Taste Test: The Best Yogurts
We taste-tested dozens of yogurts from the grocery store and online to get to the bottom of which are our favorites.
Stonyfield Farm Organic Whole Milk Plain
Stonyfield Farm started in New Hampshire with just seven cows in 1983 and has grown into one of the best-selling yogurt brands in America, with good reason: Our tasters found the whole milk plain yogurt to be just plain best -- flavorful even without added sweeteners. "It actually tastes like real yogurt, not just like sugar," one observed. "It's rich, but not potent." Across the board, tasters liked the "smooth, creamy" texture and saw "great mix-in potential." ($3.50 for 32 ounces, at most grocery stores)
Liberté Méditerranée Wild Blackberry
In the crowded arena of berry flavors, this fruiton- the-bottom version came out on top. Canadian company Liberté Méditerranée pulled off a tricky balancing act with its Wild Blackberry, adding real bits of fruit without overpowering the characteristic tang of the yogurt. Panelists also appreciated the "natural color" and "fresh-tasting berry pieces." The most ringing endorsement: "The texture's like whipped cream." ($1 for 6 ounces, liberte.qc.ca/en for stores)
BEST LOW- OR NONFAT
Brown Cow Nonfat Vanilla
Good low-fat yogurt is hard to find&mash;many of the brands we sampled were watery or tasted strongly of artificial sweeteners. Brown Cow swept this category, and with a nonfat version, no less. The nonfat vanilla yogurt is unusually rich and creamy. "Wow, that's thick," said one taster. "It tastes like real vanilla bean." Natural vanilla and real sugar give the yogurt a pleasantly sweet, but not saccharine, finish. (90 cents for 6 ounces, browncowfarm.com for stores)
Wallaby Organic Lowfat Maple
Boredom can be good. Yogurt makers have grown tired of the same old thing and are churning out all kinds of exotic flavors: ginger, grapefruit, apricot mango. Among the oddballs, Wallaby's Organic Lowfat Maple took top honors. Even though it's made in California, Wallaby calls itself "Australian-style" yogurt (hence the kangaroo on the packaging) because it's slow-cooked, as yogurt is made Down Under. The technique gives it a "supersmooth, creamy consistency" that's backed up with real maple syrup flavor. ($1 for 6 ounces, wallabyyogurt.com for stores)
BEST TAKE ON DESSERT
Woodstock Water Buffalo Vermont Cappuccino
At the Vermont-based Woodstock dairy facility, 200 water buffalo are showing cows how it's done. The yogurt from this 4-year-old company, the first water buffalo creamery in the country, is so thick and rich it looks almost like ice cream -- or, one taster observed, "like cappuccino gelato." Another said: "It's like having your after-dinner coffee and dessert in one." The texture is a result of higher fat content: 9 grams versus the typical 6 grams in most whole milk yogurt. Not to worry, though. Buffalo milk also has more calcium and protein than cows' milk. ($1.50 for 6 ounces, woodstockwaterbuffalo.com for stores)
Prices and other details we accurate when we published this article in March 2007.