Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spotlight on Tart Fro-Yo Toppings

Fro-yo girl here. The vast majority of tart fro-yo shops have very similar fruit and dry toppings and they normally carry anywhere from a dozen to 50 different types of toppings. Most of the toppings, other than the fresh fruit, come in boxes and cans. A few shops don't even have fresh fruit and may offer up defrosted frozen or canned fruit instead.

Strawberries are the most popular fresh fruit topping but other common fruit toppings include:
  • Kiwi

  • Pineapple

  • Mango

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Blackberries

  • Bananas

  • Watermelon

  • Cantaloupe

  • Honeydew

  • Pomegranate seeds
Less common fruit toppings include:
  • Peaches (canned are more common than fresh)

  • Cherries (canned are more common than fresh)

  • Plums

  • Grapes

  • Pluots

  • Mandarin oranges

  • Lychee

  • Longan

  • Jackfruit
Mochi balls are my favorite non-fruit topping and they're available at most fro-yo shops. Other common dry toppings include:
  • Cereals (Fruity Pebbles, Cap'n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles usually, but also Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Honey Nut Cheerios, etc.)

  • Granola

  • Chocolate chips

  • Yogurt chips

  • Carob chips

  • Graham crackers (crushed)

  • Almonds

  • Marshmallows

  • Coconut

  • Dried cranberries (and other dried fruits)

  • Crushed cookies (chocolate chip, Oreo, Teddy Grahams, etc.)
Occasionally you'll see the following:
  • Brownie bits

  • Cheesecake bits
If the fro-yo shop also sells traditional sweet fro-yo, chances are they'll have crushed candy toppings (Butterfinger, gummy bears, mini M&Ms, Jelly Bellies, Nerds, Twix, Kit Kat) and sprinkles. I personally don't like to have candy toppings on my tart fro-yo.

You may also find various syrups (chocolate being the most common), honey and condensed milk.

Some Asian fro-yo shops have Asian toppings such as:
  • Chestnuts

  • Jelly (different types, like rainbow jelly, coconut jelly)

  • Red beans

You can customize your treat further with flavored powders like green tea, chocolate, green apple, etc. I've seen the powders at YoSwirl in Fremont, TrendyBean in Santa Clara and Tuttimelon.

Once in a blue moon, you'll come across a place that makes their own toppings. In the Bay Area, there are two places that do this (both in Palo Alto) and deserve special recognition:

* FRAICHE YOGURT: Homemade granola, homemade mochi balls. Unfortunately, their fro-yo is flavorless.
* CULTURE ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: The best place for homemade organic toppings, the variety changes all the time and includes mini chocolate meringues, a seasonal granola, mini chocolate chip cookies, brownies, coconut crunch, homemade apple cake, etc. These are all made on the premises by the brilliant Toppings In Chief, Mary. Right now they have spiced apples! Absolutely amazing - no other place comes close.

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

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