains yogurt. It's a shame they don't offer more of their canadian flavors here in the U.S., like black cherry or maple. I e-mailed the company and they told me they are launching French vanilla and some sort of Apple flavor here in the U.S. this year.

                                          1. Pinkberry!! It's a froyo chain but frozen yogurt is simply yogurt that's frozen.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: sillygoosedown

                                              except that it's not. it contains different stabilizers than regular yogurt, doesn't always have the same beneficial probiotic content, and often contains more sugar. don't get me wrong, i love frozen yogurt (though Pinkberry is pretty far down on my list), but it's not the same as refrigerated yogurt.

                                              1. re: sillygoosedown

                                                Oooooh, yeah. The best yogurt on earth definitely needs to include natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono-and diglycerides, lactoglycerides, propylene glycol esters, rice starch, and silicon dioxide.

                                                http://www.pinkberry.com/nutrition/nu...

                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                  Hey! Those propylene glycol esters are the BEST part of it!!! Don't knock 'em.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    And they keep the blood from freezing up in the wintertime! Oh, wait, that's ethylene glycol. Close enough.

                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                    But how does it taste?

                                                2. Whichever one I happen to mix up a batch of Tandoori Goop with.

                                                  1. I like Wallaby low fat plain yogurt, or Horizon plain yogurt. And I actually like the tang of lucerne plain yogurt. Never like any of the flavored stuff, I prefer to flavor it myself

                                                    1. The best yogurt I've had in my life is homemade whole milk yogurt using Saint Benoît Yogurt as a starter. I take a clean quart mason jar, fill it with whole milk, scald it in the microwave, let it cool to 115 degrees, and then thin 2T Saint Benoît Yogurt with a little of the milk, add it to the jar, put on the lid, shake, remove the lid, and leave it in a cold oven with the light bulb on for 2.5 hours. No sourness at all. No need for sugar, and I have a sweet tooth. Any other great starters that result in a yogurt without sourness at all?

                                                      1. Does anyone know if Vermont Water Buffalo yogurt is still available? I've tried so many different yogurts, but none could match the Water Buffalo cappuccino flavor; it was stellar. I understand that the company that produced it moved from Vermont to Quebec, Canada, beyond that, I don't know. If anyone knows where I may find some, or if you know of a reasonable facsimile, please chime in, and thanks!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: tomwocat

                                                          best bet is always to contact the company directly: info@bufaladivermont.com

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            The best yogurt I've ever eaten was in Wales. Still dreaming of it 11 years later.

                                                            The best yogurt I've had recently: Fage with the sidecar of honey (which I still can only get when I go to San Francisco).

                                                        2. I agree with the Liberte love. Coconut, apple crumble, and lemon make me want to eat yogurt at every meal. I love that Liberte's flavors aren't so sweet. I don't stir them up, but just eat the lightly flavored top part off. I like to imagine that by skipping most of the fruit at the bottom, I'm consuming far fewer calories than listed on the label.

                                                          I also like the whole grain strawberry and pear varieties, but the Whole Foods here no longer appear to be carrying them. The Liberte 0% varieties I tried were not worth eating.

                                                          1. I used to work in a cafe in Montreal that sold that Liberte yogurt. Except that we never sold any of the plum and walnut, because the staff ate it all.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: biglinguist

                                                              I'll look for those, still love the coconut (though they changed the recipe a little)!

                                                              @cuevamanos

                                                              1. re: biglinguist

                                                                can you still get the apple crumble Liberte in Canada?

                                                              2. Perhaps it's mea culpa, but for every thread I respond to I never can have just one answer.

                                                                Say, I was in Bulgaria for about a week this year. Walk around the refrigerated part of a supermarket, and you'll see brand after brand of the stuff, all with the eponymous Lactobacillus bulgaricus. It's all good, and all pairs quite well with the multifarious cuisine. (Japan even has one brand called Bulgaria, but...can't say I'm a fan).

                                                                Speaking of Japan, other than the aforementioned label, I like a few of their drinking yoghurts. No hyperboles there, but there may be seasonal flavors such as blood orange and kiwi. Prune was nice too, though of course, everyone will have differing opinions.

                                                                Heck, moving westward, every time I'd order something in a Xinjiang (Chinese "autonomous" region, significant Muslim population) restaurant, yoghurt was a welcome addition, particularly with shards of heavily cumin'd lamb and cilantro. Throw some on a 肉夹馍, a lamb and onion sandwich, and it's a win.

                                                                Turkey and South Asia also deserve particular attention. Cacık and raita are a must.

                                                                Back in the US, I grew up with Dannon, but La Yogurt became the new favorite. Never with fruit on the bottom, though, but now, I don't think I care as much. The Greek-style types are nice too, so having honey and walnuts in the pantry is standard.

                                                                Jonathan
                                                                http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                1. The best yogurt I've ever had was Yomo while in Italy. Just slightly sweet, and the almond flavour was by far my favourite. Wish we had it in Montreal!
                                                                  http://www.granarolo.it/Marchi/Yomo/Y...