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March 26, 2008

The Yogurt Project: Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr, Pomegranate and Passion Fruit

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 facsimile.  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.

siggi's Icelandic style skyr: Pomegranate and Passion Fruit

Packaging: Very nice. The flimsy, white plastic container is covered with a striking, recyclable cardboard wrapper, which has a white background and black type in a simple font. There's also a rustic line drawing of the fruits that flavor the product. On the side, there's an unusually long list of what's not in the yogurt, including rBGH, preservatives and corn syrup. Plus, it boasts, the milk is from grass-fed cows. It's made in New York State, so it doesn't have to travel too far.
    This is probably the most dramatic yogurt label I've seen, and I was pretty amused while examining it. A note from Siggi reads: "...we absolutely don't use any artificial sweeteners like aspartame; I shudder at the mere thought."

Nutrition Info: 6 oz. serving. 120 calories. 0% fat. 0% fiber. 11 g. sugars. 16 g. protein. 20% calcium

Live Cultures: B. lactis, L. Acidophilus, L. Delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus, L. Delbrueckii subsp. Lactis, S. Thermopholis

Appearance: Thick and "creamy" looking, white. No whey off.

Aroma: Sour enough to make one's nose tingle a tiny bit. Barely there fruit.

Mouthfeel: Thick without having a fatty mouthfeel (I like the fatty mouthfeel). The texture is strange to someone used to fatty, whole-milk yogurt.

Taste: First note is a bitterness that strikes me as unusual in yogurt, followed by a puckery sourness and then, finally, a hint of sweetness. The fruit flavors are not readily apparant, here. I wouldn't have guessed passionfruit or pomegranate in a million years. There's no "jam" on the bottom of the container, although I kept stirring, just in case. I didn't find it pleasant, but it wasn't particularly unpleasant, either. Not something I would eat for the pleasure of it, but possibly would because it's good for me. Maybe.

Notes: The non-fat yogurt is unusual because it's made from milk that has had all of the fat -- and much of the water -- removed. This gives it a remarkably thick texture for a non-fat product, and I thought the process was worthy of mention.

Visit siggi's website here.


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I like being able to pick up yogurt at the supermarket--the packaging makes it a convenient and healthy snack--but I recently learned how easy it is to make yogurt at home with no fancy equipment whatsoever. All you need is some milk (any kind as long as it is not "ultra-pasteurized"), a spoonful of plain yogurt to act as a starter culture, a candy or meat thermometer, and a thermos.

1) Warm the milk to a gentle boil, stirring while it heats.
2) Remove from heat and cool to 115-120 degrees.
2) Stir a spoonful of plain yogurt into your warm milk.
4) Pour into thermos (if your kitchen is cold, you might want to rinse the thermos out with some warm water first--the idea is that the thermos will keep the milk around 115 degrees).
5) Leave milk in thermos for 8-12 hours (overnight works well). Don't shake or disturb the thermos.
6) Wow, there's yogurt! If you like a thicker yogurt (more like the Greek varieties) you can strain the whey (the watery stuff) off by placing a cheesecloth or a non-terrycloth dishtowel over a colander and leaving the yogurt for an hour or two to drain in the refrigerator.
7) Serve with fruit, jam, maple syrup... Delicious!


Thanks Vanessa! I really appreciate that you took the time to spell out all the details. Maybe when I'm done sampling the various varieties of grocery store yogurt I will make my own to see how it compares!


I love your Yogurt reviews Susan. I've been doing my own yogurt taste test for a little while now - and i just happened to pick up this yogurt (siggi's) this afternoon for my lunch snack.

I agree with your review fully, especially the packaging - so clean and simple and the paper sleeve gives it a lovely texture.

I enjoy my yogurts to be a little thicker, not to soupy - and i really enjoyed this texture, but as i'm writing right now 5 minutes after finishing the last of it, i have to say that the flavor was a little lacking, there's a distinctly unpleasant bitter aftertaste in my mouth right now.

After reading your other reviews i'd say that you should give the "Rachel's" brand a try... i'm in love with the "Pink Grapefruit & Lynchee" flavor, so tasty.

Keep up the good work ;)


Suzanne, sorry, not Susan.


Being on the pauper side of the economic scale and loving it, I find ways of making things at a fraction of their retail cost. Skyr yogurt is one of those things and if you use whole milk instead of no-fat, and I have made both, you will end up with an incredible yogurt. My wife even liked it. And with a 3 hour culture time, I can make 2 quarts of Siggis in less time it takes me to go out and buy a 6 oz cup of it for almost ten times what it costs me to make it - and that includes adding dry milk to the whole milk to get an even richer result.

My how-to post is on RecipeZaar (you may have to cut-and-paste the address into your browser):

And to overcome that no-fruit-on-the-bottom problem, we make the plain Siggis and (arduously) put a teaspoon of (inexpensive) jam like strawberry on top of our serving and mix it in. I truly believe the yogurt doesn't know where the jam came from and couldn't care less.

I got to say, making the whole fat Siggis provided me with the best yogurt I have ever tasted, barring none. My wife agrees.


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