International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

A Great Yogurt for Recipes

Container of Fage yogurt

There are a lot of yogurts out there on the market. Quality plain yogurt should be just milk, live cultures and perhaps a pinch of salt. But so many brands out there have additives, stabilizers like gelatin and carageenan, or preservatives. Others are so spiked with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup that they have more carbs than a can of soda. I found a yogurt with none of that, but one that has all the thick, creamy texture of a great Greek yogurt.

Fage (pronounced FAH-yeh) is a Greek yogurt made with special cultures and drained to form a thick yogurt in the style favored in Greece and throughout the Middle East. The first time I tried it, I was blown away. I bought a container of their plain 2%, and the first spoonful was a revelation. It had a rich, creamy texture with none of the annoying tang of lower quality products. The flavor was almost nutty. It was so good that I ate it plain — no fruit, honey, granola or anything else.

[NOTE: No, I have no affiliation with Fage, nor are they paying me in money, yogurt or fame. I just like their stuff!]

One of the nice qualities of Greek-style yogurt is that it is ideal for cooking since it won't separate at high heat. I use it as a substitute for cream, mayonnaise and sour cream in recipes. It's great flavored with dill, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and stirred into hot cooked pasta. Add some chopped smoked salmon for a quick, easy and healthy gourmet meal.

When I feel like making my own yogurt, I use a big spoonful of Fage as a starter. [Yogurt Recipe ] After the yogurt has fermented and thickened overnight, I pour it into a large funnel lined with a coffee filter, set it over a large bowl and let it drain for a few hours in the refrigerator. Wham! You have homemade Greek-style yogurt.

The people at Fage sell their yogurt with four levels of butterfat: classic (whole milk), 5%, 2% and 0%. Aside from plain yogurt, Fage also sells yogurt with fruit and a honey-sweetened version. Here's a video they have showing how they make their yogurt.

So I guess I'm what marketing people call an evangelist for Fage. I don't mind. I like their stuff, I want to tell others about it, and I hope they succeed!

Some Yogurt Recipes:

  • Iab (Ethiopian fresh cheese)
  • Lassi (Indian yogurt drink)
  • Raita (Indian yogurt side dish)
  • Tandoori Murgh (Indian yogurt-marinated and broiled chicken)
  • Tzatziki (Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce)