Fro-yo girl here. I think I’ve seen Aris Natural Food’s stall at farmers markets in the past but I avoided it because there was always a group of people standing in front sampling. Since I like hummus I decided to take a closer look at Aris at the Altadena Farmers Market. I noticed that they had Greek yogurt, which of course I had to try. They’re very generous with their samples.
Aris Natural Food is a local company based in Hawthorne, CA and founded by a Greek native and featuring grandma’s recipes. The yogurt is made at a plant in Gardena, CA.
Their double-strained Greek yogurt is made with sheep’s milk which is lactose free. Most yogurt flavors are made with fruit and no added sugar. The fig flavor is their best seller and it is spectacular – pure, natural goodness that’s crazy creamy and fresh tasting. The yogurt flavors are varied and include white pumpkin, rose petal, blackberry, sour cherry, raspberry, vanilla, coconut, apricot, mango, etc. There’s a plain kind that I want to try next time.
I took a tub of the plum Greek yogurt home ($6 for 8 ozs). It is super thick, rich and creamy and all natural – no added sugar, no thickeners. The plums are blended throughout. I love how it’s not very sweet and it has real yogurt tang but it’s also mild and creamy with no musky taste (actually I like the taste of goat yogurt too but it’s not for everyone). The plum flavor is mild and doesn’t mask the tangy yogurt flavor. There’s a sweet cream aftertaste. It’s 90 calories and 2g of fat for a 4 ounce serving but it tastes like it’s much richer than that. Their packaging is basic and not attractive but the product is pure goodness. This could be the perfect yogurt.
Ingredients: Plain yogurt, live active cultures, cooked chopped plum
I tried the vanilla Greek sheep milk yogurt which has a soft, almost whipped, thick, creamy texture. It's sweeter and milder with a yogurty tang. It tastes so rich.
The blueberry Greek yogurt has bits of blueberry and it's the tartest flavor I've tried so far. It has lots of fresh blueberry flavor and it is impossibly rich and creamy, the richness coats your tongue.
My favorite is the rose petal Greek yogurt. I didn't think the tartness would go with the rose petal flavor but it does. You can taste the mellow flavor of roses but it's not overpowering or perfume-like.
Interesting fact: In Greece there aren’t many cows so their yogurt is often made with sheep’s milk. Sheep milk is the creamiest, creamier than cow’s milk and goat milk. It's also said to be sweeter than the other two kinds of milk.
Aris Greek yogurt is carried at Bristol Farms, Erewhon, Lassen's and other markets. You'll find more flavors if you go to the farmer's market stall. The Bristol Farms in South Pasadena has a much wider selection of Aris yogurt, garlic spreads and even yogurt parfaits. A tub of Aris yogurt sells for $6.49 at Lassens, $6.79 at Bristol Farms and $6.69 at Gelson's. It's expensive but the yogurt is so rich and flavorful that it's more satisfying. Gelson's has a good selection (not as good as Bristol Farms though). I remember seeing Aris at Bristol Farms before and wondering why it was so expensive.
Aris also makes goat cheese, sheep cheese, pesto, hummus, stuffed peppers, garlic spreads, olives, dolmas, etc. For a list of farmers markets where you can find Aris, visit their website: http://www.arisnaturalfood.com/
Sheep's milk is where it's at - it makes the best Greek yogurt. I'm sure it would be amazing in frozen form.
5 out of 5 stars
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
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