Yogurt – A go-to ingredient
The most popular cultured dairy product currently used in recipe development is Greek yogurt. Its low-fat, high-protein composition makes it a highly functional ingredient, while its creamy, tangy taste contributes desirable sensory notes.
“Greek yogurt is a great tool for us because it adds less fat and calories than mayo or sour cream, and it also bumps up the protein content of each meal,” Ms. Wilson said.
Not all Greek yogurt performs the same.
“With yogurt made from grass-fed cows’ milk, you can really taste the seasonality in the product,” said Cortney Burns, co-chef at Bar Tartine, San Francisco. “The yogurt is always luscious and creamy, but the flavor and nuances of the milk vary depending on what the animals are eating from spring to fall.”
When experimenting with Grassmilk Yogurt from Organic Valley, La Farge, Wis., Ms. Burns, along with Nick Balla, Bar Tartine’s other co-chef, discovered that the milk’s changing flavor profile complemented seasonal specialties. Often the flavor works well with honey and salt to create a dip for spicy and warm lentil croquettes served in the fall, according to Mr. Balla.
“The cooling yogurt pairs well with both the crunchy exterior and creamy interior of the dumplings.”
Ms. Burns likes to add a dollop of the yogurt to summertime chilled beet soup.
“I top it with fresh coriander sauce, salt, pepper and greens,” she said. “The yogurt ups the cooling effect and adds great tang and satisfying richness.”
The versatility and healthy halo of dairy will continue to drive use in all types of foods. With dairy enjoyed around the world in many varied formats, the opportunities to innovate are infinite.