Greek yogurt became ubiquitous virtually overnight. Between 10 and 15 years ago, seemingly everyone awakened to the product all at once, and ever since it has been stationed alongside the tubs of Dannon and Yoplait traditionally preferred by Americans, steadily growing its market share and diehard customer base.
While I personally prefer a more traditional yogurt, this week’s taste test of the best plain yogurts on the market gave me pause. There are so many Greek and European-style yogurts on the American market today that leaving them out of the equation felt wrong. They deserve their own rankings, taking into account their thicker consistency and unique flavor profile.
Here is an in-depth explanation of the different kinds of yogurts, but briefly, just so we can be judgy about them: Greek yogurt is basically strained yogurt. This is what makes it thicker, creamier, and packed with protein. Icelandic skyr is similar to Greek yogurt but tends to have even more protein, enough to fuel Viking pillages. The Bulgarian and Armenian varieties tend to be more sour, as they’re fermented longer and made with alternative bacterias and probiotics.
The yogurts that follow in these rankings reflect the variety of full-fat options I could source from local grocery stores; this is by no means an exhaustive list of available European-style yogurts. I judged these based on:
- Flavor (creamy, tangy, grassy, etc.)
- Texture (smooth vs. chunky)
- Balance (how round is the overall tasting experience?)
Here’s how they fared, from worst to best.