“ Brand: Fage / Type: Yoghurts „
I love natural yoghurt of all kinds at long as it's full fat. I really don't like either the texture or the taste of low fat. It means this is going to be a rather unhealthy review because I'm only reviewing the 10% fat Fage Total Greek strained yoghurt as it's the only one I use.
Although this is a Greek yoghurt, it is made from cow's milk. This means it's more acceptable for the British palate than the distinctive sour taste associated with much Greek yoghurt, which is made from sheep's milk. All my family are happy to eat this 'as is' whereas in Greece we usually have to add loads of honey to make it palatable for the youngsters. It has a very clean taste with a pleasant texture that isn't too cloying.
In addition to all their other ranges, Fage do four different sorts of strained natural yoghurt - the original which has 10% fat and three that have lower fat; one with 2%, one with 0% and a 2% with honey.
According to the company's website, they were the first successfully to launch a strained yoghurt in Europe back in the early 1980s. 'Strained' means that, as part of the production process, they remove the whey from the milk and it's a traditional method of making yoghurt in the Middle East.
Despite that, when you first open the pack, or if you've left it sitting for a while, you will find a little whey on top. Depending on the consistency you want from the yoghurt, you can either stir this back in or drain it off.
So how can you use it?
You can include it in any recipe that requires natural yoghurt but there are some where it is particularly suitable. It's a good choice if you're adding yoghurt to hot dishes, for example, because it doesn't separate (I'm told it's because of the high fat content). It's also particularly suitable for dishes such as raita or tsatsiki where the quality and taste of the yoghurt is important.
And of course for a quick dessert, simply wash and cut some seedless grapes in half and mix in with the yoghurt then drizzle over some honey or maple syrup. Or, if you've thought ahead, rehydrate a mix of dried fruit, such as apricots and mango, in some orange juice for a few hours and enjoy with the yoghurt slightly sweetened with honey.
Even though this has a high fat content, it's still lower than double cream, which has 48% fat. So it makes a good accompaniment to desserts where you might otherwise have had cream.
As far as price is concerned, when I last checked, Asda were selling for £2.07 for the 500gm pot and Sainsbury for £2.09
Greek yoghurt can be a bit of a refined taste - I used to dislike it when I was younger, and if I did eat it, I would always mix it with copious amounts of honey or jam in order to mask the flavour. Nowadays I really like the stuff (in moderation), and enjoy eating it on its own without the need of any supplementary sweeteners.
Form a medical perspective, Greek Yoghurt is generally good for you, and naturally contains pre-biotics which promote inner gut health. It has also been shown to keep your gums healthy due to its high levels of lactic acids - so go and eat some!
My favourite brand of Greek Yoghurt is Fage's 'Total' which can be purchased for £2.09 for the 500g tub. The container is made from a thin white plastic, and features a see through lid. On opening for the first time, you must remember to remove the thin paper strip which sits on top of the yoghurt or you'll be in for a nasty surprise when you accidentally eat it!
In terms of the company's history, Fage is one of the worlds best known Greek yoghurt manufacturers, and has been in production since 1926. In 1975, Fage changed the standardisation process on its yoghurts, making them have better consistency of taste, and longer shelf lives.
Appearance & Taste
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The consistency of the yoghurt is lovely and thick, and has an incredibly smooth flavour in the mouth. Of course, like all Greek yoghurts, water builds up on the surface when you leave it in the fridge, but this just needs to be tipped off, and doesn't affect the flavour. The taste is nice and rich without being having the sour aftertaste which many cheaper Greek yoghurts have, and there is a freshness to the flavour which makes it very moreish.
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In my modest opinion, Total Greek yoghurt is by far the best brand of the love-it-or-hate-it white stuff. It may be the fact that I am so used to eating the Fage brand, but whenever I try a Greek yoghurt made by another company, it just doesn't taste right. The smooth taste combined with the reasonable price makes for a yoghurt which I would highly recommend.
Oh, and if you're interested... 65 calories per 50g serving.