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Friday, September 4, 2009

Vanilla Yoghurt Tasting


A few days ago, Peter and I did a yogurt taste testing of six varieties of vanilla yogurts. I now have a new favorite vanilla yogurt!

We rated each yogurt: Yami, Yoplait, Tillamook Vanilla Bean, Tillamook French Vanilla Bean, Darigold and Brown Cow on Texture, Taste, Style and Sustainability. Texture and taste are pretty obvious, but style referred to both the appearance of the yogurt as well as the packaging. Sustainability, for the purposes of our test, refers to how good the yogurt would be on a long term basis. In other words, is it a yogurt that is good for one bite? Or could you eat it day after day?

The number values on the chart below are a little arbitrary since I was not originally rating the yogurts on a numerical scale. Also, I had to kind of average Peter and my individual values, but it gives you a visual of our ratings I think. It was at least fun to make.

Chart made at Kids' Zone. lol.

Yami has a pleasantly rich custard-like texture. Despite its richness, it has only 3 grams of fat and has a subtle sweet vanilla flavor that does not overpower the yogurt flavor. Its color is natural looking and the packaging is cute. This was both of Peter and my favorite of the yogurts.

Yoplait was a fail. I have tried Yoplait's fruit flavored yogurts and thought they were okay, but the vanilla was just terrible. The consistency was gloopy and syrupy. Its flavor was "barely identifiable as yogurt." Too sweet and artificial tasting. I'm not a fan of Yoplait's "confusing" choice of shape for their containers. It is eco-unfriendly as animals can get their heads stuck inside the containers and starve/thirst to death. Additionally, "wide spoons don't fit."

Tillamook Vanilla Bean, originally my favorite vanilla flavored yogurt had a thick and smooth texture though not custardy. The flavor was very sweet and almost too good as in I imagine kids would love this yogurt. Its appearance was a nice white color with specks of vanilla beans. The classic Tillamook packaging made this yogurt approachable. "Oddly more sustainable than Yoplait, but more cloying."

Tillamook French Vanilla Bean. What is the difference between regular and French vanilla? After trying this yogurt I'm still not sure. The flavor was similar, but with a hint of alcohol like rum. It's a bit thicker than the regular TVB and has a nice finish. The crunch of the vanilla bean specks is noticeable in this yogurt. The appearance was darker and somehow more artificial looking.

Darigold was weird. My notes on its texture were gelatinous? watery? There was not a lot of vanilla flavor in this yogurt, so the yogurtiness really came through. To me it tasted too plain and had a bitter finish. The weird consistency lent itself to a cum-like appearance and there's a really ugly picture of a vanilla flower on the container.


Brown Cow (pictured above) rated surprisingly high considering its texture. In Peter's words, "Something is wrong here. It makes no sense, slightly lumpy, cum-like maybe." I described it as being like watered down spackle or glue. Despite it's ridiculously high viscosity, it had a pleasantly mild taste. "Tastes roughly like you'd imagine cooled, watered and ground gypsum would taste." (That's what Peter said, I don't even know what gypsum is.) Anyway, due to the "nasty" tastelessness of this yogurt, we both decided it was a yogurt we could eat frequently and therefore rated it high in the category of sustainability.

Overall, I'd rank the yogurts from best to worst:
1. Yami
2. Tillamook French Vanilla Bean
3. Brown Cow
4. Tillamook Vanilla Bean
5. Darigold
6. Yoplait

Peter's overall rankings were:
1. Yami
2. Darigold
3. Tillamook French Vanilla Bean
4. Brown Cow
5. Tillamook Vanilla Bean
6. Yoplait

*quoted phrases are Peter's words.


Blueberry Shoes said...

this is hilarious and helpful all at the same time. THANKS!!! i gotta try that yami stuff!

Stephanie said...

Yoplait is pretty yuck. I prefer real yogurt flavored yogurt :D Nice bar graph.

ScoMan said...

I love the graph. A good graph is a wonderful thing.
I've only recently jumped back on the yoghurt bandwagon (like two weeks ago, and I forget what made me jump), but so far only got as far as strawberry.
I've never enjoyed vanilla yoghurt, but then I've only ever had Yoplait vanilla, so now you've got me wondering maybe I should give vanilla another shot.. just not Yoplait.

MmmFood said...

The difference between regular vanilla and French vanilla is the addition of egg. French vanilla has egg - it is more of an egg custard than a cream product. I assume your French vanilla yogurt had egg in it - and if not, then at least egg flavoring. Egg would also contribute to the darker color.

Anonymous said...

Try Organics (you can only get it at Safeway) is my fav yogurt (Peach flavor though). Also, I like Activia! Try? -Yujin

Sarahahaha said...

blueberry shoes- yami is delish! you really should try it.

stephanie - yeah, more like yuckplait. lol

scoman - see my response to stephanie above.

mandi - thanks for the info! i've always wondered.

yujin - i've never tried it, but i think i will. does the fruit yogurt have chunks in it? i prefer yogurt nice and smooth without the fruit chunks.

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