REVIEW: Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt and Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt and Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

Sometime between the introduction of Trix-flavored Go-Gurt and the advent of yogurt with poop-inducing bacteria, I lost all capacity to keep up with what is particularly trendy when it comes to fermented dairy. Kefir, you say? You mean that guy from 24? Call me overwhelmed, but I just don’t quite understand it all.

You know what I do understand? Pumpkin.

In donuts. In ice cream. In waffles and in cookies and, by George, this flavor actually works on a Pringle! And while I’ve yet to encounter the rumored Pumpkin Spice Burger the release of two new pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurts is enough to piqué my interest to an otherwise flabbergasting catalogue of yogurt types and flavors.

First up is Chobani, which has actually had a rough go of it in 2014. Banned by Russia for the Olympics and later accused of being Turkish, Chobani’s Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt holds the distinction of having actual pumpkin in the ingredient list, something that seemingly 90 percent of pumpkin-flavored goodies seem to be missing in what is becoming the most oversaturated single-product market since Pokémon cards.

Not to be outdone, Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake also features real pumpkin puree, in addition to the one-up mention of everyone’s other favorite cultured dairy dessert. I know what you’re thinking; cheesecake beats spice every time, right? But let’s not forget both these yogurts are of the 2 percent variety, and claim actual sugar to sweeten the deal. Pumpkin, milkfat, sugar? Seems like neither can go wrong.

Chobani Pumpkin Spice

If pumpkin spice is your deal—as in, you’re one of those people who carries around your own Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Spice canister to dump on EVERYTHING—you’re going to love the Chobani rendition. All the usual spices are present, but it’s their intensity—as if fresh grated nutmeg and ginger were added just minutes before packaging—which is most striking.

The cinnamon has a floral quality rising above cheaper imitations, and the strong ginger notes give the flavor an exotic appeal. Still, the flavor seems incomplete. There’s an absence of vanilla that would otherwise bring the flavors together, and a quiet sweetness bemoans the decision not to go with a more intense brown sugar sweetness. The texture, too, is imperfect. More jiggly than creamy, with a hint of surface water, it lacks a degree of richness which otherwise would have gone a long way to making it one of the early highlights of pumpkin season.

Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake is a different gourd, but not completely. Call it a Kabocha Squash to your typical Sugar Pumpkin, if you will. The texture is actually remarkably similar to the Chobani flavor. A bit more prone to breaking into multiple blobs of orangish yogurt, but still reacting with a jiggly effect when prodded by spoon (or finger, I don’t judge).

Yoplait Pumpkin Cheesecake

I take a bite, hoping to be greeted by a rich and creamery fresh taste not unlike that Baskin-Robbin ice cream, but instead I’m left with a somewhat artificial spice flavor and odd acidic aftertaste. It’s not altogether unenjoyable because the yogurt base is sweeter and the pumpkin flavor more intense than the Chobani yogurt, but it still leaves something to be desired. The cheesecake flavor seems more buttermilk inspired than cream cheese, but unlike the Chobani Pumpkin Spice, there’s a more familiar dessert-inspired flavor. The sweetness sure isn’t lacking, and together with a robust pumpkin flavor, it’s more versatile to use as a dip or in smoothies.

Neither Chobani’s Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice nor Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake flavors blew me away, although the freshness of the pumpkin spice flavor in the Chobani yogurt might be the most authentic rendition I’ve had to date. But the problems for both yogurts are unfortunately all too familiar for the seasonally-inspired treat. Too little brown sugar sweetness and not enough richness leave the pumpkin exposed to blandness, and despite the addition of milkfat, the texture of both yogurts doesn’t conjure up images of dessert. I may not be hip to the latest fads in yogurt, but I think it’s a safe bet to assume adding pumpkin won’t be the next big thing.

(Nutrition Facts – Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice – 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake – 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein, and 10% calcium.)

Item: Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Remarkably fresh and flavorful combination of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Contains actual pumpkin. Good source of protein and calcium. Sticking it to comrade Putin.
Cons: Not quite sweet enough to really showcase the pumpkin flavor. Lacks richness or creamy taste. Questionable country of origin.

Item: Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt
Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sweet and authentic pumpkin flavor. Has a cheesecake tang. Tastes like dessert.
Cons: Jiggles more than a fat guy’s triceps. Gloopy. Spice flavor is artificial. More calories and less protein than Chobani.

QUICK REVIEW: Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt

Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Has a sweet and pleasant vanilla mint flavor with a hint of chocolate. Its flavor reminds me of an Andes Chocolate Mint. I didn’t think it would work, but it does. Container doesn’t have that lip regular Yoplait yogurt has that makes it hard to get every bit of yogurt out. 99 percent fat free and contains live and active cultures. Much better than that dreck known as Yoplait Light Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie Yogurt.
Cons: Four ounce containers are smaller than regular Yoplait containers; it’s gone in no time. Doesn’t contain crunchy peppermint bits. Some might think it contains too much sugar. I liked them enough that I’m a little disappointed I have to wait until September-October before I can eat them again (If Yoplait decides to bring them back).

Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 15% calcium, 15% vitamin D, and 10% phosphorus.

QUICK REVIEW: Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt

Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt

Purchased Price: Free*
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Received from Yoplait
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Wonderful, sweet pineapple flavor, when I had a container with lots of pineapple chunks. No need to stir. Creamy. Surprisingly juicy pineapple chunks. Contains live and active cultures (but what yogurt doesn’t nowadays). Has 100 percent more protein than regular Yoplait yogurt. Picking the pineapple flavor because I live on a tropical island. No inward lip that makes it difficult to scrape out the yogurt like with regular Yoplait yogurt containers.
Cons: Inconsistencies with amount of pineapple chunks in containers; some had a lot and some had a little. 18 grams of sugar might be too much for some people. The pineapple provides very, very little vitamin C. Could use more calcium. Smaller containers than regular Yoplait yogurt.

Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 20% vitamin D.

*Disclosure: I received a case of Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt from Yoplait to review. I didn’t receive any money for doing a review, I only received free yogurt. The fact that I received the yogurt for free did not affect my review of it. Also, the fact that the yogurt wasn’t shipped via UPS or FedEx and I had to drive to the frickin’ airport to it pick up from the office of some shipper I’ve never heard of also did not affect my review of it.

QUICK REVIEW: Quaker Müller Früt Up Lowfat Yogurt with Fruit Mousse

Muller Frut Up Strawberry Blueberry Lemon Lowfat Yogurt with Fruit Mousse

Purchased Price: $1.00 each
Size: 5.3 oz. cup
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Splendid Strawberry)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Blueberry Bliss)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Luscious Lemon)
Pros: Fruit mousse is light and creamy. Strawberry and blueberry have authentic fruit flavor and ingredients.. Lemon is very tart – could eat a whole cup of mousse alone. Mousse and yogurt textures work well together. Mousse-to-yogurt ratio is just right.
Cons: Shape of cup can make getting mousse and yogurt in the same scoop difficult. Yogurt is bland without mousse. Blueberry mousse has a less strong flavor that makes it pedestrian with the plain yogurt. Lemon may be too tart for some.

Nutrition Facts: Splendid Strawberry – 140 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Blueberry Bliss – 140 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Luscious Lemon – 150 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 15% calcium.

REVIEW: Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt

There are so many things I don’t know. Like where Atlantis went. Or why they cancelled Legends of the Hidden Temple. Or why so many words starting with “x” sound like they should start with “z.”

It is in the fog of such mental eclipses that I become aware that I need some brain food to clear my mind. Fortunately, the folks at Ben and Jerry’s have taken heed to the call for quality brain food by expanding their line of Greek Frozen yogurt. Thus, with four bucks and a clean spoon, I set out on my Odyssey to the fluorescent depths of the freezer section, where I stared with big, lugubrious eyes at the array of compassionate new pints. Luckily, unlike Homer’s version, this Odyssey did not end in the violent murders of dozens of male courters. On the contrary: it ended in caramel. Caramel and vanilla.

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt Untouched Pint

Ah, yes, sitting there like freshly fallen snow.

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt Money Shot

And that’s the money shot, people: vanilla Greek frozen yogurt with a honey caramel swirl.

I go for the base first and it holds a vanilla yogurt tang, with the vanilla coming in as the forerunner in flavor. I’m happy to discover that any metallic artificial vanilla flavorings have been sent to the dry cleaners and then destroyed by said metaphorical dry cleaning machine. At the same time, the vanilla here comes from extract and, well, it’s just ho-hum. It’s still pretty good, but, if my old friend vanilla bean were to show up, he would be welcome.

Probiotics have always made me nervous. They sound like mutant slugs that emerged from the dank sewers and are now dragging their limp bodies through the city streets, leaving a trail of sludge behind. Where did these little bacteria come from? Where are they on the evolution scale? What do they want with my dairy products??

Well, at this moment, I don’t care as 1) I see no traces of mutant slugs in this pint and 2) I’m about 87 percent positive that those little microscopic organisms are responsible for this ever-so-slight tang that comes at the end of all the layers of sweetness in this yogurt, giving it a taste that is not unlike cannoli filling. In fact, if you put this in an ice cream cone, it’s arguable that you’ve got a pretty good 2-second cannoli-like treat in your ravenous paws.

As with most frozen yogurts, this pint gets soft quicker than the time it takes for a jackrabbit to chase down an armadillo in a canoe rowing down the Mississippi River, which, for those who may not have seen this sight [yet], would be really, really fast. I dig this consistency. Just a slight 5-10 minute defrost allows the yogurt to become as fluffy as those 125-dollar pillows. Only this is in a tub. And not made of cotton. And it tastes good, so nevermind. It’s nothing like pillows.

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt Bowl of Yumminess

Desserts with caramel tend to hold the risk of being overpowered by caramel’s strong sweetness, but this holds a pleasant light caramel flavor without becoming toffee-like or burnt. The caramel itself has a good pull and cuts like butta’, a texture which I came to appreciate as it made it a cinch to scoop lots on one’s spoon. At various points, you may found yourself hitting glorious globs of this honey caramel swirl. If you get a big enough caramel blob, you may receive the unique experience of honey oozing from the caramel’s core. This honey is of the nonaggressive variety, bringing a sugary sweetness without smacking one in the face like a field of pollen.

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt Caramel Glob

Looks like something worthy of MoMA.

Ben and Jerry’s is known for taking ice cream alchemy and transfusing it with imagination; pushing the boundaries of what we believe ice cream can be and flipping it on its dairy-filled backside; and for stuffing 473 milliliters of chocolate fish and marshmallow crème into a cardboard cylinder.

This isn’t one of those ice creams.

It is, however, a vessel of agency. This time, they’re letting we [the consumers] stuff our bowls with mix-ins to our own discretion, and, boy howdy, is this hankerin’ for some mix-ins. Perhaps some Oreo cone pieces? Or chocolate covered pretzels? Or Sriracha Potato Chips? I dunno. Go crazy. Watch the walls of this Ice Cream Coliseum crumple at your feet.

In a world of unknowns, this pint’s pretty straightforward. It’s not cutting edge or froo-froo Magoo. It’s just vanilla and honey caramel and doesn’t try to be anything greater. I like it that way. While it doesn’t wow me enough to slide out my chocolate favorites, it’s a pretty good contender if I’m looking for a honey frozen yogurt.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup [99 g] – 190 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugars, and 6 grams of protein.)

Other Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt reviews:
On Second Scoop
One Step at a Time

Item: Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Honey Caramel Greek Frozen Yogurt
Purchased Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Food Emporium
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Simple. Fluffy texture. Caramel everywhere. Nonaggressive honey. Nice balance of tang and sweetness. Good vessel for mix-ins. 2-second cannoli. Doesn’t try to be anything greater than it is. Finding a reason to use the word “lugubrious.” Jackrabbits chasing armadillos.
Cons: Melts dangerously fast. Ho-hum vanilla. No exciting mix-ins. Might be kinda boring to some. Sludge monsters. The canceling of Legends of the Hidden Temple.