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Finding non-sweet yogurt

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I've been unable to find non-sweet yogurt on the mainland. Have tried in several second and third tier cities, most recently Kunming, where I currently live.

 

When I ask Chinese friends or store employees, I get that odd look that's similar to the look you would get if asking which bus to take to the moon. Would like to use unflavored (sour) yogurt in cooking, mainly salads and such.

 

Has anyone had success finding it here?

 

(I did a search of old forum posts, but didn't find an answer. Could be I missed it; saw the question raised several times.)

 

Thanks for any clues.

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anonymoose

Had some unsweetened yak yoghurt in Shangrila - pretty vile stuff though. Maybe you could try making your own - I know some people who tried this, though I'm not sure how good the result was.

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langxia

In Beijing I used to find normal yoghurt, actually found it at a lot of supermarkets. I can't remember the brand and I have no idea when I will go back to Beijing for the next time.

But I can tell you that they used to sell it in bigger containers, I think it must have been around 500gramm and that it was a see through package.

I will ask my wife when she comes home if she can remember the brand or another thing that might help you to find it. Otherwise I just looked on Taobao for yoghourt and they have machines and powder to make it yourself. That might also be an option to make it yourself ?

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grawrt

omg, I thought I was the only person with this problem! I'm turkish so I need to have yogurt plopped on some of my meals or it just isn't the same. In the 5(almost 6 months) that I lived in Harbin I couldn't find non-sweetened yogurt. My teacher tried helplessly to no avail. I think Chinese people just don't know what yogurt without sugar tastes like. I was given so many yogurts with sugar in it and told it was "the most sour", only to find it was rather sweet. I also received many strange looks from store owners when asked this same question so I can totally sympathize with you.

 

It wasn't until I got to Beijing that I found yogurt with no sugar in it. I don't know if you can find it in Kunming but this brand so far has been the only one I could locate with no sugar in it (and believe me I have tried more yogurts than I could count). It's called HE RUN YOGHURT 和润 纯酸奶,It's a see through container that's 400g and has English on it and the label has a gray strip.

 

For the record, many people told me to try beijing lao suannai. This is still sweet. but sour. It's not intensely sweet but it's not the type of yogurt I would put into any of my meals. Plus the texture is weird, (perhaps the one I bought).

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gato

Carrefour in Shanghai sells both “光明如实” and Meiji branded non-sweet yogurt. Kind of pricey, though, as it is marketed towards the "organic" higher end.

We have been making yogurt at home in a multi-purpose 美的 branded bread machine. The homemade yogurt is so good that it's spoiled me for store-bought brands. You might want to give this a try. We use German-imported milk, which cost 14 yuan per liter at Carrefour.

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Lu

I used to buy yoghurt in a Beijing supermarket that was sour, as I remember it. Various brands, in half-liter cartons. It was a lot thinner (more fluid) than the yoghurt I'm used to, but similarly sour. But not sure if that would be sour enough for your purposes.

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Meng Lelan
In Beijing I used to find normal yoghurt, actually found it at a lot of supermarkets.

 

 

 

My Beijing friends and I were always stopping at a stall or stand for normal yogurt like that, no flavoring or sugar, always came in a small clay pot with a straw. I don't understand how yogurt can be that hard to find. 

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ChTTay

I was also going to suggest He Run yogurts. I am not a massive fan of them if I just want to eat a yogurt though. I find them too thick.

Activia (brand) recently started selling yogurts here in Beijing. That's the brand I eat at home in the UK and Is find their yogurts to be less sweet or unsweetened. Perhaps they are just less sweet...but here they seem unsweatened. I prefer them to He Run and they are in small, normal sized pots so are more convenient.

I looked into making my own yogurt. Most instructions I found still called for a base yogurt like He Run anyway... i can't remember why or what they called that part of the process though.

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gato

With the multi-purpose bread machine I mentioned, we just use milk and yogurt yeast as a base.

http://item.jd.com/874325.html

美的(Midea) EHS15Q3-PWRY 大米面包机

This is the yeast that we use. Just add milk (we use a German-imported brand) and yeast, wait for 8 hours, and the yogurt will be ready.

http://item.jd.com/1022315432.html

安琪酵母 伊仕特酸奶发酵剂

We then strain the yogurt through the cloth below for about 30 minutes to make thick Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is basically regular yogurt without the whey (the "watery" part of yogurt).

http://item.jd.com/1086583258.html

台湾环保妈妈 蒸笼布 直径22.5cm

We use this German-imported milk bought at Carrefour:

http://item.jd.com/896020.html

德国 进口牛奶 德亚(Weidendorf)全脂牛

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abcdefg

Lots of excellent leads there. Many thanks, folks!

 

@Prateeksha, I especially appreciate the picture. That helps a lot when looking for a less popular item. I'll transfer it to my phone so I can carry it around and show it at the stores.

 

I didn't know to ask for 纯酸奶。 Wasn't sure what it was called. Knowing that will also help with the hunt. Might at least mean I get less of those "You must be insane" looks when asking.

 

Sounds like Carrefour should be my first stop. Fortunately there's one not far from where I live and they do have a large dairy counter. While there, I'll also look for Activa brand.

 

@Gato -- I'm tempted to start making yogurt at home, such as you have outlined. Great directions; thanks a lot. Being able to make my own bread in the same machine would supply something else that would improve quality of life here.

 

Chinese cake-like bread is something for which I've never developed a taste.  Luckily I've usually been able to find decent French bread made by a Vietnamese baker whose family moved to Kunming a generation ago.

 

My kitchen is small, and finding counter space takes some effort, but sounds like it might be worth the effort.

 

Really appreciate all the great help!

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grawrt

 

. It used to cost RMB 10 two years

 

This is the yogurt I was talking about! It's now 10.90 RMB.

 

It's good if its your only option. A bit thick but not in a bad way. I had a yogurt where they put so much stabilizers in it, it was like a gelatin. This yogurt is not bad cause when you put a spoon through it, and keep it in the fridge you can see the yogurt water form. Every other yogurt I've tried never had that.

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gato

We then strain the yogurt through the cloth below for about 30 minutes to make thick Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is basically regular yogurt without the whey (the "watery" part of yogurt).

http://item.jd.com/1086583258.html

台湾环保妈妈 蒸笼布 直径22.5cm

I forgot to mention that we place the straining cloth over a mesh bowl (like that below) for straining the yogurt. I also bought the mesh bowl at the local Carrefour. The cloth can be washed and re-used. Be sure to sanitize the cloth in boiling water before each use.

http://www.amazon.com/06804X-Stainless-Grilling-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0043M5RKE/ref=sr_1_23?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1412993866&sr=1-23&keywords=steel+mesh+bowl

Stainless Steel Mesh Grilling Bowl

 

My kitchen is small, and finding counter space takes some effort, but sounds like it might be worth the effort.

The bread machine is light and portable. You can put it away in a cupboard or somewhere else when you are not using it.

For the bread, I've been using a 50/50 mix of whole-wheat and white flour. I also add in some chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and Quaker oat meal :) It's so much better than any bread that's sold in shops and restaurants.

We are using the bread machine to make marmalade. Just peel the oranges, blend in a blender, add some orange peels and corn starch, and you are set. It only takes about 90 minutes to make marmalade in the machine.

Some pictures of the bread and yogurt made.

post-879-0-99830100-1413007040_thumb.jpgpost-879-0-72916700-1413007062_thumb.jpg

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imron

Now I'm starting to get jealous.

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ChTTay

Gato, whats the brand and model of your bread maker?

I'd like to make bread... And cheese... As you do!

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abcdefg

I agree. It sure looks tempting.

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ChTTay

My bad. Can't see for looking.

Got it.

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grawrt

gato, just curious, is the bread maker noisy when it bakes bread overnight?

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gato

It does beep twice: once when prompting for additives such as nuts, and once again when it is finished. If the machine needs to be in the same place where you sleep, you can set a delay timer so the machine does not start until the morning. You can always have it make the bread etc during the day when you are out, so that it'll be ready in the evening.

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