A Stirring Experience

Greek Yogurt

I have many recipes that require an ingredient called "Greek Yogurt".  How is Greek Yogurt different from other types of yogurt? Is it widely available?

-- Ivonne

There are three major differences between traditional Greek Yogurt, called yiaourti in Greece, and what you find in most North American supermarkets.  Greek Yogurt may be made from sheep's or cow's milk.  It may be somewhat higher in fat content than standard yogurt.  And most importantly, it is considerably thicker.

Cuisipro Donvier Electronic
Yogurt Maker

To start with, sheep's milk has a somewhat different flavor which some describe as tangy or nutty.  Raw sheep's milk contains as much as 7% milk fat, by weight, compared to about 3.7% for cow's milk.  In production, either the milk is boiled down to reduce the water content or the yogurt is strained to remove excess moisture, resulting in a product which is the consistency of clotted cream.  The decreased water content results in a higher still percentage of milk fat, as much as 10% for the final product.  Substituting supermarket yogurt for Greek Yogurt won't work in many recipes due to the excess liquid and runnier consistency.  If you have ever had tzatziki made from regular yogurt, you probably found it thin and watery.  On the other hand, tzatziki made with Greek Yogurt is thicker and smoother.

Greek Yogurt may be found in some specialty or ethnic food stores.  The Fage brand of Greek Yogurt is available in the United States, although I have not seen it in Canada.  Some local artisanal dairies and cheese makers may even make Greek Yogurt.

If you can't find Greek Yogurt where you live, you can make an acceptable substitute by straining supermarket yogurt.  To do this, I line a large strainer with a coffee filter, set it over a bowl and dump in a container of full fat regular yogurt.  I then cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  When done, the yogurt will have reduced in volume by about half, and there will be an equal amount of slightly yellowish liquid in the bowl.  The strained yogurt, which some refer to as yogurt cheese, can now be used in cooking.  I prefer full fat yogurt for three reasons.  First the added fat will make it more tolerant to cooking.  Second, some flavors are fat soluble and therefore are better distributed in a full fat base.  And finally, the added fat improves the mouthfeel of the finished product.


Ha ha ha. A few years ago I had a dairy goat herd. Of course I made yogurt all the time, but I never knew it was, and so never called it Greek yogurt - in fact, I only just heard of it in the last month of so. I now make my yogurt with skim milk, so of course it is easily drunk. So, I add non fat non instant milk powder, no flavored knox gellitin, and a probiotic starter. This does make it considerably more lush - thick. I've rarely use it in cooking - probably because bringing the yogurt to this high heat will kill all the probiotics. I usually make 1/2 gallon at a time and make it once or twice a week. Don't mean to bore you so I'll go on for now. Thanx for listening. Marianne (PS. I use it instead of cream cheese in cheesecake and sour cream cake and no one can tell the difference.

A couple of months ago I found a great Greek yogurt at my supermarket. It's called Chobani. It is super thick & creamy. It is my new favorite, with the Fage Greek yogurt being a close second.

Good tip at the end!When you go full-fat, you not only get tolerance to cooking and better flavor, but you often get rid of many of the yucky sweeteners like aspartame that come in many diet products. Your body will better utilize health giving fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E,K. Win-Win! :)

Hi, I'd really like to know where to find organic, raw Greek yogurt. I can only find organic Greek (but lowfat) or regular fat non-organic Greek yogurt. Will it be runny if I make my own yogurt using raw milk? I've heard it will be, but I really want a source for this!

I just bought this great yogurt Greek gods Yogurt. Born and raised in greece this stuff come close to greek yogurt that my mother use to make. The texture and feeling you get in your mouth is soooo wonderful. The honey they have is great my children love it over waffles and in berry smoothys. You have to try it!!!

greek yougurt i am absolutely hooked on and according to the stats on label it has less sugar and the no fat version is wonderful. why is it just coming to whole foods now? so much better than our traditional. and i like the low sugar.

i tried this great greek style yogurt from the 3 Greek Gods its organic and taste similar to the stuff you find in greece

Dave,Thanks you so much for answering my question so thoroughly and so promptly!

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