The supermarket aisles can sometimes be confusing places, full of options and with not too many details. But how do you discern between everything? And how do you know what to get? For instance, what’s the difference between yogurts other than the name like Australian, Icelandic, and Greek? Is there one?
Am I the only one who sometimes gets tired of hearing about new fad/trendy food items, that appear in a flutter and then disappear forever after a while in the basement of strange ideas? I was just getting accustomed to Greek yogurt and how it’s different from... regular yogurt. And now we have to talk about more types of fermented milk? So I set out to find out the difference between yogurts like Greek, Australian, and Icelandic. And dear reader, you won’t believe what I found out. Or maybe you will. Let’s find out together, below.
Is the difference between yogurts significant?
Oh, I remember the days when the yogurt aisle at the supermarket was pretty straightforward. When Greek yogurt first made its appearance, it seemed like an event, because why does yogurt need a country anyway? Before that, the only decision I had to make was what flavor I was getting and most of the times the answer is this great stracciatella thing that I have been loving for years and years.
It was a far cry from me living in a communist country, having yogurt full of liquid whey as a child, in these cool-shaped jars without even so much as a label.
But, it turns out that yogurts do need countries because different traditions in fermentation actually lead to a difference between yogurts. As always, we aim to make things easier for you. Here goes.
Regular yogurt is usually a bit thinner. But thick yogurts, like Greek, Australian, and Icelandic, are gaining a lot more traction lately. They seem similar, but they’re not quite that.
Difference between yogurts: how are they made?
So where did the madness with Greek yogurt come from? The trendsetting one was produced by a brand named Fage, in the late 90s. Just a few years later, people were crazy about it. Producers made this yogurt by straining it to remove the liquid whey. Thanks to this, the resulting yogurt has twice as much protein than the regular one.
Traditionally, this yogurt is made with full-fat milk, but you can find low-fat versions as well. But I don’t like low-fat dairy, honestly. It loses some of its body. Greek yogurt wins points for its superior tartness and tanginess. It works so well with fruit in the morning!
Aren't you just dying to cook something with yogurt right now? Try this yogurt and basil chia pudding.
So what makes “Down Under” yogurt so special? It’s a bit richer and creamier than traditional, regular old, plain yogurt. But it’s also not strained. Some brands use only whole milk to make it. Others go for nonfat milk, but they use a slow-cooking process that takes longer than the traditional one. The result is creamy, but still with liquid whey in it. Add some honey to it for amazing flavor and fullness.
Icelanders make this type of yogurt, also known as skyr, through a very similar process to the Greek version. So, they strain the liquid whey to achieve fullness, but they go the extra mile. The result is even richer and creamier than the Greek one and it has even more protein in it. If you’re on a low-fat diet, then you’ll be glad to know that this is made with nonfat milk. The result is super rich, with some cream added for a few types and less tartness.
I don't know about you, but I am craving some Greek food right now. Luckily, we have plenty of Greek recipes right here.