In the US, Greek-style yogurt and regular yogurt are both made with cow's milk, yet they have a distinctly different texture.

When I described the texture of Greek yogurt to my nutritionist, she used the word "pithy". It, to me, feels like a thin layer of fuzz (like the skin of a peach) gets left on the surfaces of my mouth when I eat it.

Initial thought would tell me that it's because Greek yogurt has less water in it, but I made some homemade yogurt last weekend, using Greek yogurt for a culture, and despite being quite thin, it still had that pithy texture.

What gives Greek yogurt this texture? Or, what makes regular yogurt not have this texture?


3 Answers 3


I would describe it as an almost chalky texture. Greek yogurt is typically strained 3+ times before packaging and in most cases is made from dairy with a higher fat content. The tang and texture are due to the whey being almost completely removed from the yogurt. The higher milk serum content (whey) in US yogurt makes it sweeter and obviously less viscous.

  • 7
    Whey doesn't make it less tangy, the reason is the different fermentation. Traditionally, yoghurts on the Balkan peninsula are made with Lactobacillicus Bulgaricus instead of Streptococcus Debrucii, which makes a more sour yoghurt. A good manufacturer will use the strain anywhere in the world for greek-style yoghurt. Also, sourness depends on the fermentation temperature, with warmer fermentation producing more sour yoghurt, in extreme cases with acetic acid in addition to the lactic acid.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 8, 2012 at 0:27
  • 3
    rumtscho, so why did you post your comment as an answer?
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 8, 2012 at 5:11

After creating a new batch using the same process as my first one, but with a different, non-Greek, starter yogurt (which uses a different set and balance of bacteria than the starter I used for my first batch), I found that the texture was the same as my starter yogurt and was without the pithy texture.

Therefore, it seems that it is, in fact, the difference in fermentation, which depends on the types of bacteria cultures in a given yogurt that determine the texture of Greek vs non-Greek yogurt.


Greek yoghurt (as sold by us) is obtained by means of final filtration, to remove the residual acidic water. Method to do it home.

Prepare before the yogurt using the machine normally, following the instructions. yogurtiera

Place a strainer into a bowl. Place the strainer inside a tightly woven cotton cloth. panno

Pour the yogurt in cotton cloth. It does not matter if you just did, it is okay the next day also. crema

At this point, wait for the whey drip into the bowl, for a couple of hours or more. siero

The whey is what gives the flavor a bit sour to the normal yougurt. In a couple of hours you get the thick yogurt. The more time passes, the more it becomes thick yogurt. After 4-5 hours, becomes like cream cheese.

During the filtering, every so often, it is good to reshoot the yogurt with a spoon, so that the more dense (that it lies in contact with the cotton cloth) not makes a "cap" to the more still in the surface.


PS By us in Italy yogurt is made with both, Lactobacillicus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Debrucii. In addition we put probiotic ferments.

The Russian microbiologist Ilya Ilyich Mečnikov isolated Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. And recognized that these Lactobacillus were responsible for the process of breaking down lactose into galactose and glucose. These "ferment" act with a mechanism proto simbiotic: streptococcus works first, creating the conditions for the lactobacillus do the work of breaking down lactose.

Although opinions are sketchy at best, today, in contrast to what is touted by advertising, it is believed that these two enzymes play no active role in the human body: in fact, they die as soon as they come into contact with gastric juices human, I can not stand the acidity

By the result of the positive feedback the use of probiotic ferments in the medical field, today some manufacturers have begun to add yogurt to their products. The probiotic ferments, unlike the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, are able to withstand the free acidity of gastric juices, to survive and replicate in the gastrointestinal tract. Since, generally, as bacteria already present in the human body, they are able to restore the bacterial flora to a normal state, when this has been compromised as a result of treatment with antibiotics, by stress or by improper nutrition.

The probiotic ferments exercise also a positive effect in many processes of digestion and prevent intestinal infections and attacks by fungi, strengthen the immune system produce bacteriocins, the so-called "natural antibiotics". The main probiotic ferments added in the fermentation process are the following: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum.

The fermented milk obtained from their action deviates slightly from yogurt (traditionally obtained only with the use of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus), giving rise, rather, to a Kefir.



  • I won't try to edit your copy again, but you may wish to use the word "whey" instead of "serum"... in this context, serum does not make sense.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 14, 2013 at 16:04
  • Sorry, I'm not english. And my English is very bad. As suggested from your admins, I use Google translator. Please, try to understand. Sorry again. Apr 14, 2013 at 16:07
  • @violadaprile It's fine, we know not everyone is a native speaker. But when the native speakers do come along and try to help out, please avoid rolling back their edits - I'm not sure if it was deliberate or not, but you reversed all the corrections SAJ14SAJ made. (If you want to recover them, you can look at the revision history.) And while Google translate is certainly pretty cool, you might also find an Italian-English dictionary more helpful for specific cases; I'm sure there's a good one online somewhere!
    – Cascabel
    Apr 14, 2013 at 16:32
  • I didn't reverse anything, not intentionally - I just changed "serum" with "whey", as suggested. I don't know about any other changhement... Apr 14, 2013 at 16:35
  • Again I ask your pardon. But since I'm a journalist, among other things, just on food and cooking, I thought I could make a useful contribution. Otherwise it does not matter. Apr 14, 2013 at 16:40

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