11 Varieties of Yoghurt in German Supermarkets-Explained
Like many other products, yoghurt too comes in wide varieties. Multiple brands, different variants based on flavour, fat content, country of origin etc., can sometimes confuse the consumer about what product to choose. I have already written about many other products in German supermarkets, which my readers can check here.
Today, I am writing about Yoghurt– a commonly available dairy product in German supermarkets. Before I get into the product details, let me first answer a few fundamental questions:
- What is Yoghurt?
In simple terms, yoghurt is a dairy product made by the bacterial fermentation of milk.
- How is Yoghurt made?
Raw milk is pasteurized and homogenized ( Learn more about pasteurization and homogenization in my article about Milk OR in my article about Ghee). This milk is then cooled. Then two fermentation cultures are added to it. These cultures consist of two lactic acid bacteria: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. For simplicity sake, let us call them Culture 1 and Culture 2, respectively. The milk is then rested for a couple of hours. The fermented product then obtained is called yoghurt.
- What is the difference between Yoghurt and Curd?
The main difference is that one fermentation culture is used in curd, whereas in yoghurt, two are used. We can make curd at home by adding old curd culture/lemon juice to boiled and cooled milk. To make yoghurt at home, you need specific yoghurt cultures, which you can buy ( available on Amazon) and make yoghurt at home. Alternatively, you can use Bulgarian yoghurt ( called bulgarischerjoghurt in German) to make yoghurt at home. More about Bulgarian yoghurt is shared below.
Now let us discuss the different products available in supermarkets:
Please note that the pictures in this article are only for reference and have been picked from the internet. They are not product/brand recommendations.
Different yoghurt varieties in German Supermarkets:
- Yoghurt based on fat content:
You might have noticed yoghurt with 1.5% Fett, 3.5% Fett, 0.3% Fett, etc., on yoghurt tubs. They mean the fat content in yoghurt. They are obtained by using full-fat milk, low-fat or fat-free milk. Milk is first treated, i,e fats are removed/added, and then the milk is cooled. Then fermentation cultures are added.
Sahne/Rahm in German translates to Cream. Milk and cream are combined and then fermented. This product contains 10% Fat, is more creamy and has a richer taste.
- Joghurt Natur:
In this yoghurt, in addition to milk, milk powder is added. Milk powder is added to increase the thickness of the yoghurt and give it firmer consistency. Usually,’ Milk Powder’ ( Milch Pulver in German) is not written in the ingredient list because milk powder is a milk component. However, adding milk powder increases the lactose content of the yoghurt and hence may not be suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
- Joghurt Mild:
Mild in German means mild in English. As the name says, this yoghurt is mild in taste. As explained in the yoghurt-making process above, two yoghurt cultures are commonly added in standard yoghurt production. Culture 2 is responsible for giving a sour taste to yoghurts. Therefore, to obtain a mild flavour, Culture 2 is not added in the production of mild yoghurt. Instead, lactobacilli are added, which gives it a mild taste.
- Joghurt Pur:
Pur in German translates to Pure in English. This word, Pur, is not legally regulated and can be understood as simply yoghurt. It can also be understood as yoghurt without any extra ingredients. But many brands sell Joghurt Pur with additional fruits/chocolate flavour etc. So, the word Pur can be considered a marketing term and nothing more.
In the normal yoghurt-making process, milk is fermented in big tanks. When yoghurt is formed, it is stirred and transferred to yoghurt tubs. However, to make stichfestjoghurt, milk is transferred to tubs, then culture is added, and the conversion to yoghurt happens in those small tubs. The same tubs are then cooled and sent to supermarkets. So, you will observe that this yoghurt seems more ‘set’ and firm than regular yoghurt.
Frucht translates to Fruit. After the milk is fermented and yoghurt is formed, different fruits, sugars and flavours are added. These come in wide varieties like strawberry/blueberry/ honey etc.
Griechischerjoghurt means Greek Yoghurt. This is a firm and creamy yoghurt. You might have noticed that when you make curd or yoghurt at home, sometimes it contains a little water content after fermentation. This is called whey. In greek yoghurt, this whey is removed, and what is left is thick, creamy yoghurt. That is why greek yoghurt is also called strained yoghurt. It is high in protein as well as fat. It is also more expensive than ‘normal’ yoghurt because more milk is needed in its production.
Skyr is Icelandic yoghurt and also comes under the category of strained yoghurts. This yoghurt is also thick and creamy, like greek yoghurt. It is low in fat and high in protein. This is an excellent product to include in your diet if you want to increase your protein intake without consuming excess fat.
This yoghurt recipe is from Bulgaria. Unlike Greek and Icelandic yoghurts, this yoghurt is unstrained. It is made by fermentation of milk using Culture 1 and Culture 2. It’s made with whole milk, is slightly sour and has more probiotics than any other yoghurt. Bulgaria is said to be the country where yoghurt was invented. If you observe, the name of Culture 2 contains its name. As mentioned above, if you want to make yoghurt at home, you can use this yoghurt as the culture. You can get the best results using readymade yoghurt culture ( picture at the beginning of the article). Using Bulgarian yoghurt culture can be considered the second best option.
People with lactose intolerance often find yoghurt much easier to digest than milk. This is because most yoghurts contain live bacteria that can help break down lactose, so their bodies have less to process. However, Laktosefreijoghurt (lactose-free yoghurt) is available for people with severe lactose intolerance. To obtain lactose-free milk, the breakdown of lactose is done in a dairy by adding the enzyme lactase. Then the milk is pasteurized and fermented to make lactose-free yoghurt.
Here are some more products in German Supermarkets that might interest you:
- Joghurt mit der Ecke: This is yoghurt in a palm size packaging. It contains yoghurt and some crispies packed in two separate sections. It is ideal as a mid-day snack at school/office. After opening, the crispies and yoghurt can be combined and eaten.
- Schafjogurt: This yoghurt is made with sheep’s milk
- Buttermilch: Buttermilk is produced by enriching the milk (that remains after churning cream and removing butter) with lactic acid bacteria. It is low in fat and calories. Typically buttermilk contains some amount of sugar.
- Ayran: It is buttermilk from Turkey. It contains yoghurt, water and salt but no sugar. It is made with a mix of sheep and cow milk.
- Kefir: This is a fermented milk product and gets its name from the specific culture called Kefir, which is used for fermentation. This product comes from Russia and east Europe. Kefir can be made with cow, goat or sheep milk.
To learn about other supermarket products in Germany, click here.
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