When I think of potential names for artisanal, fancy-pants yogurt from Europe, I tend to think along the lines of classical homages to the aesthetic height of the Greek and Roman Republics. At least that’s what I imagine all those Voskos, Oikos and Fage brand represent. That, or some kind of pathetic European attempt to get a laugh out of my unrefined American accent.
The last name I’d expect from a fancy-pants European import brand of yogurt would be “Müller,” which mostly just sounds like the name I’d give a German Shepard or the big Nazi guy Indiana Jones beats the snot out of in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
These preconceived and potentially disastrous connotations notwithstanding, I tried to keep an open mind when sampling the new Müller “Corner” yogurts, which have invaded the Northeast United States with the kind of cross-continental fury not scene since the Soviets overtook us in the 1980s (and soon to be remade) cult classic, Red Dawn.
Thankfully, Müller isn’t coming to invade our high school footballs fields and disrupt our way of life. That is, unless eating candy within your yogurt is considered a threat to the American way of life, in which case you’re screwed. Sorry about that. As for the rest of us, the flavors of candy and crunchy mix-ins for Müller’s lowfat and Greek “Corner” varieties are pretty intriguing, especially if you’re looking for something different from granola or Oreos crumbs. I picked up three of these — including one Greek flavor — to try out.
Choco Balls comes with lowfat vanilla yogurt with a side of chocolate covered crispy rice. Right off the bat, I’m not impressed with the title. Maybe it’s that eighth grade sense of humor that never quite left me, but I tend to laugh when saying “balls.” Anyhoo, the balls clearly are quite small, dwarfed by the impressive artwork seen on the package. They have a nice crisp texture though, like little morsels of Nestle Crunch covered in an M&M coating. I liked them, but thought they were better off without the yogurt, which basically tasted like every overly sweet vanilla yogurt I’ve ever had. I would have liked a more assertive crunch and chocolate flavor to have countered the yogurt, and perhaps something a little less sugary. Mind you, this is coming from the guy who finds Froot Loops to be a bit sour.
Choco Flakes didn’t make me giggle like Choco Balls, but it did satisfy my appetite more than the latter. Featuring chocolate covered corn flakes, the flavor mix-in is everything Cocoa Krispies aspires to be. The chocolate coating is surprisingly rich and bittersweet, creating a wonderful contrast to the crispy flake underneath.
The downside is, again, the yogurt itself. It tastes far too sweet and doesn’t do anything to convince me that German cows are some how superior to our own (never minding the fact that Müller yogurt is produced in Batavia, New York.)
MY favorite of the three flavors I sampled was the Greek Corner with Caramelized Almonds. The almonds are just the right size, with a crunchy balance of sweet and buttery almond flavor to compliment the yogurt. Because the yogurt is plain flavored Greek yogurt the combination wasn’t as cloying as the regular yogurt flavors I tried, but was familiar enough in the contrast of textures and flavor that it more than hit the spot. With 13 grams of protein it actually even felt kind of healthy.
My biggest gripe with the Müller yogurt is the size and price. No doubt some of the flavor mix ins are good, but retailing for $1.25 each at my local Safeway, they’re a few coins more than the familiar YoCrunch yogurts featuring M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Oreos. Likewise, YoCrunch yogurts don’t come with the eerie looking Quaker man, who thanks to his new brand of yogurt, should probably be referred to as Mr. Müller. My suggestions? If you’re looking for a little bit of a different twist to your regular yogurt excursion and don’t mind something more than a little sweet, go to town on these. Despite the name, they’re not bad at all.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 container – Choco Balls – 210 calories, 25 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein, and 20% calcium. Choco Flakes – 220 calories, 25 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, and 20% calcium. Greek with Caramelized Almonds – 220 calories, 35 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, and 20% calcium.)
Item: Quaker Müller Corner Yogurt (Choco Balls and Choco Flakes) and Quaker Müller Greek Corner Yogurt (Caramelized Almonds)
Purchased Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 1 container/ 150 grams
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Lowfat with Choco Balls)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Lowfat with Choco Flakes)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Greek with Caramelized Almonds)
Pros: Real chocolate covered corn flakes. Creamy yogurt. Eating candy in my yogurt. Caramelized almonds have great crunch and buttery sweetness. Red Dawn references.
Cons: Lowfat yogurt is too sweet. Choco Balls would be better if each ball was chocolate. A bit pricey and small. Buying yogurt from Mr. Müller the creepy Quaker guy.