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Omnivore Food Blog By Suzanne Podhaizer

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April 11, 2008

The Yogurt Project: Old Chatham Sheep's Milk Maple

Yogurt_plain_and_maple This is my fifth yogurt trial so far...if you've read any of the others, 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.

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company: Maple

Cost:
More than $2

Packaging: Pretty simple. The background is mainly green, and there's a, well, maple colored stripe around the bottom. There's also a simple drawing of a black sheep, which is cute and slightly creepy at the same time. Why creepy? The sheep's eyes kind of look like they're glowing, which gives it the appearance of an evil zombie sheep.
    On the back there's a good amount of information about the farm's yogurt-making practices. They use all-natural ingredients and manage the farm organically, for example. There's also a note about the fact that sheep's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk.

Nutrition Info: 6 oz. serving. 160 calories. 12% fat (DV). 0 g. fiber (DV). 11 g. sugar. 8 g. protein. 6% vitamin A (DV). 3% vitamin C (DV). 29% calcium (DV). 3% iron (DV).

Active Cultures: L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus.

Appearance: Pretty white, with some whey off (that means there's liquid hanging around atop the yogurt). Around the edge there are some bubbly markings.

Aroma:
A pleasant "ferment-y" smell.

Mouthfeel: Of the non, non-fat yogurts I've tried, this is the lightest. It has a lovely (yet fleeting) silky mouthfeel. At the bottom of the container the texture became inconsistent. I stirred it up, but there were a few small blobs.

Taste: It may sound strange, but the first word that comes to mind is "effervescent." Yes, I know that's a touch descriptor, but what I mean is that it is tangy in the same way that carbonated beverages are tangy. It's slightly sour without being at all pucker-y. The maple flavor isn't very strong.

Notes: I appreciate the nutritional profile of this yogurt: It's neither super-decadent nor non- or low-fat. And it doesn't have a lot of sugar. And for those who can't tolerate cow's milk, this could be a great option. Overall,
I like it, I'd buy it again, but I won't lust after it.

*Picture from the Old Chatham website

  

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