Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Frozen Yogurt

My, have we come a long way from the days when Colombo soft frozen yogurt was king of the New York deli. In a category that was once sweet and filled with many flavor choices, we have now changed to "kinder and gentler" yogurt, less sweet and more healthy. There are now three major frozen yogurt chains that predominate in Manhattan, Tasti D lite, Red Mango and Pinkberry. I've tried all three and each have their pluses and minuses.

Of the three, the one that compares most closely to Colombo, is Tasti D lite. It contains the same high sweetness level, has plenty of flavors and offers similar traditional toppings for their yogurt as with ice cream. However, I can't get over the "plasticky foam" taste of their yogurt. After eating one, it just seems to occupy a space in your stomach without the leaving you with the feeling of heft and satifaction. It is a physically hollow feeling.

Red Mango and Pinkberry has some heft behind it, although you could say they are in a category of their own. This category of yogurt gives a textural feeling of millions of tiny ice crystals in your mouth. After the initial bite, both yogurts are tangy and sweet, perhaps half the sweetness of ice cream. The main difference between Red Mango and Pinkberry is that Red Mango is a tiny bit sweeter than Pinkberry. All the toppings offered for both products are the same, from fresh fruit to Captain Crunch to little mochi rice balls. Both are fairly expensive. Expect to pay about $5 for a small and up to $8.50 for a large.

Today, I actually stumbled upon a new place called Yogurt Yogurt located at Lexington and 23rd. I asked the guy working inside if there were other branches and he said there were some in Brooklyn and Queens. About the yogurt, this place sells the same type of yogurt as Red Mango and Pinkberry. It is as sweet as Red Mango, but the difference is the texture. Their yogurt actually has nearly 90% of the texture of real ice cream. Very different and I liked it! I like their price even more. A small goes for $2.70!!!

That is what I love about this new frozen yogurt trend. There are so many different kinds and I know I've left out a couple, so if anyone would like to add more and about their qualities, I'd love to hear it!

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