Thursday, February 15, 2018

Abali Yogurt Drink Review



Fro-yo girl here. I’ve seen bottled yogurt drinks for years at Middle Eastern restaurants and grocery stores. I bought one a long time ago and didn’t like it. I think it was carbonated yogurt soda. Then I saw the yogurt drink on the menu at Sunnin Lebanese CafĂ© (1776 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA) and I was convinced to try it since they said they made it there. I enjoyed their yogurt drink, which tasted like plain yogurt thinned with water and sprinkled with mint leaves. It was savory rather than sweet and it complemented their food.

Based on that positive experience, I decided to take a closer look at bottled yogurt drinks. There are carbonated (yogurt soda) and non-carbonated (yogurt drink) versions. They usually come in two flavors, plain and mint. 

I’ve mostly seen yogurt drinks from Abali and Karoun in this area. Karoun’s yogurt drink has more sodium than Abali’s (762mg vs 600mg per cup). One bottle is 16 fl oz. I found the drink for $1.19 at Armen Market in Altadena, CA.

The Abali yogurt drink has a best by date and directions to shake well before use. One 8 ounce serving is 110 calories and 2.5g total fat. It tasted like sour plain yogurt with salt. The mint flavor is nice. It’s the right consistency too – not too thick but similar to milk. Drinking it made me thirsty, probably because of the salt. It definitely tasted more natural and more like real yogurt than Japanese and Korean yogurt drinks like Yakult.

Ingredients (Mint): Low fat milk, water, salt, mint extract, active yogurt cultures). 

I still think it’s too salty but diluting it further with ice cubes would help. It seems easy enough to make at home. Traditionally one combines equal parts yogurt and water and then adds salt and dried mint to taste.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Future Froyo Shop Pictures: Go Greek Yogurteria at Glendale Galleria



Fro-yo girl here. Glendale Galleria is the fourth largest mall in Los Angeles, but it feels like the busiest. You could get your froyo fix at Haagen Dazs or go across the street to Pinkberry at the Americana. Menchie’s is also nearby in downtown Glendale.

A new froyo option is coming soon to the 2nd floor of Glendale Galleria. Go Greek Yogurteria, the authentic Greek frozen and fresh yogurt mini chain, is opening a kiosk near the center of the mall (by JC Penney and Green Crush). You can’t get any more authentic when it comes to Greek yogurt because they import their yogurt from Greece and they have Greek toppings. The original location opened in Beverly Hills. There are two other locations in Santa Monica and The Village at Topanga in Woodland Hills.

With the fresh yogurt, you can go sweet or savory and build your own bowl with 0%, 2% and 10% fat versions of imported Greek yogurt.

I saw one froyo machine there but it looks like there will be room for three, so they should have 6 flavors a day. They’ll carry the house flavors of Greek Honey, Plain Tart, Chocolate, and Wild Berry with two other flavors from their Rotational and Seasonal flavors. It is self-serve. The froyo is made with 2% or 10% fat Greek yogurt. The toppings are healthier (fresh fruit, dried fruit, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, premium sauces, Greek biscuits, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, nuts, peanut chews, granola, coconut). According to the sign, it will be 85 cents an ounce.

The kiosk looks almost ready to open. I'm pretty sure I didn't see it when I was at the mall doing my Christmas shopping, but I rarely go up to that part of the second floor.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* GO GREEK YOGURTERIA, 100 W Broadway, Glendale, CA 91210

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Smoothie Beauty Mask Review



Fro-yo girl here. My dedication to yogurt extends to beauty products with yogurt. Recently, I spotted Smoothie Beauty masks in the refrigerator at Riley Rose at the Glendale Galleria.

NYC-based Smoothie Beauty launched earlier this year with a line of fresh, organic food-based face masks that can be delivered to your door. There’s also an option to add Smoother Boosters (superfoods or natural ingredients) to the masks to boost the effectiveness of the masks. The line is all natural. It’s like a mask you could whip together on your own, only they’ve done all the work for you.

Riley Rose had several kinds of masks and some Smoother Boosters too. Only one of the masks didn’t have Greek yogurt. The masks were .85 fl oz and $10.50 each and one packet contains enough for two applications. The ingredients reminded me of ones you’d see in a smoothie. All their products are actually safe to eat and have a best by date stamped on. Once you open the packet, you should use the contents within six days.

* Sunrise mask (for brightening): The mask had just a few ingredients: whole milk Greek yogurt, turmeric, whole grain oats, raw active manuka honey, and lemon juice and peel. The packet looked small but the mask was creamy, so a little went a long way. I left it on for 15 minutes. I didn’t like the scent, which is a big problem, since I kept smelling it on my face. It was something about the odor of the oats and honey that I didn’t find pleasant. The mask was cold and creamy. After washing it off, my skin did feel a bit more moisturized and definitely tighter. It didn’t seem brighter but that probably takes multiple applications to see. 


I thought I applied the mask generously to my face and neck, but I had a fair amount left after two applications. 

Since I didn’t like the scent, I wouldn’t buy it again. Plus, the ingredients are so simple that I could have made the mask myself. But, I appreciate the fact that the mask was all natural and organic.

Update: I haven't seen any Smoothie Beauty products at Riley Rose lately. The fridge where Smoothie Beauty products were kept is now filled with beverages.

4 out of 5 stars.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* RILEY ROSE: 2131 Galleria Way, Glendale, CA 91210

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ettang Korean Yogurt Mask Review



Fro-yo girl here. I spotted Ettang modeling cup masks at Riley Rose at the Glendale Galleria. Maneki Neko also carries Ettang masks. Their face masks come in powdered form in cups. Most of the writing on the packaging was in Korean, so I had to do some online research to learn how to use the mask that I purchased. However, once I opened the mask, there were instructions in English on the inside. The masks were $4 each at Riley Rose. One cup is 17 g.

Each type of mask has a different benefit:

  • Acerola: brightens skin
  • Chlorella: soothes skin
  • Calendula: hydrates skin
  • Charcoal: controls sebum
  • Collagen: improves elasticity
  • Mulberry: smooths and brightens skin
  • Propolis: protects skin
  • Yogurt: smooths and firms skin

One cup contains enough for one use. You take the powder out of the cup, add water to the cup to the line, add the powder back, and mix it quickly with the spatula that it comes with. It’s easy to transport and use anywhere. It’s too bad you need a separate container for the powder though.

Once you add the water, mix for a minute. It dries quickly, so be sure to apply it quickly. Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes. Peel off the mask and the residue.

The mask has no added parabens or chemical preservatives. It is supposed to shrink pores and leave your skin moist and elastic. It contains rubber.

* Yogurt Cup Pack: The yogurt mask is said to leave your skin smoother, with a bright skin tone and glossy finish. The mask did dry quickly and I couldn’t get all the lumps out. It had little fragrance and applies like a thick paste or glue. Because of the clumpiness, it was pretty ugly once applied. The color was a pale purple. Not all of the mask peeled off easily, so it was messy. My skin did feel softer but just a little.

3 out of 5 stars.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* RILEY ROSE: 2131 Galleria Way, Glendale, CA 91210

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

International/National Frozen Yogurt Day 2018 Recap





Fro-yo girl here. How much froyo can I possibly eat in one day? That’s what I wondered when I learned that so many shops were celebrating International/National Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6.
Yogurtland is clearly the most excited about IFYD – with the special IFYD cups, 2 new flavors (see my earlier post for a review of Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream and Chocoate Wafer Bar Froyo), new toppings, Hershey’s IFYD spoons, and a coupon. The cup design even matched the new froyo flavors and new toppings. Talk about being overachievers!

Each guest received a 5 oz cup to fill up. I had to wait so long for toppings that I forgot to look for the Kit Kats and Whoppers. I’m pretty sure that I saw Whoppers. The coupon is for $1 off.

My shop was organized as usual, though guests took forever to choose toppings. Yogurtland Pasadena Lake Ave. employees and the owner are so friendly and kind. 

Menchie’s had an all day buy one, get one free offer but no new flavors or cups. I guess there are no new promotional flavors for February? They did have some Paddington Movie signs. I didn’t get a coupon this year. However, I do like that they had the NFYD posters and also a handwritten chalkboard sign announcing the NFYD offer.

Pinkberry had a BOGO offer on Original Tart with toppings for Pinkcard holders good all day on Feb. 6. I was surprised to see no signs at the shop. Pinkcard holders were notified via email. The shop looked the same with no visible acknowledgement of NFYD. I wasn’t told about the offer when I pulled out my Pinkcard. But there was a nice surprise waiting for me via email, the surprise gift from Pinkberry, 3 free swirls. 

Thank you to all the froyo shops that celebrate International or National Frozen Yogurt Day! Special thanks to Yogurtland, Yogurtland Pasadena (Lake Ave!), Menchie’s, and Pinkberry.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Save the Date for International/National Frozen Yogurt Day 2018

Fro-yo girl here. It’s almost time for my favorite day of the year, International/National Frozen Yogurt Day. This year will mark the seventh annual International Frozen Yogurt Day (formerly known as National Frozen Yogurt Day) at Yogurtland and yes, they’ll have free froyo, free soft serve ice cream, and free toppings from 4 PM – 7 PM on Tuesday, February 6. 

For IFYD 2018, Yogurtland will have two new limited time flavors, Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream made with Whoppers® and Chocolate Wafer Bar Frozen Yogurt made with KitKat®. The two new toppings are mini KitKats and Whoppers. Guests will receive special IFYD 5 oz cups to fill with their choice of froyo, ice cream, and toppings. Also, the Hershey's chocolate bar spoons will be back for the special day.

Menchie’s will also be celebrating National Frozen Yogurt Day again, with a buy one, get one free offer that’s good all day on February 6. No coupon is necessary, but it can’t be combined with other offers. I think they’ll also hand out a coupon for a future visit.

Pinkberry is offering a buy one, get one free deal just for Pinkcard holders and a surprise reward on Feb. 6.

For updates of International/National Frozen Yogurt Day celebrations, check out the list from the International Frozen Yogurt Association: http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/news/international-national-frozen-yogurt-day-2018/

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Salt & Straw Faux-Yo Review



Fro-yo girl here. Salt & Straw started the new year with an all vegan line-up of limited time (January) flavors. I think it’s the first time they’ve offered a “frozen yogurt” flavor, though they call it “faux-yo” and it’s plant-based. Their faux-yo is made with coconut cream and it’s scoopable.

Their Candied Mango Faux-Yo is described as: “We’ve done it! We’ve figured out how to make frozen yogurt using coconut cream. We hit it with a little lime and let it thicken. And then we add some sugar, mango puree, salt, vanilla, and yes, that is a little green cardamom you’re tasting. Then we fold in more pieces of candied mango for texture and fun, for a flavor that tastes like a fresh-fruit sorbet.”

Candied Mango Faux-Yo is available in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego scoop shops. Portland is serving Candied Apricot Faux-Yo. The Candied Apricot Faux-Yo sounds similar to the Candied Mango Faux-Yo based on the description: “We’ve done it! We’ve figured out how to make frozen yogurt using coconut cream. We hit it with a little lime and let it thicken. And then we add some sugar, apricot puree, salt, vanilla, and yes, that is a little green cardamom you’re tasting. Then we fold in more pieces of candied apricot for texture and fun, for a flavor that tastes like a fresh-fruit sorbet.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Candied mango sounded like it could be very sweet. Well, Salt & Straw’s faux-yo did not disappoint. The texture was super thick, dense, and creamy. It was hard to believe that it was vegan. The sweet mango flavor was the dominant, intense flavor, but I was also surprised that the faux-yo was tangy. The coconut cream flavor was noticeable but not strong. The backnotes of coconut cream, lime, and green cardamom just added to the complexity and deliciousness. There were very few candied mango pieces but the ones that I encountered were small and not overly sweet. The tang is different from yogurt tang but different can still be wonderful. The texture was much creamier and richer than a typical sorbet.

Try any faux-yo flavor you can, before it’s too late. Get a pint or two. I hope there are more faux-yo flavors in the future.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.