When Brittany Packham first tried Greek yogurt back in May, she was skeptical. After all, her mom had bought some and didn’t like it.
But Packham did.
“I like it better than regular yogurt,” the Twin Falls 18-year-old said. “I use it to make smoothies or buy it plain and put fruits and oats with it.”
Chobani, a New York-based manufacturer of Greek yogurt, last week said it is looking at Twin Falls — among a handful of other cities in Idaho and Nevada — as a possible site to build a production plant near the West Coast. So we talked with Magic Valley folks who are fans of Greek yogurt. Some of their reasons: It has more protein than regular yogurt, it’s thicker, and it has a different texture.
Twin Falls resident Brittnee Horting, who has three children ages 1-4, said she feels more comfortable giving it to her family because is has less sugar than ordinary yogurt varieties.
One of her favorites: plain Greek yogurt mixed with molasses.
“I don’t buy regular yogurt anymore,” she said.
Greek yogurt, much like regular yogurt, is made from milk that’s fermented with live bacterial cultures. But Greek yogurt then is strained to remove the whey, boosting its thickness.
Its texture is why some people, like Packham’s mom, don’t like it. Packham, on the other hand, says thick Greek yogurt is more filling than other yogurts. She eats it two or three times a week — for breakfast, as a snack and in her homemade smoothies.
Packham, who stocks shelves at Fred Meyer in Twin Falls, said Greek yogurt often sells better at the store than regular yogurt, perhaps because of added health benefits.
“In many ways, Greek yogurt looks like the ideal health food,” the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2010. “Greek yogurt’s protein content makes it a boon to vegetarians as well as dieters in search of satiating foods.”
“Yogurt promotes intestinal and vaginal health, improves lactose intolerance, builds stronger bones, enhances immunity, lowers blood pressure, and may even have anticancer and weight-loss effects,” reads an article on Health.com, noting that Greek yogurt increases these health benefits.
GreekYogurtWorld.com contends that Greek yogurt is the best yogurt for those aspiring to lose weight, and it’s rich in calcium, thiamine, potassium and other minerals for the development and strengthening of bones and muscle.
A number of yogurt manufacturers today make Greek yogurt, including Chobani, Dannon and Yoplait. Even Fred Meyer has a store-brand variety.
Aaron Adams, owner of High Country Bakehouse in Twin Falls, first learned about Greek yogurt a year ago from television cooking shows. He doesn’t use sour cream anymore, instead replacing it with plain Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt comes in a variety of flavors, including honey. Adams buys his plain and, for a snack, adds brown sugar and blueberries.
“Man, that stuff is good,” he said. “It’s like ice cream.”