Ah, the quandaries of life.
Choosing between Greek and regular yogurt reminds me of the time in college when I was down to my last bowl of weed. Intent on getting high around noon so I could enjoy the afternoon walking around sunny DC, I couldn’t decide whether to smoke it before or after lunch. If I smoked it before, lunch would taste phenomenal, though the onset of blood rushing to my stomach to digest the food would undoubtedly dull the buzz. If I smoked it after, I knew from experience that I wouldn’t get as high, on account of my stomach being so full. With just one bowl to savor and maximize, what did I end up doing? I skipped lunch altogether. 😆
Thanks to these cups of Rizal Dairy Greek yogurt that Ren brought back from the Salcedo Weekend Market, I’m now faced with a similarly trivial dilemma of having to choose between regular or Greek yogurt to eat with Ren’s homemade granola. I’ve always been a fan of yogurt, enjoying it from time to time for breakfast, and I’ve been intrigued by this recent proliferation of Greek yogurt which purportedly has even greater health benefits. Excited to finally try it, I read up on the subject and conducted some very unscientific taste tests to better understand what this Greek yogurt phenomenon was all about. Here’s what I found out.
Available in regular and low-fat, we paid PHP 120 for this 350 gram cup of Greek Yogurt from Rizal Dairy Farms in Antipolo. In comparison, a 125 gram cup of store-bought Nestle yogurt retails for PHP 28. For the mathematically disinclined like me, that averages out to roughly PHP 0.34/gram for the Greek, and PHP 0.22/gram for the regular. Not exactly a negligible difference.
Significantly more expensive than regular, Greek is also less widely available, at least here in the Philippines. Unlike regular yogurt which can be bought pretty much anywhere, Greek yogurt can only be found at more artisanal-oriented food shops and venues like the Salcedo Weekend Market, Santi’s, and S&R. In terms of price and availability, regular yogurt clearly wins out.
True to what I had read online, Greek yogurt is much thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, and is tangier and less sweet. Though I always enjoy a good cup of regular yogurt, the Greek kills it for me in terms of flavor and texture, especially when paired with something sweet like granola. It’s delicious.
On a side note, I absolutely love this picture. Looking all glowing and heavenly, it makes me want to go and obliterate that last cup of Greek yogurt in the fridge, right this second. 😈
A freshly baked pan of Ren’s delicious, homemade granola.
To be honest with you, before digging in to this bowl of homemade granola with pecans, maple syrup, and Greek yogurt, I really wasn’t expecting to notice much difference. After all, yogurt is yogurt, and I don’t have the bionic palate of a chef. As it turns out, this Greek was noticeably creamier and more tart than regular, making for a more balanced, much more enjoyable bowl of granola. The combination of creamy and crunchy, sweet and tangy, was sensational. And best of all? It’s GOOD for you. 😉
Speaking of being good for you, with price and availability going to regular, and taste going to Greek, I guess the deciding factor on which yogurt reigns supreme will have to be nutritional value. To better understand the difference between the two, I hopped on Google and did some research.
As it turns out, all yogurt starts out the same, with live cultures like S. thermophilus (St) and L. bulgaricus (Lb) fermenting milk to give it its characteristic tangy taste. With Greek yogurt, the milk and culture mix goes through an additional process of straining, which removes the liquid whey part of milk along with some of the lactose sugars, salt, and water, leaving a thicker, creamier product that’s higher in protein but lower in sugar and carbohydrates. Because of this filtration process, up to four times as much milk is required to get the same amount of product as regular yogurt, hence the higher cost.
To illustrate the nutritional difference between the two, check out this comparison chart from Ace Fitness:
|Plain, non-fat, 6 oz||Greek Yogurt||Regular Yogurt|
As you can see, Greek yogurt has a significant edge in protein content, along with lower levels of sugar and salt. For the health buff, that makes it the obvious, easy choice. With that said however, regular yogurt is exceptionally healthy for you as well. Like Greek, it’s rich in calcium and low in calories, with lots of probiotics that help boost immunity and decrease the onset of gastrointestinal ailments like diarrhea and abdominal pains.
At the end of the day, both are nutritionally excellent, so unless you’re a bodybuilder looking for the highest-protein, lowest-carb foods, then the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference or budget. For me, I prefer the taste of Greek, though settling for regular would never be a buzz-kill. 😉
Rizal Dairy Farms
Though they have a stall at the Salcedo Weekend Market, their actual farm in in Antipolo, at 5 Magnolia Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Antipolo-Taytay 192.
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