Perusing the dairy aisle for yogurt at the grocery store used to be simple. There would be just a shelf or two, with a couple brands of plain, vanilla, and maybe fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. Really, the biggest decision you had to make was the flavor. Nowadays, there's even more to consider — including which country influenced the style of the yogurt.
Beyond traditional thin yogurt, extra-thick yogurts have been — and continue to be — all the rage on the shelves. Greek, Icelandic, and Australian are three of these varieties, and while they may all appear to be the same, they are actually quite different. Here are the simple facts to help make shopping for yogurt easier.
This style of yogurt is arguably what started the whole thick-and-creamy yogurt trend. The brand Fage introduced their yogurt in the late 90s and by the early 2000s it was all the rage. Soon competitors like Chobani and Oikos began popping up and lining shelves. Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove the liquid whey. Because of this, the result has double the amount of protein as regular yogurt. Although traditionally Greek yogurt is made only with full-fat milk, you'll find everything from full-fat to nonfat choices available. It's the most tart and tangy of the three, making it a great choice for savory uses as well as simply enjoying it with fruit and granola in the morning.
Also know as skyr, this yogurt from the Nordic island is giving Greek a run for its money. It's actually made the same way as Greek yogurt, but it's strained just a bit more to result in a seriously stick-to-your-spoon product that has even more protein. It's traditionally made with nonfat yogurt, but popular brands like Siggi's and Smári often add a bit of whole milk or even cream to give it richness. Overall, it's less tart and more decadent than Greek yogurt.
Unlike Greek and Icelandic yogurt, Australian yogurt is unstrained. It's still a bit richer and creamier than traditional yogurt, but the reason for that varies by brand. The popular brand Noosa uses only whole milk to achieve this, while Wallaby uses nonfat milk, but cooks it slower and longer than traditional yogurt to achieve that extra creaminess. Noosa also sweetens their yogurt with honey to give it a unique flavor.