Supermarket Sweets

Taste-test, Aisle 1.

Noosa Yoghurt: Australian-Style Yogurt Gets In On The Game

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

No, this isn't one of those days when I decide to pronounce everything with a British accent (though I do love those days.) Noosa Yoghurt, with an "h", is so named because it's yogurt made in the Australian style. If you're asking yourself, "What is Australian style yogurt?", don't worry, I did the same. According to Noosa's website, Australian yogurt is Greek-style yogurt that's sweetened with honey, giving it a "sweet tart tang" and "velvety texture."

Hmm. Sounds like plain old Greek yogurt to me. To complicate things, this "Aussie style" yoghurt is actually made in Colorado, making it "American style- Australian style- Greek style yogurt." Sigh. I really wasn't compelled to try yet another type of yogurt. I already eat Greek, Icelandic, Swiss, and French varieties. Occasionally I'll even buy a pathetically American "Key Lime Pie Sundae flavored low-calorie yogurt" and then hate it. As yogurt is turning into a super lucrative market, I worried that another company (or worse, a business school grad with too much start-up funding) had just bought some cows and was trying to get in on the game.

But then the positive reviews started coming in, and I got curious. The deal was clinched when I saw that Noosa sells a strawberry-rhubarb variety—it's a flavor I love and, surprisingly enough given the recent explosion of flavors in the Greek yogurt sphere (acai! mangosteen! plumberry!), I think they're the only one on the market.

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The yogurt isn't designated as low fat on the container, so I assumed that it was a full-fat variety like Fage Total. But a closer look at the packaging shows that the ingredient list names skim milk then cream, which is how other 2% yogurts are made. As a comparison, the calorie count for the Strawberry-Rhubarb Noosa is 120 calories for 4 ounces, while a Fage 2% with Cherries clocks in at 140 calories for 150 grams (5.29 ounces).

This yogurt taste full-fat, in the best way possible. Creamy and dairy rich, every bite tastes like really good, really fresh whole milk. In fact the flavor of the yogurt is so delicious that while I liked the strawberry-rhubarb layer, I almost preferred the yogurt on its own. The fruit was not too sweet and there was a definite tartness of rhubarb in some bites and mild strawberry in others. The texture of the yogurt is indeed "velvety." It's looser than Greek yogurt but not watery. It's great hybrid for people who wish there was something between Greek yogurt and old school Dannon.

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I also picked up a container of the blueberry, which, compared to the strawberry-rhubarb, is more about the fruit. I appreciated the visible bits of blueberry in the topping and its authentic berry flavor. Still, given how much I like the yogurt on its own, I found myself wishing that I hadn't already swirled it all in. Going forward, I'll seek out the Honey flavor, which I assume is their equivalent of plain.

In short, I found that I do indeed have room in my heart for more yogurt. Especially when that yogurt is totally awesome and blows so many of the new, misguided "Greek yogurts" away. Have you tried Noosa? What did you think?

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