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Asian-style yogurt new on the market

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 - 12:57 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 - 9:02 am

Greek-style yogurt has gone from being a novelty item in supermarkets to practically taking over dairy cases. In general, it contains more butterfat than regular yogurt, along with more protein. Straining the yogurt removes some of the liquid from it, so Greek yogurt is more dense and creamy than regular yogurt.

Now along comes Tarté brand Asian-style yogurt, whose manufacturer says contains twice the calcium of Greek yogurt. It’s $1.79 for a 6-ounce cup, at 120 calories. The cooking method caramelizes the milk sugars, making for a very creamy product, says the manufacturer. The yogurt is “inspired by a popular style found in Southeast Asia that is commonly sold by street vendors and coffee shops all around Vietnam,” says the website.

Our panel of tasters can attest to the smooth texture, but rated t;he five intriguing-sounding flavors somewhat unevenly. A sampling of their comments follows. Note there is no fruit in the bottom of the cup, or in an attached container; the fruit is completely blended into the yogurt. The clear favorite was the original — which contains no fruit. For more information:

1. Original flavor: “Toasty, with flavors of vanilla and caramel.” “Sweet and tart.” “Reminds me of the yogurt we had on our cruise on the Yangtze River in China.”

2. Blueberry and acai: “A bit tart, with a bitter aftertaste.” “Intense blueberry flavor.” “Could live off the original flavor, but can pass on the blueberry.”

3. Strawberry-Guanabana (a tropical fruit a.k.a. soursop): “I like the strawberry notes.” “Subtle flavors.” “A nice, tart ‘bite.’”

4. Mango and coconut: “Where’s the sweet mango? The coconut doesn’t come through, either.” “Wanted a blast, got a bust.” “Why even go with flavors when you have such an incredible original?”

5. Green tea and honey: “Very ‘tea-tasting.’” “More bitter than sweet.” “The honey notes are lovely.”

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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