My devotion to Greek yogurt is a little absurd; hardly a day goes by that I don't have at least one little tub of the stuff. (Erin and I once went shopping at Wegman's in New Jersey—a load-up-the-cart opportunity when you live in New York—and she was pretty shocked by the amount of on-sale Fage I rang up.) And while I've long been a Fage loyalist, I'm down with Chobani, too. In recent years, I've seen them spread further and further across the grocery aisle. Blueberry, strawberry, sure; but then pomegranate and passionfruit, and whoa, blood orange?
With a whopping 21 Chobani variations now on the shelves, we took it upon ourselves to try every one of them. Our favorites, least favorites, and thoughts on whether chocolate chips ever belong in yogurt lie below.
The 0% Flavors
There are an awful lot more 0% flavors than 2% ones, which is a bit of a shame. Like most Greek yogurts, the low-fat version is substantially better than the nonfat—rich and creamy as opposed to the slightly thinner, slightly gritty fat-free. On my off-hours, 2% plain is definitely my Chobani of choice.
But the better 0% do an awful lot to make that plain yogurt interesting. Honey and Vanilla have long been my favorites, as they flavor the yogurt itself (rather than the fruit-on-the-bottom method of all their other flavors); the honey, in particular, has a distinct floral note (and clover honey in the ingredient list) and not just the generic sweetness of plenty of honey-flavored things.
Chobani does the berry flavors well, particularly Blueberry, with sizable whole berries rather than just a super-sweet blueberry goo.Raspberry usually plays well with others, not getting too sweet like strawberry and not generally too syrupy or fake-tasting; that is to say, I've had plenty of raspberry yogurt that tastes like good raspberries, but much less strawberry yogurt that tastes like good strawberries. Chobani's Strawberry is a little bit jammy, a cooked strawberry taste rather than a fresh one, but the flavor works fine once blended in. The Peach did have a bit of that unmistakable peaches-in-syrup taste, but it wasn't nearly as oversweet as many of that genre are.
As a fan of tart yogurt I felt sure I'd appreciate the Lemon, but it had an unfortunate sort of astringent aftertaste, a little more "lemon flavoring" than something really involving lemon. I much preferred the Blood Orange, whose flavor didn't necessarily scream blood orange rather than orange, but worked itself into the yogurt much more smoothly. (Pro tip: these fruit-on-the-bottoms require a lot of stirring, lest you end up with watery fruit leavings on the bottom.)
Of the slightly less predictable flavors, the Black Cherry and Pomegranate are the clear winners. Both contain more real fruit than fruit goo, and the sweet-tart flavors integrate well into the yogurt. Neither is too watery, either; the wetter fruit stir-ins had a way of turning the whole pot a little wet and wimpy in a very unappealing way.
We'd eat most of the above flavors again, but the Apple Cinnamon, not so much. It had the washed-out taste and watery texture of some jarred applesauces, and even when fully stirred into the yogurt, had a mealiness that was hard to ignore.
The 2% Flavors
I find the noticeably richer, creamier 2% yogurt a much better base for the fruit flavors, and some of these were excellent. Passionfruit is pretty irresistible, largely because there's so much real passionfruit purée in the bottom, and there's something pretty decadent about a little tub of passionfruit in the morning, large black seeds and all. The Mango was a close second, decent-sized chunks suspended in the thick yogurt, a great flavor combination reminiscent of a mango lassi.
Strawberry banana balances those two flavors well, and the stirred-together yogurt holds together better than the slightly watery strawberry. And the Pineapple isn't too Dole-can sugared up, even if it of course doesn't have the sharp, nectarlike sweetness of a good fresh pineapple.
Chobani's yogurt-for-kids line, in smaller pots and in generally sweeter flavors. The Verryberry is rich-tasting and genuinely creamy; as is true of several of the others, it's not all that sweet on first taste but you realize it's pretty sweet by the time you're done with a whole one. The Orange Vanilla strikingly resembles a Creamsicle, but just a little bit more acidic; the Honey-nana combines two flavors that work well together, and doesn't have the awful fake banana flavor of so many banana-"flavored" products.
My least favorite was actually the much sweeter Chocolate Chunk. It's a sweet vanilla yogurt with chocolate shards in a way that's a little weird with the concurrent tanginess—it tastes too sweet to be Greek yogurt but then, yep, there it is. It's not at all bad, but if you're trying to get your kid to eat yogurt to be healthy, stuffing it full of chocolate seems a little weird...
Any Chobani Lovers Out There?
In the end, I'm a fan of the raspberry, honey, and pomegranate 0%; the mango and passionfruit 2%; and the Honey-nana "Champions." Any Chobani lovers out there? What are your favorite flavors?
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