Whole milk yogurt from the Argyle Cheese Farmer

By Jessica Pasko

Yogurt.jpgSo last weekend at the Central Avenue Farmers' Market I made a beeline for the Argyle Cheese Farmers' stand and the promise of, well, cheese.

And I went away with -- yogurt. Home-made whole-milk yogurt.


Move over Dannon.

It's going to be pretty hard to ever go back to the sugary, conventional stuff. Even my default "healthier" choices, Brown Cow and Stonyfield Farms, can't top this thick creamy locally made product.

Why am I such a fan of this stuff? It's rich, thick and tangy -- more like Greek-style yogurt.

Also, The Argyle Cheese farmer doesn't use synthetic hormones, and while the yogurt isn't completely organic, they do grow all of the forages fed to the cows. It's a small Washington County farm, not one of those huge, industrial dairy farms that kind of scare me.

The price might seem a little steep, but I think it's worth it. A 16-ounce jar of the plain, vanilla or hint of maple will run you about $3 - $3.50, but there's also a one-time $1.50 jar deposit. Bring the jar back each week for your 'gurt fix though and it doesn't seem that bad.

Especially when you consider how delicious it is (did I mention it's delicious?).

I went home and paired it with a few beautiful, juicy strawberries - also from the farmers' market - and it was the perfect breakfast.

You'll find them every Saturday at the Central Ave farmers' market. FYI, the market itself is worth a trip. It's still on the smaller side, but it's calm and manageable.


If you find a yogurt you really like, don't be afraid to use some of it to make your own.

Jess, thanks for mentioning this farmers' market. It is indeed small, but I was so impressed at the high quality of all vendors. Had some yummy samples of Argyle Cheese Farmers' salty, tangy feta and cheese curds. I'm already budgeting for next week!

Argyle yogurt can also be found at the Honest Weight. And try the quark--a German type fresh cheese (also great with strawberries).

I personally don't eat dairy, but I am all for locally produced quality dairy over conventional garbage and think Albanians that indulge in delicious cheese should support these guys.

Make your own yogurt at home, it's easy and tasty. Use local whole milk and a few tablespoons of the above as a starter, and you're good to go. More info: http://www.good.is/post/better-living-through-homemade-yogurt/

I bought the maple flavored Greek yogurt which is sooo yummy. Also their sun-dried tomato schmear is amazing and I gobbled down the garlic cheese curds in one day. The lady working the booth was friendly, informative and let us try before we bought. I'm upset I couldn't make it last Saturday but will be there this week stocking up on cheese.... Mmmmmmm...

These guys are normally at the Troy Farmer's Market on Saturdays too (although I haven't gone there since the Central Ave one opened, so I can't confirm they are doing both on Saturdays)

I love their Vanilla Greek yogurt!!

They are also at the Saratoga Springs Farmers' Market (definitely Wed & probably Sat) AND the Schenectady GreenMarket on Sundays! They are EVERYWHERE!

@Madeline: it's really *Armenians* that we should associate with yogurt..not Albanians...;-)

Speaking of yogurt... does anyone know of a place around here where you can get Skyrr? It's a flavored, whipped yogurt from Iceland. Good stuff, but I haven't found it here.

@B - I'm simultaneously fascinated and terrified by DIY yogurt. My buddy Renee got on a big yogurt-making kick for awhile but I've yet to try it. Have you?

jess, not yet... I'm still trying to get the wild yeast starter project down. After three or four days I always forget to feed it and it dies on me. Then I want to do a vodka infusion, then homemade tonic water, then bitters... yogurt's on the list somewhere.

@jess: I have (yes B, shocking), it is pretty easy. And definitely tastes better :)

Um, B, if you ever need help sampling those vodka infusions, I'm totally game.

I did horseradish-infused vodka once so I could try the Polish tradition of chasing shots of that with pickle juice. I kinda loved it.

Yogurt making is pretty easy and you can make great yogurt "cheese" by draining the whey (through cheese cloth or a fine mesh sieve) and adding herbs and other flavorings. You need to get the temperatures right and there are lots of online directions. It is easier to make yogurt in the summer when ambient temperatures are very warm. I have more trouble making yogurt in the winter (house kept at 60), but will use heating pads and such to keep the cultured milk warm enough.

I believe you can find this delicious stuff and other Argyle Cheese Farmer goods at the Schenectady Farmers Market on Sundays from 11 - 2pm. And I must say, Jessica Pasko is a great investigator of local gems!

Faddegon's Nursery in Latham is now stocking some of the Argyle Cheese Farm products. We are hoping to enlarge the line as time goes on!

I've been eating Greek yogurt long before the recent rage. I am an avid weight lifter and athlete. I am in my mid 50's and keeping my lean mass is difficult despite how hard I lift and eat right. Greek yogurt has always been my secret protein source. I had the pleasure of meeting Dave and Marge at the farm for business related matters. Once I tasted their yogurt I was spoiled. Their yogurt is far superior to anything you can purchase in the supermarkets. I hope they expand so everyone can experience what real Greek yogurt is supposed to taste like. It is difficult to go back to the main stream yogurts after having yogurt from the Argyle Cheese farmers.

Where on Central is the farmer's market, please?
I have a new favorite Oikos Greek yogurt, but if i say the flavor there won't be any left for me!

@mg: This post is fro 2009. The market was discontinued in 2011.

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