Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Yoplait® Light

Recently, while in my local Meijer, I had this irrepressible urge to give in and buy all the flavors I could find of Yoplait's decadent dessert-themed yogurts. With flavors like "Pineapple-Upside Down Cake" (which I love! The real thing, that is!), "Raspberry Cheesecake" and "Cinnamon Roll," I was sold. (Plus, they were on sale for 50 cents a piece. ) So I toted home my 60 ounces of yogurt--I didn't actually buy all the flavors; just 10 of them:

1. Apple Turnover
2. Strawberry Shortcake
3. Lemon Cream Pie
4. Orange Crème
5. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
6. Raspberry Cheesecake
7. Boston Cream Pie
8. Peaches ‘N Cream
9. Cherry Cobbler
10. Cinnamon Roll

After trying all of these, my rule of thumb would be to not expect the real thing." It ain't gonna happen. These are good yogurts, but don't hold a candle to an actual piece of cake. There are a few acceptations, but I wouldn't buy most of them again.

"Apple Turnover" wasn't too bad; it at least had nice chunks of apples in it.

"Strawberry Shortcake" was a huge disappointment. It was just plain, boring strawberry yogurt. No juicy chunks of strawberry, no crumbly biscuit, no fluffy whipped cream. Waaah! I think it would've been better if instead of mixing everything up, they made it more layered, like the real dessert. I love the real thing immensely, though, so I'm probably not a very good judge. But look how misleading the picture is.

"Lemon Cream Pie" was divine, and by far my favorite. I think this flavor works because lemon pudding is already so close in consistency to yogurt.

"Orange Crème" was pretty good. Not bad. It was kind of like an orange creamsicle, which is the taste I assume Yoplait was looking for. Even though they're not exactly creamsicles, those orange push-ups from Schwan's are still better than this yogurt. (Does Schwan's even make those any more? I haven't had one in years. I hope they do! They were a favorite treat as a child. The raspberry ones are delish, too.)

"Pineapple Upside-down Cake" was the first one I tried, so I had huge expectations, but one spoonful and they were gone. I already mentioned my affinity for the real thing, so maybe, as with the "Strawberry Shortcake", I was biased. To me it just tasted like fake pineapple (you know, like the smell of sunscreen or something). This is one of the few I tried that had actual little chunks of fruit in it (in this case being pineapple, of course). As with the "Strawberry Shortcake" flavor, I think it would've been better if they layered the flavors. Mixing everything together destroys the unique taste experience of yellow cake, brown-sugar-carmelized pineapple, warm and gooey. And what about the cherries? They're on the package, but not in the product. Nice idea, but it needs a lot of work.

"Raspberry Cheesecake" wasn't half bad. It didn't taste like actual cheesecake, mind you, and it lacked that distinct "cheesiness", but it had a nice red raspberry (almost like jam) taste to it.

"Boston Cream Pie" majorly disappointed. This one falls into the 'sweet nothings' category. It was kind of sickeningly sweet (I couldn't even finish it, honestly) and I wish they would've made it into three layers: the chocolate, the cake, and the custard. I would think that would be sooo easy, as pudding is really similar to yogurt as I noting when commenting on the "Lemon Cream Pie." The 'cake' part might have been kind of hard, but if they can make cake-batter flavored ice cream can't they make cake-batter flavored yogurt?

I don't actually remember much about "Peaches 'N Cream "**,which leads me to assume it wasn't that special, but not that horrible. And going by the trial-and-error-established rule of thumb that the fruity ones were better than the pseudo-cake fakes, I'll have to say that it was probably okay. (I think it might've even had little chunks of peaches in it. I can't remember, though, as the occurance of anything like that was extremely rare in my experience with this line of yogurt.)

"Cherry Cobbler"** was fairly good. You know, not fab, but definitely
tolerable for a light indulgence. (Still, quite certain that the evidences of actual fruit were not there, but I can't be sure as this was a couple weeks ago.)

And, finally, "Cinnamon Roll."** Nothing special here. Another 'sweet nothing.' Real cinnamon rolls are so much better, in my opinion. It's just too hard to compare a measly little yogurt to one.

Now, before you decide never to buy the flavors I didn't care for, let me remind you that flavor is subjective. Just because I did or didn't like it does not mean you will feel the same way. I ususally don't even like flavored yogurt because it is so sweet. Normally I'll just get fat-free, low-sugar plain or vanilla and add fruit to it. But because I love my desserts, I had to try these. (Yeah, normally I eat way too much sugar; that's why I try to pare back on things I don't like a lot of it in--like yogurt.) You really need to try them yourself, to decide.

Another thing to keep in mind is the nutrition facts of these yogurts. You can see the specific numbers for each flavor on the Yoplait website here and here. All are fat free, either 100 calories (for fruit flavors) or 110 calories (for indulgent flavors), contain 20% of daily calcium (plus vitamin D), have around 5-10 grams of protein, and 14 or 15 grams of sugar.

My newest yogurt adventure is about to start soon: I was at Kroger yesterday and they had Yoplait Whips! on sale next to a sign that said "try it frozen." So, of course I grabbed as many as I could carry and headed to the checkout. I've tried freezing regular yogurt before, but it was too hard and kind of icy. I'm hoping that the Whips! will make perfect, fluffy, frozen yogurt. Mmmm. I may have found a delicious new frozen treat. Stay tuned!

**This means that it’s a Yoplait® Light Thick & Creamy. All others were just Yoplait® Light.
Click on pictures to see source.