Vanilla Yogurt: What is it?

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Vanilla yogurt is a dairy product made with cow’s milk or other types of milk, flavored with natural or artificial vanilla. It can be lightly sweetened or a sweet frozen dessert, served chilled or frozen in various containers. It contains live bacteria for digestion and can be topped with fruit, nuts, or crumbs. Vanilla flavoring can come from real vanilla extract or synthetic vanillin. It can also be used to make a sweet coating for snacks. Some people freeze it before eating, and commercial establishments often serve it as a dessert resembling soft serve ice cream.

Vanilla yogurt is a dairy product flavored with natural or artificial vanilla flavor. Like most other yogurts, vanilla yogurt is usually made with cow’s milk, but it can also be made with other types of milk, such as goat, sheep, and buffalo milk. This type of yogurt can be lightly sweetened and flavored like vanilla, or it can be a particularly sweet product that is similar to a frozen dessert. It is typically served chilled or frozen, most often in single-serving cups, squeezable bags, or large multi-serving plastic containers.

Yogurt is made by fermenting milk using a bacterial culture. Once the milk is fermented, other flavoring agents, such as sugar and vanilla, are added to the yogurt. Vanilla yogurt is often prepared to contain live bacteria, which are thought to improve digestion, but some yogurt is pasteurized, which kills potentially healthy bacteria but gives the yogurt a longer shelf life. Vanilla yogurt is often eaten with toppings, usually fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or crumbs from sweet treats such as cookies or breakfast cereals. Some vanilla yogurt products also contain milk or cream, which softens the texture of the yogurt.

Vanilla yogurt can be flavored with real vanilla or synthetic vanilla flavoring. True vanilla comes from the vanilla bean, which is a pod that grows on a type of orchid. Vanilla usually goes into yogurt in the form of vanilla extract. Yogurts that use the actual vanilla bean for flavoring are usually topped with telltale flecks that indicate the presence of vanilla bean material in the yogurt. The synthetic vanilla flavor is called vanillin and is usually extracted from the tar that comes from certain types of wood.

Many varieties of yogurt are vanilla flavored. Vanilla yogurt powder can also be used to make a sweet coating for snacks like dried fruit and nuts. Powdered yogurt candy coating looks similar to a regular candy shell, but the yogurt coating is usually softer and thicker than the candy coating. The most common types of vanilla-coated snacks are almonds, but peanuts, cherries, and raisins are also common vanilla yogurt-coated snacks.

Some people freeze their vanilla yogurt before eating it. In commercial establishments, it is usually a dessert that resembles soft serve ice cream. Most frozen yogurts aren’t simply frozen yogurt, but a blend of yogurt with an ice cream base that sweetens the frozen treat and makes it creamier.

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