Have you noticed a new trend in gourmet yogurts? We’ve been seeing a spate of creamy, delicious yogurts made from water buffalo, goat and sheep milks. Most of these yogurts are made with whole milk, so they’re often higher in fat (4 to 17 grams with saturated fat between 2 and 11 grams per serving). Though some of these milks have slightly lower lactose contents than cow milk, many lactose-intolerant folk can eat limited amounts of any yogurt since the live and active cultures in yogurt also use up lactose and produce some of the lactose-digesting enzyme —lactase—required for digestion.
Water Buffalo Yogurt
If you want to explore the farm but don’t want to venture too far into the barnyard, start with mild-flavored water buffalo yogurt. More like mascarpone or fresh ricotta, it’s perfect for dessert. We devoured flavors from Woodstock Water Buffalo Company like Chai, Vanilla, Blueberry (a Test Kitchen favorite) and Vermont Strawberry. They also make a plain low-fat yogurt.
Woodstock Water Buffalo Company Plain $1.49/ 6-ounce cup • Per 6 ounces: 150 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated), 3 g sugar, 6 g protein • woodstockwaterbuffalo.com
If you’re a fan of goat cheese, give goat yogurt a try. Unflavored versions can be a tad overpowering, but flavored yogurts are better-balanced. We liked Liberté best, especially in honey and vanilla. Redwood Hill Farm’s yogurt was a bit “goatier” and we thought the strawberry and blueberry had nicely balanced flavors.
Redwood Hill Plain $1.99/8-ounce cup • Per 8 ounces: 130 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 4 g sugar, 8 g protein • redwoodhill.com
Liberté Plain $2.99/16-ounce container • Per 6 ounces: 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 4 g sugar, 14 g protein • liberte.qc.ca/en/
Sheep yogurt is tangy and grassy like sheep-milk cheese. Willow Hill Farm and Fage (which blends sheep and goat milks) both make crème fraîche-like plain yogurt. Old Chatham Sheepherding Company makes lovely flavors like maple, flavored with pure maple syrup, and ginger, with chunks of crystallized ginger.
Willow Hill Farm Plain $3.99/16-ounce container • Per 8 ounces: 260 calories, 16 g fat (11 g saturated), 13 g sugar, 15 g protein • sheepcheese.com
Old Chatham Sheepherding Plain $2.19/6-ounce container • Per 6 ounces: 140 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 3 g sugar, 10 g protein • blacksheepcheese.com
Fage Plain $1.89/7-ounce container • Per 7 ounces: 190 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated), 10 g sugar, 10 g protein • fageusa.com