What does Greek Yogurt taste like? Let’s find out!

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Greek yogurt taste has been a topic of interest over the years. The chances are that you have heard people go on about how bad it tastes, or how different it is, or some other experience that they have had with this fantastic food. I believe that the only way to get an honest opinion about something is to try it out yourself; which is what I did.

You will find that there is so much more to this yogurt than people let on and you’ll see why this industry keeps growing by the day. So… ‘What does Greek yogurt taste like?’ Read on to get tons of info.

What is Greek Yogurt?

Some time back, you knew what you would find in the stores when it came to dairy foods. It was the regular stuff, and the question then lay in what flavor should one choose, the quantity, the pricing and typical issues that arise when shopping. Then came Greek yogurt.

As is the case with new products, some were quick to try it while others waited for recommendations from the few brave souls who dared to try this yogurt. Over time, it became clear that this yogurt was quickly picking up the pace and taking up more space on the shelves. It was then that even I got an interest in it and got some for myself.

Before I even get to the taste, there is not that much difference between Greek yogurt and the regular yogurt. The production processes are quite similar. The manufacturer starts by first heating the milk to a given temperature before cooling it to the fermentation temperature that they deem best. Usually, this is in the regions of 106-114 degrees Fahrenheit. They then add bacterial cultures and leave the milk to ferment for bacteria to thrive.

The difference comes in when the yogurt is ready.

At this point, it is the regular yogurt that we have grown to love and rely on for all kinds of recipes. The manufacturer then strains the yogurt to remove the liquid lactose whey and lactose and what remains is Greek yogurt. The process is not all that complicated, and you could easily make some yogurt of your own from home.

There are many differences between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt, with taste being one of them.

  • Protein: People usually go for Greek yogurt as it has almost twice the proteins that you would get from regular yogurt. For anyone looking to bulk up or up their protein intake for one reason or the other, this is quite an attractive motivator.
  • Fat: There are various varieties of Greek yogurt. If you go for the usual types, you should know that you are taking in about three times the saturated fat that you would get in regular yogurt. However, you could always go for the non-fat options which are equally as good.
  • Sodium: Regular yogurt has twice the sodium that you would get from Greek yogurt.
  • Carbohydrates: If you have been looking for ways to reduce the number of carbs you take, it will interest you to know that Greek yogurt has half the carbs that regular yogurt has. That said, any additional sweeteners that you add to the Greek yogurt will add to the carbs that you eat.

As a result of these differences, people look to Greek yogurt as a healthy alternative to mayo, sour cream, and other dishes.

How Does Greek Yogurt Taste Like?

Depending on what you have heard from people, you probably have an opinion about Greek yogurt. Well, I feel that it’s more like regular yogurt, especially when you do not add any sweeteners to it. You will find that its yogurt flavor tends to be much more intense than that of regular yogurt though. There is also a big difference in texture as Greek yogurt consistency is much thicker and denser than that of regular yogurt.

Some people say that Greek yogurt tastes like sour cream and you can understand why once you figure out their definitions. You see, sour cream comes about owing to the deliberate fermentation of cream using specific bacteria.

Yogurt, on the other hand, comes from milk fermented using bacteria. As a result of this, you can see that both products result from fermentation of milk using bacteria and it is for this reason that people associate the Greek yogurt sour taste to that of sour cream. You can also use Greek yogurt and sour cream interchangeably in recipes, and the results won’t be all that different.

However, there is a difference between the two, but not many people can taste it. Given that the two products result from the use of different bacteria, they do not have the same taste. It is the same case with bread.

Two loaves of bread from different manufacturers will have varying tastes owing to the yeast in play. Depending on the bacteria used, Greek yogurt can either taste like sour cream or differ by a given extent.

What is in Greek Yogurt?

Given the popularity of Greek yogurt, it is quite hard to know whether you are getting value for your money. The truth is that there are many companies out there who are selling knockoffs at low prices and those buying their goods are none the wiser.

You see, the traditional way of making this delicacy is by straining regular yogurt to get rid of whey, resulting in a dense mixture. This process is what makes Greek yogurt so nutritious. Unfortunately, many people are willing to forego this step and use shortcuts so that they can produce more products at low prices.

You may wonder why this is the case, but research shows that there is no standard definition of Greek yogurt in the US, legally speaking, and this creates a loophole which unscrupulous businesspeople can exploit with ease. Thus, begs the question, what Greek yogurt ingredients are in play in the products lining grocery store shelves?

The FDA states that regular yogurt should contain one or more dairy ingredients and bacterial cultures. It also makes provisions for the inclusion of flavoring ingredients, color additives, stabilizers, and nutritive sweeteners. Given that there is no stipulation as to what makes yogurt Greek, some manufacturers exploit this by doing away with the straining and opting for added thickeners.

An example of yogurt which you should trust to be Greek would be one made from regular yogurt, live and active cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, L. Bulgaricus, and L. Casei), naturally occurring sugars and gelling agents. Go for types of Greek yogurt that do not use artificial sweeteners and preservatives to get the best yogurt that you can get. Steer clear of products whose ingredient lists contain pectin and cornstarch as these are thickeners used to make up for the lack of straining.

The truth is though that you will not come into harm if you drink Greek yogurt that has not undergone straining. However, you will be paying more for glorified regular yogurt, and it is best to get your money’s worth.

How to Make Yogurt Taste Good

While Greek yogurt contains a ton of nutrients that make it beneficial to one’s health, drinking it is not an easy task owing to its sour taste. On the one hand, it is right for you. On the other, its flavor is not all that appealing.

So how can you enjoy it? Here are some suggestions.

Sweet, juicy fruits

You’ll find that many people advocate for you to slice up some apples, add the pieces to the yogurt and give it a go. This method does not work, and if you are not one for sour tastes, you will not like it.

The secret lies in adding juicy fruits that are bursting with sweetness such as mangoes and oranges. If you want to add some crunch to the mix, a few nuts will do and these additives will up the nutritional profile. There are tons of juicy fruits that you can try but whatever you do, steer clear of grapefruit. Trust me on this.

Smoothies

Smoothies have a way of making things taste good. When I have trouble eating a particular veggie, I add it to my smoothie, and in one gulp, it’s over. Plus, it tastes great. Adding Greek yogurt to a fruit smoothie not only makes the mix thicker but it also ensures that you can no longer feel the sourness. Now, you can enjoy as many ounces of Greek yogurt without dreading the first taste.

Peanut Butter

Some peanut butter goes a long way in reducing the sour nature of Greek Yogurt. Add some peanut butter and mix in the yogurt before topping it all off with some honey and strawberries. The results are amazing, and you do not need to worry about piling on calories.

Benefits

We’ve been through how it gets made, how it tastes and what it comprises. At this point, you may be wondering, is Greek yogurt worth all the fuss? Well, the following benefits will help you in making up your mind in this regard:

Nutrients

A cup of Greek yogurt provides you with about 12-17.3 grams of protein, depending on the brand. Thanks to this, you do not need to take the recommended three servings of low-fat dairy products once you eat this. You should also note that if you have lactose intolerance, your body will have an easy time breaking down the sugars thanks to the bacteria in play.

You might think of protein as a means of bulking up, but that is not all that this nutrient does. It is one of the three that you require to get the energy you need to perform tasks, and it also works in transferring substances across your body such as oxygen. It also boosts your immune system and aids in fluid balance. As you age, you need more protein to maintain your muscle mass and Greek yogurt is an excellent source for this nutrient.

Greek yogurt also boasts of probiotics which decrease gut issues and boost your immune system. As a result, you become healthier, and they also help you in avoiding negative thoughts, thus making you happy.

Calcium is essential in helping your vital organs perform effectively as well as in building strong muscles. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce this nutrient and we must rely on foods for this. A serving of organic Greek yogurt provides you with 18.7% of your recommended daily calcium intake and thus helps you in maintaining your bone health. It also has lots of B12 and potassium, making it an excellent workout recovery food.

I hope that you got all your answers to the question ‘what does Greek yogurt taste like?’ and other related questions. Be sure to buy brands that use the traditional way of making this delicacy to get in on more nutritional benefits. You could also produce your own. Thank you for reading this.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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