All things considered, I fancy myself as a fairly simple individual. I wear jeans and a T-shirt on most days, bring my own brown bag lunch to work, and am as happy as a peach just sitting around and watching football on a Saturday night.
Given that I count Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man in my Top 25 songs of all-time, you might even find my picture next to “Simple” in your dictionary at some point in the near future.
You know what’s not simple, though? Yogurt. I mean, there are a gazillion yogurt companies, each of which produces a gazillion varieties and flavors.
You’ve got your Light yogurt for the calorie counters. Then there’s your Original for the no-fussers. There’s the Lactose Free for those who “don’t do” milk, Greek yogurt for the those who couldn’t spend that summer “discovering themselves” in Europe, and Whips yogurt for those who’d rather just have mousse. There’s Go-Gurt for those of us still living out BMX dreams from the 90s, Light yogurt with Fiber for those who need help pooping and want to lose weight, and Trix Yogurt for kids, or just people who want to try to feed their bunnies dairy.
And now, there’s Yoplait Simplait Yogurt.
Psh. Like a silent “T” can ever be simple.
Yoplait Simplait Strawberry Yogurt has only six ingredients — cultured pasteurized Grade A milk, strawberries, sugar, corn starch, vegetable juice (for color), and natural flavor. I could’ve taken the simple route and picked up only the Simplait Yogurt to review, but I decided to complicate things, and possibly hurt my chances of seeing my mug in the dictionary, by comparing it with the Yoplait Original and Light versions to see if there was any difference.
Long story short, there was. As soon as I busted the caps tops of the Light, Original, and Simplait varieties of strawberry yogurt I bought, I immediately noticed contrasting consistencies. A small amount of water appeared to have risen to the top of the whole milk Yoplait yogurt, but otherwise it was thick and creamy, rising off my spoon with an almost frozen yogurt like consistency. The Original version appeared, to borrow from my extensive vocabulary, to hold a shape somewhere between gloopy and watery, owning a consistency similar to the thin slime Nickelodeon used to shoot at people during Figure it Out. As for the Light version, it’s more on the watery side.
The Simplait didn’t just put the other versions of Yoplait’s Strawberry yogurt to shame in terms of its creaminess, it also tasted much better. The sweetness is mild and milky, reminding me of fresh ice cream, where the Original’s sweetness is over-the-top and cloying while the Light’s version is artificial and tastes strongly of strawberry cough medicine. Both the Simplait and Original have solid strawberry flavors, but the real bits of tart strawberry seeds seem to taste truer with the added richness of full fat yogurt, as opposed to the more gel-like Strawberry puree that comes across as a little too processed in the Original.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m surprised – very surprised – by how much I ended up preferring the Simplait yogurt. It has a thick and creamy consistency equal to that of most Greek yogurts at a fraction of the price, while also owning a rich flavor that features unencumbered fruit flavor and even a little texture. True, it’s double the calories of light yogurt and has a few grams more saturated fat than the Original variety, but it’s a small price to pay for a simpler, and much more pleasing, final product. Heck, it might even compete with my picture for that future spot next to “Simple” in the dictionary.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 container – 200 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 20% calcium.)
Item: Yoplait Simplait Strawberry Yogurt
Purchased Price: 50 cents (on sale)
Size: 6 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Thick and creamy texture that puts non-Greek yogurts to shame. Milky richness that adds balance to mildly sweet strawberry flavor. Real chunks of berries. Costs just as much as yogurts filled with crap. Doesn’t taste like cough syrup.
Cons: More calories and fat than any light or nonfat yogurt. Strawberry flavor comes across as muted to those used to a diet of Coke Zero and Cap’n Crunch (guilty as charged). Losing my claim to a dictionary entry to a damn container of yogurt. Excessive female oriented marketing.