Yogurt junkie

Melissa Stagnaro

I’m not really a health food nut. Don’t get me wrong, I like most fruits and vegetables. But normally if I’m going to get truly hooked on a food product, it is going to involve chocolate. A lot of chocolate. (Just ask Sharon Jeffer at the Parson’s Daughter, where I go for my coconut haystack fix.)

So it came as a bit of a shock last week when I began to crave yogurt. Now this isn’t just any yogurt. It’s a very special Greek-style yogurt and it happens to be made right here in Chenango County. One taste and I was hooked.

Last week, I had the opportunity to tour the Agro Farma outside of New Berlin. (Yes, I know it is technically in the Town of Columbus, but their address is New Berlin.) My tour guide was none other than the company’s president, Hamdi Ulukaya. He is the man behind the magic that is Chobani.

Little did I know when he handed me a 12 count variety pack on my way out that I’d become a veritable Chobani addict.

I was singing Agro Farma’s (& Hamdi’s) praises when I returned to the office. Feeling a bit generous, I handed out a few containers for my fellow reporters to try. Then I sat down at my own desk to try the peach fruit-on-the-bottom variety.

It took only one spoonful to realize my mistake. I should not have been sharing this creamy, rich ambrosia with anyone let alone the ingrates I have as coworkers. But it was too late. They had already licked their spoons clean and were greedily eyeing the rest of my stash.

Not that I blame them. Chobani is, in a word, amazing. It’s Greek-style yogurt, so its thick and creamy. It’s rich in all things good (like protein and probiotics) and low in all things bad (like lactose, which does not do my body good.) It’s non-fat, all natural and contains no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

My fruit-on-the-bottom variety pack included blueberry, strawberry and peach, but it’s also available in honey, vanilla, plain and a couple of low-fat options. So far, the peach and strawberry are my faves. But I’m looking forward to trying the banana Hamdi told me they’ll be rolling out some time in the near future.

Needless to say, I made short work of my variety pack. Lucky for me and my budding addiction, Price Chopper has recently started stocking Chobani.

In fact, I’ll be swinging by on my way home from work to replenish my supply.