Yes, this is about plain yogurt. I know, that sounds boring. But before you click away to read about the latest crazy new dish at Taco Bell or something, let me convince you to love this product.
Plain yogurt is an artist’s canvas, a solid base off of which to experiment. I use it as the ultimate marinade for chicken thighs, mixed with spices to tenderize the meat. I’ll eat it sweet with nuts and honey and berries or even salty and mixed into rice. It was the base of the smoothie I made that one time I worked out. Around the world, fermented milk has taken similar forms and a variety of uses, from South Asian raita to Greek tzatziki, Icelandic skyr to Turkish ayran. I always recommend buying plain yogurt and flavoring it to your taste rather than going with pre-flavored yogurts.
Admittedly, yogurt is hard to write about and rank. The differences are subtle. But don’t you want to know you’re buying the best? For this ranking, I focussed on plain “normal” yogurt—not Greek or other popular formats. I went with the full-fat options whenever possible, because if you’re not, what are you doing?
Here’s how I and my panel of taste testers judged each product:
- Flavor: How creamy, tangy, grassy, etc. is the yogurt?
- Texture: Is it smooth, thin, thick, etc.?
- Balance: How round is the overall tasting experience, and how satisfying?
Our rankings are below, from worst to best.