Test Kitchen tips: 'Homemade' Greek-style yogurt
Think insanely popular foods right now, and Greek yogurt is sure to be at the top of the list. According to a recent article by Times staff writer Tiffany Hsu, "In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have boomed more than 100%, while non-Greek yogurt has crept along at single-digit speeds, according to consumer data tracker Nielsen." You know you're popular when even Ben & Jerry's jumps on the bandwagon: According to the story, the company debuted four flavors of frozen Greek yogurt just last month (Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla Graham, in case you were wondering).
And although it has that great tang you find with standard yogurt, what sets Greek yogurt apart is its wonderfully rich texture, which is noticeably thicker than most of the other yogurts you'll find at the market. Greek-style yogurts (like other yogurt products such as labneh and yogurt cheese), are strained of excess liquid (whey) to give them that signature consistency.
Strained yogurts are easy to make at home. Simply spoon the yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl (you can also use a coffee filter or linen dish towel). Set the strainer-and-bowl in the fridge for a few hours until you get the consistency you want, keeping in mind that you may lose up to half of the volume of yogurt you started with (ever wonder why Greek yogurt is more expensive?). After straining, it's ready to use. Voila.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Buckwheat blini with Greek yogurt and strawberries. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times; Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times