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The yogurt section of supermarkets continues to grow, so we decided it was time to try a good, old-fashioned staple: low-fat vanilla.
Who would guess that the burgeoning number of varieties would leave us with so few examples of this classic flavor? We found lots of high-fat, low-fat, exotic fruit-flavored, fruit-on-the-bottom and packaged-with-all-the-trimmings yogurt-but wound up with just four examples of low-fat vanilla.
Oberweis, Dannon and Stonyfield yogurts each contain 2 grams of fat per serving; Yoplait's version, billed "99 percent fat-free," contributes 1.5 grams of fat per serving, so we included that as well.
Top finishers Oberweis and Dannon, first and second respectively, garnered solid victories. (Locally made Oberweis is sold at its own stores, as well as some supermarkets and online at peapod.com.) Organic Stonyfield finished a far-behind third; Yoplait came in last.
Products are scored on a scale of 1 to 9, with 9 being highest. Prices are based on what we paid for them at the supermarket and may reflect sales or discounts from frequent-shopper cards. Price-per ounce is rounded off to the nearest cent.
And the winners are...
1. Oberweis French Vanilla (6.8 points. 8-ounce carton, $1.09; 14 cents per ounce.) "Very rich flavor, low acidity and great tangy-ness." "Smooth texture that's just right." "Creamy and tangy, but a bit too sweet."
2. Dannon (6.2 points. 6-ounce carton, 75 cents; 13 cents per ounce.) "Nicest balance of tangy, vanilla and sweet." "Creamy and thick." "Too sweet; not much vanilla.
3. Stonyfield (3.3 points). 4. Yoplait (2.5 points).
(c) 2003, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.