“Yogurt! My how I’d forgotten you even existed!” Those were the words I exclaimed to the glass refrigerator door of my local Aldi, much to the bafflement of the workers and patrons wandering about. But it was the truth. Well, the half-truth. I guess I remembered it existed not only from all the times I passed the refrigerated section in Aldi stores, as well as the few times I bought some for my wife. But outside of eating it in recipes, I haven’t had a regular cup of yogurt – either flavored or unflavored – for what very well could be years.
Seeing as how I already had to get some for my son, I decided to peruse Aldi’s selection. It almost felt like an undiscovered territory, what with the myriad of choices that were available. Fruit on the bottom? Greek yogurt? What were these varieties that didn’t seem to be around when I was a kid? (On a semi-related note, why in the hell does Aldi not carry Aussie yogurt full-time? They had one as a special buy about five years ago, and I haven’t seen one since. Now that it seems to be more popular, I’m really surprised they don’t offer it more often.)
At first, I was just going to settle for a “plain” blueberry or strawberry. That plan was derailed when our son picked out a handful of those for himself. He bought so many, I knew I’d be able to sneak one or two without him noticing. That meant the door was open for me to grab one that personally interested me more. After looking through the selection quite literally a half-dozen times, I finally settled on Aldi’s “fruit on the bottom” line. And one that really caught my eye is a fruit that you don’t see every day: black cherry.
My first impression: It kind of looks gross. I forgot that Greek yogurt has that top layer of liquid on it, which apparently is “whey” (more like “whey gross”, amirite?) Outside of that, my expectations were still pretty flat; true to its name, there were no fruit pieces to be seen. I mixed up the top layer, careful not to disrupt my prize on the bottom, and started my journey to its prized underbelly.
The yogurt itself is rich and creamy, which is probably the reason Greek yogurt has become so popular. It might be worth noting that this is plain Greek yogurt, so there’s not a lot of sweetness in the base. You get that weird sourness that’s a staple of plain yogurts in general, but quickly becomes an endearing characteristic. Like that loner kid in high school who puts in no effort, and then becomes the CEO of a Fortune 500 company; an analogy that doesn’t work at all in this instance.
Moving on to the fruit prize at the bottom: It’s delicious. I mean, it really provides that much-needed sweetness to the semi-sweet but mostly sour yogurt base. The cherry pieces are circular and fairly uniform, and are oddly way smaller than an actual cherry. It’s like dwarfism, but for fruit. Despite their small appearance, however, they do pack in quite a bit of their trademark sour-mixed-with-sweet flavor. There are cherries listed high in the ingredients list, but also natural flavors, meaning the cherries are probably mostly there for show. They are soft and slightly chewy, but once again, provide a great addition to the layer bacterially-fermented milk. (It’s amazing how many foods can be ruined when you learn the process behind making them.)
At any rate, the flavor is well above average, especially considering this is nonfat. That’s a staple of virtually all Greek yogurts, which would also be a big reason it’s become so popular. There’s enough flavor here to really give you the feeling that you’ve eaten something healthy, yet semi-indulgent; I walked away wishing I had purchased more. Value is also strong, with a single serve 5.3 ounce cup retailing for $.65. With rising costs everywhere, how can you go wrong with such an inexpensively delicious snack?
Overall: 8.5/10. This is an excellent yogurt for the price. The rich creaminess (and semi-sourness) of plain Greek yogurt combines with the sweetness of real cherries (and “natural” flavors) to form a snack that feels almost indulgent. But the best part is, it’s fat-free! There aren’t too many non-fat products that deliver this much taste, at least in my limited experience, so these are great for those watching their fat intake (which should be all of us, really). The price tag ($.65 per 5.3 oz. cup) is also a plus. I think these may find their way onto our permanent Aldi grocery list.