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Omnivore Food Blog By Suzanne Podhaizer

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March 30, 2008

The Yogurt Project: Fage Total with Honey

This is my third yogurt trial so far...if you've read either of the first two, you can skip right down to the "taste test" portion. If not, I've reprinted my intro below:

What's the deal with little cups of yogurt? Just a few years ago, fermented-dairy eaters had a choice between Dannon and Columbo. Remember Columbo? I didn't...I had to ask my coworker to help me come up with the name of "that other major yogurt company when we were growing up."

Now, I see customers standing dumbstruck before the yogurt shelf, not knowing whether to reach for full-fat sheeps' milk, low-fat cows' milk or even a soy.  So, I figure, it's time for a massive yogurt taste test. You ready?

If I were a purist I would taste only plain yogurt, but this is my game, and I don't wanna. So I'm going to do the best I can comparing different brands by eating their most enticing flavors.

Fage Total: All-Natural Greek Strained Yogurt with Honey

Packaging: First of all, I hate the name. The container tells me it's pronounced "Fa-yeh," but in my head I pronounce it "fahj," which makes me think of high school biology...remember bacteriophages? Maybe I'd take more favorably to the name if I knew what it meant?
    And then there's the object itself. To me, the packaging shouts "hey, I'm mass produced!" Maybe it's because the container is an unusual shape: There's one cup for the yogurt and a second, smaller container for the honey. I would have been cool with the honey in the same compartment in an effort to save plastic.
    And the fact that they call the yogurt "Total" reminds me of names such as "Special K" and "All-Bran:" I think they're all trying too hard to sound healthy. But the image of a honeycomb and one of those wooden dippers is evocative and pleasant.

Nutrition Info: 5.3 oz. serving (does that include the honey? Although the serving size is smaller than the two other products I've sampled, the container feels heavier. Maybe it's all that extra plastic?) 250 calories. 18% fat (DV). 0% fiber (DV). 28 g. sugar. 8 g. protein. 10% calcium (DV). 10% vitamin A (DV).

Live Cultures:  L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus

: White and creamy. The package advised me not to stir, so I didn't at first. Later, while eating, I did stir it. Nothing bad happened. The amber honey looks just like...honey.

Aroma: Slightly sour but pleasant and dairy-licious. The honey is very fragrant and sweet smelling. No I can't tell what flowers it comes from.

The creamy layer on top is denser and fattier feeling than the lighter stuff beneath, but both have a nice, clean mouthfeel that doesn't linger too long after you swallow. Some yogurts can really coat your tongue. The honey is thick and sensual.

Taste: Very, very pleasant. The yogurt is rich and barely sour. And when it's mixed with the honey, it's even better. This tastes almost as good, if not as good, as the Liberté.

Notes: There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's, and there's probably no wrong way to eat this yogurt, but there are several possible methods. 1) Dip each spoonful of yogurt in the honey. I don't like this method because the pristine honey gets white swirls in it. Perhaps I'm strange? 2) Spoon out the entire honey cup onto the top of the yogurt, and dig in. 3) Same as #2, but blend the honey in. 4) Drizzle the honey onto the yogurt a little bit at a time. In any case, though, there was too much honey for the amount of yogurt. I know Americans like things sweet, but this much sweetener is kind of ludicrous. And I have a feeling that people won't save up the dribs and drabs for other uses, so I'm guessing that a lot of it goes to waste. Or maybe people just eat super-sweet yogurt.


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