Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best Swirl of 2016


Fro-yo girl here. The year isn’t over yet and I expect to have frozen yogurt on New Year’s Eve, but I’m ready to look back at my year of froyo swirls and pick the best swirl of the year.

This year I consumed nearly 200 cups of froyo, slightly less than last year when I was determined to earn the Unlimited Cup reward at Yogurtland. I predict that I’ll end the year at I will have consumed 197 cups of frozen yogurt. You can see them all on the Pinterest board, 2016 Froyo Consumed by Me.

Cups that I consumed, a yearly comparison:

  • 2016: 197
  • 2015: 200 
  • 2014: 139
  • 2013: 138

I looked at all my cups of froyo that I personally swirled this year to find my best swirl of the year.

And the best swirl is…a cup of Nescafe vanilla latte froyo with almonds, white chocolate chips and Andes Mints swirled at Menchie’s in September. You can see the swirl gradually taper upwards and the swirl ends in a nice firm upright peak. The toppings are carefully placed around the swirl. Yum.

I also like to look at flavors and toppings that I selected. I found the following:

  • 24.8% of my cups weren’t swirled by me (I went to a full serve froyo shop, last year’s number was 27.5%)
  • 19.2% of my cups didn’t have any toppings (the same as last year)
  • 89% of my cups had a single flavor (vs. 70.5% last year)
  • 4.6% of my cups were dairy free (vs. 4.5% last year)
  • 43.6% of my cups were from Yogurtland 
  • 12.1% of my cups were from Menchie’s
  • 7.6% from Pinkberry

My choices are remarkably consistent. I don’t like mixing flavors. I do really enjoy the quality of Yoga-urt’s non-dairy soft serve and a few non-dairy options from Fraiche and Tutti Frutti. I tend to go to the places that offer new flavors. Despite years of swirling my own froyo, I still prefer the full service experience.

Want to make your swirl look nicer? Read IFYA's Froyo Swirling Tips and get plenty of practice. Practice does help because you need to swirl with precision but also have a relaxed wrist. For inspiration, check out the IFYA’s Pinterest board, Best Looking Cups of Froyo.

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, December 29, 2016

Menchie’s December Holiday Flavors



Fro-yo girl here. Menchie’s Holiday Celebration continues with limted time December flavors. The December flavors are:
  • Holiday eggnog: Holiday eggnog is not a brand new flavor. I like how the eggnog flavor is present but not too strong (I usually hate eggnog).
  • Southern pecan pie: This is also a returning flavor. The taste of pecans is subtle and pleasant. 
  • White chocolate peppermint bark: I haven’t found this flavor
  • Almond biscotti (dairy-free, made with almond milk): Menchie’s second non-dairy flavor made with almond milk is made with almond milk and real biscotti cookies. Almond biscotti has a distinctive taste and this frozen treat does capture that flavor. You can see bits of almond in it. The texture was thick and creamy. I think it’s their best dairy alternative flavor yet. Recommended toppings: almonds, Nilla wafers, Heath
These December flavors have been hard to track down, even though December is almost over. I’ve seen Holiday Eggnog quite a bit but not the other December flavors. Why are these flavors so hard to find? I checked multiple Menchie’s locations. The app doesn’t have a flavor finder and none of the Menchie’s shops in my area have flavor updates on their Facebook pages. Most are not actively using their FB pages. Menchie’s South Pasadena almost never answers the phone. Once I called six times in a row before someone answered but 95% of the time no one picks up the phone.

Menchie’s – can you please ensure that promotional flavors reach stores in a timely manner? Can you add a flavor finder to your app?

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, December 27, 2016

Favorite Food & Froyo Combinations






Fro-yo girl here. While it seems natural for Greek/Middle Eastern quick serve restaurants like Souvla, Spread, GRK and Yalla to offer Greek frozen yogurt, there are other cuisines that pair well with froyo.

I’ve seen froyo offered at pho shops, pizza places, Korean restaurants, delis, salad bars, sushi restaurants, burger shacks and more. My favorite food and froyo pairings are:

* Banh mi (one Lee’s Sandwiches shop in San Jose, CA used to offer their own froyo, including a flavor based on their Vietnamese coffee, but it’s no longer around)

* Bibimbap: Froyo really freshens one’s breath which is helpful after a Korean meal. Sunny Bowl in Mountain View, CA used to offer bibimbap and froyo. They’re still open but they stopped serving froyo.

* Omusubi/onigiri at Sunny Blue in Santa Monica and Culver City. I like meals that aren’t totally filling and heavy followed by a small cup of froyo. I’ve always liked omusubi (Japanese rice balls) and Sunny Blue has the best ones. They’re made to order with warm, furikake topped rice and generous amounts of tasty, healthy Japanese fillings like miso beef, shiso ume, tuna, spicy salmon, etc. So far my favorite omusubi is the Sunny Blue Curry (chicken with wafu curry). One omusubi ($2.85-$4.45) is a great snack.

Both of their shops are adorable and both offer froyo (2 flavors a day). The Culver City shop is a bit larger. During my visit the froyo flavors were tart and creamsicle (I wish they were still offering black sesame froyo). The toppings included red beans, Pocky, yuzu jam, Hello Panda, strawberries, etc. It’s not self-serve. The tart froyo was thick, smooth, creamy and tangy. Another tip: Their complimentary chilled barley tea is excellent and pairs well with rice balls and froyo.

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

* SUNNY BLUE: 2728 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

* SUNNY BLUE CULVER CITY: 12608A Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066

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, December 22, 2016

First Visit to U-Swirl





Fro-yo girl here. I didn’t realize that the U-Swirl chain had locations in California. Their first California location opened a few years ago in Chico, CA. That location has since closed. This year they opened their second location in Southern California in Downey in August 2016. The first SoCal location in San Clemente opened in December 2015.

The San Clemente U-Swirl is co-branded with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The Downey one is not. U-Swirl describes itself as follows: “Unlike conventional frozen yogurt shops where you must wait for service only to have the clerk skimp on a few toppings, at U-Swirl you simply pick up a cup, swirl it with any combinations of yogurt flavors, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Choose one, three, ten toppings. Make it healthy, or decadent -- it's up to you! And because your creation is priced by weight, you even control what you pay.” That description could apply to any self-serve frozen yogurt shop.

U-Swirl Downey was clean and pleasant but the interior felt sterile without much personality. The flavor posters in the window were nice but generic looking. The yogurt wall had white and blue rectangular tiles. There were 12 self-serve flavors with the middle handle labeled as well (as a separate swirl flavor). If you count the middle handle, they had 18 flavors. It’s 47 cents an ounce, a bit cheaper than the Menchie’s down the street (Menchie’s is 49 cents an ounce).

The froyo flavors were typical, e.g., peanut butter, chocolate, vanilla, cake batter, pumpkin pie, etc. The texture was on the icy side. The flavors were average. Pumpkin pie tasted like spiced apple pie rather than pumpkin. Odd. Original tart was on the icy side and was about average in tartness. Flavorwise, I prefer Menchie’s and Yogurtland.

The toppings bar was a bit better. I liked how there were big pieces of brownies, big chunks of Butterfinger, Peanut M&Ms, cupcake bites and Magic Shell. They also had your typical mochi, popping boba, candy, fruit, nuts, coconut, cookies, cereal, chocolate chips and syrups.

There are currently 43 U-Swirl locations listed on the U-Swirl website.


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

* U-SWIRL: 8855 Apollo Way St. 220, Downey, CA 90242

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, December 20, 2016

Best New Froyo Flavors of 2016

Fro-yo girl here. Last year I consumed over 200 cups of froyo. This year’s total will be slightly shy of 200 (I expect to end the year at 190 cups of froyo). That’s a lot of froyo consumed. Most of the consumption occurred in Southern California. 

New flavors definitely keep me interested in consuming froyo. My favorite flavors in 2016 were:

Best 
Tart: Yogurtland’s Blueberry Mangosteen Tart

Yogurtland’s Blueberry Mangosteen tart was part of the Trolls promotion. The flavor is made with real blueberries and mangosteen. You can definitely taste the blueberries and the mangosteen makes it tangier and more interesting. The mangosteen tasted like grapes to me but others describe mangosteen as tasting like strawberries, kiwis, plums, peaches, etc.

Best Sweet Froyo: Yogurtland’s Chocolate Covered Pretzel

Yogurtland’s Chocolate Covered Pretzel frozen yogurt was also part of the Trolls promotion. I normally don’t like chocolate frozen yogurt but this flavor was so intriguing in terms of flavor and texture. It’s filled with tiny pretzel bits and the chocolate flavor works so well with the saltiness from the pretzels.

Best Vegan/Non-Chain: Yoga-urt’s Radiant Golden Rose

Yoga-urt continues to impress me (and Mr. Froyo) with its flavors and product quality. Their vegan base made with housemade cashew milk and almonds results in a very dense and very clean tasting frozen yogurt. It tastes fresher and less processed. Radiant golden rose was created for Yoga-urt’s first anniversary. It tastes like saffron with a hint of rosewater, flavors reminiscent of the Middle East.

Best Vegan/Chain: Pinkberry’s Coconut Milk

I’m not a big fan of coconut but I liked their Coconut Milk Swirl. First, the texture was very pleasing: smooth, dense, creamy, thick. It tasted like coconut of course and it was mellow and not super sweet.

The flavor that I really wish I had tried but didn’t was offered by Pinkberry New England. They partnered with Boston chef Tiffani Faison to create a sweet corn frozen yogurt with blueberry compote and a brown sugar buttermilk crumble.

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

* YOGA-URT, 1407 ½ W Kenneth Rd., Glendale, CA 91201

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, December 15, 2016

New Yogurtland Trolls Flavor, Smidge’s Cinnamon Donut Holes



Fro-yo girl here. The Yogurtland Trolls promotion continues with a new limited time Trolls inspired flavor, Smidge’s Cinnamon Donut Holes. This is the last new promotional Trolls flavor.

Cinnamon Donut Holes frozen yogurt is described as “Smidge may be teeny-tiny, but she knows how to pack a big punch with this new twist on everyone’s favorite treat – donuts! Cinnamon sugar blends together with the flavors of buttery donuts for an irresistible dessert. Sounds delicious, donut?!” The flavor is lowfat and made with real cinnamon.

The cake/donut flavor mutes the cinnamon, but I could taste the cinnamon. Somehow the aftertaste tasted like the sugar coating on donuts (you’d think that it would be difficult to achieve that effect). The flavor is on the sweeter side but I think it will be a hit for people who like sweeter cake/donut flavors. Recommended toppings: Nilla wafers, frosted animal cookies and sprinkles.

Last Thursday Yogurtland introduced Guy Diamond’s White Chocolate Peppermint (December 8), which I think is a returning flavor. The white chocolate mellows the peppermint so that the frozen yogurt is not too minty. It’s a sweet and festive flavor that I would top with white chocolate chips, almonds for crunch and Oreo cookies.

Yogurtland Pasadena ran out of Chocolate Covered Pretzel and White Chocolate Peppermint. Promotional flavors are available while supplies last.

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, December 13, 2016

2016 Froyo Shop Openings and Closings in California


Fro-yo girl here. California is a large state and it’s the one with the most frozen yogurt shops. It’s challenging to track every froyo shop opening and closing. The openings are easier to track because shops make an effort to get their name out there. They usually have a Yelp listing and a presence on Facebook and/or Instagram. Shops generally close quietly, sometimes with no announcement.

There are also shops that move (I don’t count moves as an opening or closing though both technically occurred) and shops that have frozen yogurt but it isn’t their main thing (e.g., restaurants, convenience stores). Tracking frozen yogurt served at non-frozen yogurt shops is even more challenging.

Here’s my attempt to track froyo shop openings and closings in California this year:



New California Locations

  1. 33 Degree Frozen Yogurt Victorville
  2. Berry’s On Top Garden Grove
  3. Big Kahuna Elk Grove
  4. Big Kahuna Ceres
  5. Buono Vita Yogurt Berkeley 
  6. Cherry Chill Ontario 
  7. Chillbox San Diego 
  8. Cool Spot Brentwood
  9. Cups Frozen Yogurt Irvine
  10. Cups Torrey Hills
  11. Daddy’s Best Frozen Yogurt (truck)
  12. Exquisito Santa Ana 
  13. Fashion Fruit Yogurt Los Angeles
  14. Forever Yogurt/Bee & Tea Walnut Creek 
  15. Freezing Summer Los Angeles
  16. Froba Montebello
  17. Frozen D’light Corona
  18. Frozen Yogurt & Deli Montebello
  19. Fruity Tart Moreno Valley
  20. Go Greek Newport Beach 
  21. Go Greek Corona Del Mar 
  22. Golden Spoon Valencia
  23. Good Earth Yogurt Bishop
  24. ICE-YO West Hollywood
  25. Joe’s Organic Frozen Yogurt Fullerton
  26. Kuki's Ice Cream Cakes & Yogurt
  27. Loving Cup Greenbrae
  28. Menchie’s El Monte 
  29. Menchie’s South El Monte
  30. Menchie’s Fullerton
  31. Menchie’s Pico Rivera 
  32. Menchie’s Norco January
  33. Menchie’s Moreno Valley
  34. Menchie’s San Ramon 
  35. Menchie’s Victorville
  36. Menchie’s Lodi 
  37. Moo Moo Yogurt Foster City
  38. Myo Frozen Yogurt Walnut Creek
  39. Nuyo Frozen Yogurt Lincoln
  40. Pennylane Frozen Yogurt and Candy Campbell 
  41. Peachy King Fresno
  42. Rainbow Sprinkles Donuts & Frozen Yogurt South Lake Tahoe
  43. Red Mango Ruby Hill, Livermore
  44. Rosy Yogurt, Los Gatos
  45. Sweet Tahoe Time, Tahoe City
  46. Swirl Fiesta Riverside
  47. Swirl N Hearts Granada Hills
  48. Things N Yogurt Valencia
  49. U-Swirl Downey
  50. Valencia Yogurt Co. Valencia
  51. Verylicious Yogurt Hawthorne
  52. Wanna Chill? Redondo Beach
  53. Yo Way 
  54. Yogofina Elmwood, Berkeley
  55. Yogolicious Taft 
  56. Yogurt Cup Temecula
  57. Yogurt Delite Dublin
  58. Yogurt Heaven San Diego
  59. Yogurt Shop Danville
  60. Yogurt Shoppe Brentwood 
  61. Yogurtland Chatsworth 
  62. Yogurtland Westlake, LA 
  63. Yogurtland Boyle Heights 
  64. Yogurtland Long Beach, Spring St.
  65. Yogurtland Huntington Beach, July
  66. Yogurtland Cypress
  67. Yogurtland 28th & National, San Diego
  68. Yogurtland Lancaster`
  69. Yogurtland Riverside
  70. Yogurtland Ontario 
  71. Yogurtland Walnut
  72. Yogurtland Santa Ana Sunflower
  73. Yogurtland Paramount 
  74. Yogurtland Hesperia
  75. Yogurtland Redlands
  76. Yogurtland Compton
  77. Yogurtland Hayward 
  78. Yogurtland Garden Grove Promenade, Chapman
  79. Yogurtland North Hollywood
  80. Yogurtland Huntington Park
  81. Yogurtland El Cajon, Jamacha Village
  82. Yogurtland Express, Petco Park, San Diego
  83. Yogurtland Express, Petco Park #2
  84. Yogurtland Express Angels Stadium 
  85. Yogurtland Express Angels Stadium #2
  86. Yogurtland Express Raging Waters San Dimas
  87. Yogurtland Express Raging Waters Sacramento
  88. Yogurtland Santa Monica (Lincoln/Pico)

Closed locations 2016

  1. Big Spoon Dixon
  2. Brew-Le Valencia (replaced by Things N Yogurt)
  3. Buzio's Pasadena
  4. C&M Cafe Sherman Oaks
  5. Cherry on Top Diamond Bar
  6. Cherry on Top Laguna Niguel
  7. Danville Desserts Danville (replaced by Yogurt Shop)
  8. FroYo Love Oceanside
  9. Frozen Flavors Sun Valley 
  10. Go Greek Yogurt Corona Del Mar
  11. Go Greek Yogurt Newport Beach
  12. GoGo Froyo truck
  13. Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt Chula Vista
  14. Ice Krave North Hollywood
  15. Kate's Yogurt Solvang
  16. Love Yogurt Bakersfield
  17. Menchie’s Huntington Beach
  18. Michelle's Yogurt & Sweets Berkeley
  19. Miyo Yogurt Los Altos
  20. Nubi Yogurt San Mateo
  21. Nubi Yogurt San Leandro
  22. Pinkberry Alvarado, Monterey
  23. Pinkberry Rancho Cucamonga
  24. Pinkberry Santa Clara
  25. Pinkberry Tustin
  26. Pinkberry West San Jose 
  27. Pinkberry Brentwood, Los Angeles
  28. PitStop Froyo Burbank
  29. Red Mango/Auntie Anne's Palo Alto
  30. SnapFit Frozen Yogurt Canoga Park
  31. Sno South Lake Tahoe
  32. Sparky's Yogurt, Santa Monica
  33. Spoon Me, Marysville
  34. Spoon Me, Redding
  35. Spoon Me, Woodland
  36. Sweet & Swirly Frozen Yogurt, Port Hueneme
  37. Sweet Retreat Blossom Valley San Jose (due to fire)
  38. Sweet Tart Moreno Valley
  39. Tutti Frutti Brea
  40. Tutti Frutti Los Angeles, DTLA 1st & Hope
  41. Tutti Frutti Whittier
  42. Tutti Frutti North Hollywood (replaced by Yogurtland)
  43. Tutti Frutti Los Angeles, Boyle Heights
  44. Tutti Frutti Danville
  45. Tutti Frutti Sunnyvale
  46. Tuttimelon SF Chinatown
  47. Twirl Frozen Yogurt (later Larchmont Juicery) Los Angeles
  48. Valencia Yogurt Company Valencia
  49. Yogen Fruz San Diego
  50. Yogen Fruz Tarzana
  51. Yogurt Blast Duarte
  52. Yogurt Coffee & Beyond Oroville
  53. Yogurt Cove San Jose
  54. Yogurt In Love Monterey Park
  55. Yogurt Planet Northridge
  56. Yogurt Station Walnut Creek (now Myo but under the same ownership and management)
  57. Yogurt Zone Encino
  58. Yogurtland Woodland Hills
  59. Yogurtland LAX
  60. Yogurtland Lebec/Tejon Ranch
  61. Yogurtland Universal City Walk (to be replaced by Menchie's)
  62. YogurtLane Simi Valley
  63. Yolatea Pleasanton
  64. Yolo Berry Berkeley (replaced by Buono Vita Yogurt)
  65. Yoppi Yogurt Walnut Creek
  66. Yoppi Yogurt Belmont
  67. Yoppi Yogurt Glendale
  68. YoYumYum Oxnard
  69. Yumi Yogurt Hillsdale Mall, San Mateo
  70. Yumi Yogurt Millbrae
  71. Yumi Yogurt Los Gatos


Remodeled

· Yogurtland Fullerton (and reopened)

· 21 Choices Pasadena (should reopen in 2017)



Remodeled and Moved

· Yogurtland West Covina

· Humphrey Yogart



Nontraditional (not a froyo shop) Openings

1. C&M Café Sherman Oaks

2. Edible Arrangements (various) 


3. It’s Boba Time East Hollywood


4. Foodhall San Francisco

5. Mali Cuisine Thousand Oaks

6. Moo Greek Yogurt Los Angeles

7. Popbar San Jose


8. Popbar Torrance

9. Popbar Huntington Beach

10. Souvla, NOPA, San Francisco

11. Spread Mediterranean Kitchen Los Angeles

12. Sunlife Organics Pasadena

13. Sweet Lab Rosemead

14. Target/Freshii Pasadena

15. Target/Freshii Brea

16. Target/Freshii Woodland Hills

17. Target/Freshii Culver City

18. Target/Freshii Irvine

19. Yalla Fremont

20. Yalla Seal Beach


Coming Soon

1. Go Greek Santa Monica

2. Golden Spoon Valencia

3. Menchie’s Glendale

4. Pinkberry Anaheim

5. Souvla, Valencia St.

6. Yogurtland Santa Monica Lincoln

7. Yogurtland West Hollywood

8. SnapFit Frozen Yogurt Brea


9. Sweet Retreat Ice Cream San Jose

I expected to see more frozen yogurt shop closings than openings this year, similar to last year, but the number of openings far exceeded the number of closings (88 openings vs. 71 closings) without counting the non-traditional froyo openings. I didn’t think there was room for more frozen yogurt in Berkeley, but new shops opened there this year.

Yogurtland is on fire, opening 28 locations, mostly in Southern California and including the Express concept at Raging Waters, Angels Stadium and Petco Park. Menchie’s opened 9 locations in California in 2016. Chains like Cups, U-Swirl, and Forever Yogurt added California locations this year. A few organic frozen yogurt shops opened, including Brew-Le, Pennylane, and Joe’s Organic Frozen Yogurt. Brew-Le opened, changed owners and closed in less than a year.

The number of non-traditional locations (i.e., locations that are not frozen yogurt shops) is greater than reported because Edible Arrangements added Edible to Go, with frozen yogurt, to some of its stores (I don’t know how many). I heard that additional Daphne’s Greek locations will be converted to Yalla Mediterranean but I don’t know how many or when. Freshii locations within Target now serve vanilla froyo.

Tutti Frutti had the most closings, with six California locations closing in 2016. Next, Pinkberry closed five California locations in 2016. I'm worried about the remaining locations. Some of them look neglected and very little that's new has come out since Pinkberry was acquired. They've been closing locations outside of California as well. Yogen Fruz closed several California locations. Menchie’s closed one California location. Yogurtland closed some high profile locations including the new one in Woodland Hills, the one at LAX and the fancy one at Universal City Walk.

Did I miss any openings or closings? Let me know.

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, December 8, 2016

Pazzo Gelato Greek Yogurt Gelato



Fro-yo girl here. I don’t have gelato that often. First, I’d much rather have froyo. Second, I prefer ice cream to gelato. However, when a gelato shop offers yogurt gelato, it gets my attention. Pazzo Gelato posts flavor updates on Twitter and a recent update listed Greek Yogurt. Yes.

Pazzo makes its own gelato with top quality ingredients and local produce. They also serve smoothies, shakes, pastries, coffee and tea.

* Greek yogurt gelato with honey: This was indulgent, rich, velvety, extremely dense and smooth. I liked how it had a slight tang from the yogurt and the honey flavor was prominent and delicious. This was the smoothest, densest yogurt gelato that I’ve had (I’ve tried yogurt gelato at several gelato shops).

I also had a scoop of strawberry buttermilk gelato. The texture wasn’t as smooth as the Greek yogurt but it was thick and creamy. It wasn’t tangy but it did taste like fresh strawberries with cream.

Apparently Pazzo Gelato had a European yogurt gelato in the past but I haven’t seen it offered lately. If they ever offer green tea yogurt again, I have to get some.

Pazzo Gelato has two locations: one in downtown LA and the other in Silverlake.

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

* PAZZO GELATO: 3827 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026



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, December 6, 2016

Chocolates White Chocolate Yogurt Wafer Review


Fro-yo girl here. Korean and Japanese grocery stores sometimes carry interesting yogurt flavored snacks. However, the Chocolates White Chocolate Yogurt Wafers that I found recently at Good Fortune Supermarket, a Chinese supermarket, are imported from Taiwan. They’re manufactured by Hunya Foods, a chocolate company.

One package contains 9 individually wrapped cookies. Each cookie is 70 calories with 5g of fat.

The cookies are sugar wafer cookies, with thin, soft, crispy sugar wafer layers and thin layers of yogurt cream in between. The entire cookie is enrobed in a thin white chocolate coating. It has a mild tang that reminds me of Yakult. It also tastes powdery. The cookies are decent but I’m not a fan of Yakult.

Ingredients: Vegetable oil, flour, milk powder, glucose, sucrose, starch, lactose, polydextrose, maltose, butter, flavors, emulsifiers, lactic acid bacteria, leavening agent, soybean flour, malic acid, citric acid

3.5 out of 5 stars

* GOOD FORTUNE SUPERMARKET: 137 S San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776

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.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mr. Holmes x Jeni’s Pop-Up




Fro-yo girl here. Today was the final day of the Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams pop-up. Jeni’s trailer was parked in front of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. There were three pairings today:

  1. Churro Croissant with Middle West Whiskey & Pecans Ice Cream
  2. Cornflake Cookie with Mont Blanc Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt 
  3. Chocolate Chunk Cookie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Jeni’s trailer also had 4 ice creams available by the scoop: Whiskey and Pecans, Salty Caramel, Milkiest Chocolate and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso.

As a fan of both Mr. Holmes and Jeni’s, I was excited about this pop-up. Mr. Holmes’s cookies may just be the best thing they offer. The cornflake cookie is thick, dense and crunchy but it’s also chewy towards the center. It’s not too sweet and would probably pair well with any of Jeni’s ice cream flavors. The cookie is pretty amazing – the texture, the fact that it’s not too sweet, the complexity of the flavor – it’s way better than the humble corn flake.

Then there’s Jeni’s phenomenal Mont Blanc buttermilk frozen yogurt. It’s creamy, dense and has that deep molasses flavor. It is perfectly paired with the cornflake cookie.

The pop-up is over but it’s easy enough to replicate their pairings if you live near Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (with locations in SF, LA and Seoul). Jeni’s is carried in supermarkets throughout the country and you can also have the pints shipped to you.

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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

South Lake Avenue Holidayfest on December 3 in Pasadena



Fro-yo girl here. South Lake Avenue’s Holidayfest is filled with holiday fun, including live music, a scavenger hunt, North Pole Kid Zone (at the Corporate Center Pasadena), Santa’s Village (at the Shops on Lake) and Holiday Happy Hour (at the Commons). There will be roaming holiday characters, horse and carriage rides, carolers and in-store promotions. Santa’s going to be there too.


Yogurtland Pasadena is participating. During Holidayfest, you'll receive a $1 Yogurtland coupon with any purchase. Be sure to collect your scavenger hunt stamp at Yogurtland as well. Turn in your scavenger card with 12 stamps and be entered to win prizes like Yogurtland coupons. Pro tip: Try the new Chocolate Covered Pretzel frozen yogurt before it’s too late. And if you’re a Yogurtland regular, get one of the 2017 Black Friday coupon booklets if it’s not too late. You get 12 ozs of free froyo every week in 2017 for just $50 (a $290 value).

Many of the shops and restaurants around South Lake Avenue are participating, including Philz, Duke Bakery, Lemonade, Du-Par’s, PokeMix, Peet’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Nothing Bundt Cakes, etc. Many places will have free cookies, yum.

Holidayfest is on December 3 from 12 – 5 PM. Free parking and free admission. For full details, see: http://www.southlakeavenue.org/events/calendar/south-lakes-2016-holiday-celebration-12-5pm/

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, December 1, 2016

New Yogurtland Trolls Flavor, King Peppy’s Chocolate Covered Pretzel


Fro-yo girl here. The Yogurtland Trolls promotion continues with a new limited time flavor, King Peppy’s Chocolate Covered Pretzel.

The flavor card describes the flavor as, “King Peppy’s heroism and courage made him a Troll legend – and it’s no wonder! Any Troll that combines creamy milk chocolate with bits of real pretzel for a spoonful of sweet and salty goodness is a true hero in our book.” The flavor is lowfat and made with cocoa, pretzels, chocolate and salt.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel is different – in a really good, tasty way. It’s filled with tiny bits of pretzel, so it’s not as smooth but the pretzels make the yogurt thicker. The salt makes it interesting too. Milk chocolate holds it all together. If you like chocolate covered pretzels, you’ll like chocolate covered pretzel. I was ready to add chocolate covered pretzels on top but they didn’t have any more. Recommended toppings: Chocolate shell, almonds, chocolate covered pretzels

Yogurtland Pasadena is out of Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel flavor. They ran out in less than a week. Chocolate Covered Pretzel should be a big hit too.

The next promotional flavor is Guy Diamond’s White Chocolate Peppermint (December 8), which I think is a returning flavor.

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Menchie’s Holiday Dessert Fair Returns with New Flavors, Part II



Fro-yo girl here. It hasn’t been easy to find the new November holiday flavors at Menchie’s even though November is almost over. Menchie’s South Pasadena rarely answers the phone and no Menchie’s in the area posts flavor updates. If I want to find the new flavors, I can usually rely on Menchie’s Huntington Oaks in Monrovia.

I finally found Spiced Gingerbread Cookie and Dark Chocolate Mousse made with almond milk.

* Dark Chocolate Mousse made with almond milk: This flavor is dairy-free (vegan). I really like almond milk and it works well here. It mutes the chocolate and gives it a slightly nutty flavor. The texture was quite creamy. Recommended toppings: Cool Whip, Ande’s Mints, Oreos

* Spiced Gingerbread Cookie: This lowfat flavor tastes more like gingerbread spices than gingerbread cookies. The spices like ginger and cinnamon are definitely noticeable but not overpowering. Recommended toppings: almonds, Heath, Magic Shell and brownies.

It looks like the December flavors won’t be arriving on December 1.

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, November 29, 2016

21 Choices Pasadena to Reopen Next Month?



Fro-yo girl here. The white spray that they sprayed the windows of 21 Choices with has started to wear away. The building retrofit is taking forever. While there is no new sign at the location, the 21 Choices website now says, “The construction to our building seems to be finishing up! We do not have an opening date yet but are hoping to be back next month.”

Meanwhile, you can stop by and peek inside. The 21 Choices sign is still up and you can see the menu board.

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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Jeni’s Mont Blanc Frozen Yogurt Review




Fro-yo girl here. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Holiday 2016 flavors included one new frozen yogurt flavor, Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc features “toasted chestnuts and molasses with fresh organic yogurt, buttermilk, and cream.”

I know Jeni’s makes very tangy and intensely flavored frozen yogurt, so I wasn’t sure how her tangy style would work with chestnuts and molasses. The Mont Blanc buttermilk frozen yogurt is the sweetest Jeni’s frozen yogurt that I’ve tried to date. The tang isn’t there. The molasses has a deep, rich, sweet flavor that dominates this frozen yogurt. The chestnut gets lost because of the molasses. The texture was super dense, rich and creamy.

Verdict: I prefer the fruity tart frozen yogurt flavors that Jeni makes but Mont Blanc would be nice on top of pie or with a hot beverage (e.g., in an affogato).

Take advantage of Jeni’s special now through Cyber Monday: Buy 4 pints, get 2 pints in the scoop shops and online (use the code TWOFREE at checkout).

* JENI’S ICE CREAMS: Find a Jeni’s scoop shop at https://jenis.com/scoop-shops/

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.

Friday, November 25, 2016

New Yogurtland Trolls Poppy Spoon, Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel Flavor, Black Friday Special






Fro-yo girl here. Happy Black Friday! What a day – lots going on at Yogurtland. First, the Black Friday 2017 voucher booklets went on sale at participating Yogurtland locations. You get a year’s worth of yogurt (a $290 value) for $50. The booklet has one coupon for every week. Each coupon is good for 12 ozs of free yogurt good during that week only. Limit one voucher per customer per cup. The coupons can be redeemed at the locations listed in the booklet (in California, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana). It’s definitely a great deal if you are a Yogurtland regular. The booklets were selling quickly. The shop was supposed to open at 11 AM and people were asking about the booklets starting at 8 AM.

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day for the new Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel flavor. However, most Yogurtland locations were closed yesterday. 

Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel froyo is described as “If you thought peanut butter couldn’t get any better, think again. We swirled dark roasted peanuts with real caramel for a deliciously sticky situation that even Branch can’t help but get excited about.” The flavor is low-fat and gluten free. I could taste the peanuts and the caramel. The caramel had a buttery flavor. It seemed like the caramel flavor was stronger but that might be because I prefer peanut butter. Recommended toppings: peanuts, raspberry puree, Nilla wafers, mini Nutter Butters and peanut butter sauce…inspired by PB&J.

I also picked up the new Poppy spoon. It’s a bit hard to see her features (the imprint is light) and the back of the spoon is plain. The spoons and new flavor are available while supplies last.

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, November 22, 2016

Black Friday Froyo Specials at Yogurtland


Fro-yo girl here. Some Yogurtland locations (Bakersfield, Chino Hills, Monrovia, Pasadena/Lake, Rancho Cucamonga, San Ramon) have announced Black Friday specials. They’re selling the 2017 Voucher Booklet (a $290 value) for $50. The first 25 guests will be able to purchase the booklet for $25 at certain (but not all) locations. The booklets will be available while supplies last. Voucher booklets only available with yogurt purchase. The vouchers are only good at the location where they are purchased.

There will be giveaways for the first 50 guests at select locations. I’ll be there for sure and I’ll report back with pictures of the vouchers. 


Here's the list of participating locations:

California


  • Almaden
  • Bakersfield
  • Bishop Ranch
  • Burbank
  • Campbell
  • Capitola
  • Carson
  • Century City
  • Chino Hills
  • Dana Point
  • Escondido
  • Fair Oaks
  • Fullerton Downtown
  • Huntington Beach 5 Point
  • Inglewood
  • Irvine Spectrum
  • Miracle Mile
  • Mission Viejo
  • Monrovia
  • Montebello
  • Morgan Hill
  • Mountain View
  • Murrieta
  • Newport Beach
  • Pasadena Lake Ave.
  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • San Ramon
  • Santa Ana
  • Stockton
  • Watsonville
  • Westgate

Colorado

  • Cherrywood Square
  • Denver 5th & Grant
  • Governor's Plaza
  • Northridge Center

Louisiana


  • Lafayette
  • LSU
  • New Orleans
  • Towne Center, Baton Rouge


Washington

  • Bear Creek Plaza
  • Bellevue
  • Kent
  • Lynwood
  • Sammanish

P.S. Your local Yogurtland is likely going to be closed on Thanksgiving and they might be closing early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Customer Appreciation Weekend at Yogurtland




Fro-yo girl here. This is Customer Appreciation Weekend at multiple Yogurtland locations in Southern California. The participating locations are:

  • Fullerton
  • UCI
  • Alhambra
  • Lakewood
  • Shops at Rossmor/Seal Beach
  • Gateway Downey
  • South Gate
  • Edinger Plaza/Huntington Beach
  • Genesee Plaza/San Diego

The first 25 guests each day will receive 5 oz of free yogurt. You get a small cup which you can fill up with however much froyo and toppings will fit – for free. Thanks Yogurtland!

On Saturday, November 19th the special is a $5 unlimited cup. On Sunday, November 20th the special is a buy one, get one free offer. Some locations like Downey have other promotions like contests for best unlimited cups and giveaways.

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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Humphrey Yogart Reopens in Sherman Oaks





Fro-yo girl here. Humphrey Yogart first opened in Sherman Oaks in February 1984. In March of this year, they closed their doors when they couldn't come to an agreement with their new landlord. Froyo fans were understandably devastated but this story has a happy ending. The owners, Jim and Paula Sheftel, looked for a new location and they found one in the same shopping center as their original shop. The two met and fell in love at the shop and they were both there on opening day, making yogart (so cute).

The new Humphrey Yogart is located inside Gelson’s grocery store. Thank you, Gelson’s! They started swirling at their new location today, November 18, 2016. Look for their kiosk at the front of Gelson’s.

The menu still provides many options but they no longer offer soups, sandwiches and coffee. The menu includes frozen yogurt, ice cream, shakes, sundaes, and acai bowls. Their most popular item is the blend-in style “yogart” where you choose the base of yogart (sweet vanilla, tart vanilla, chocolate), ice cream, organic soy (vegan), organic coconut (vegan) and low carb daily flavor, choose your blend in ingredients (fruit, peanut butter, nuts, green tea, cinnamon, espresso, chocolate chips, candy, cookie dough, cookie butter, brownies, cream cheese, etc.) and add a topping or cone. Your custom creation is placed in a machine and blended together.

I personally prefer the tart vanilla base because it is quite tart. It goes well with fruit and green tea.

Froyo prices: Non-fat yogart mini $3.05, small $4.05, medium $5.25, large $6.50, XL $8.05. Blend in prices start at 30 cents (the price goes up as the cup size increases).

The old stamp cards still work or ask for a new one. If you like blend-in style yogart, Humphrey’s is the place to go in the San Fernando Valley. It’s open daily from 11 AM – 11 PM.

I looked over at the old location. The building is still standing but it’s completely vacant and the façade/exterior has been removed. It looks like the entire building is being renovated. There was a sign for the Burger Lounge which must be moving in.

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

* HUMPHREY YOGART: 4520 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

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, November 17, 2016

DreamWorks Animation Trolls Inspired Flavors at Yogurtland: DJ Suki’s Cranberry Raspberry Tart & Biggie’s Frosted Cookie


Fro-yo girl here. The Yogurtland Celebrates Trolls promotion continues with a new limited time flavors, DJ Suki’s Cranberry Raspberry Tart (released on November 10) and Biggie’s Frosted Cookie (released on November 17.

Unless I’m mistaken, Cranberry Raspberry Tart isn’t a brand new flavor. It often shows up around this time of year as a special holiday flavor. Cranberry Raspberry Tart was first introduced in 2011.

Biggie’s Frosted Cookie is brand new. This lowfat flavor is described as: “Biggie is a huge softie when it comes to frosted cookies. Real shortbread cookies with the rich flavor of buttercream frosting make for the tastiest cookie that has ever been enjoyed by the spoonful. It’s so good, even Mr. Dinkles can’t resist.”

Yogurtland usually has excellent cookie flavors, so I was looking forward to trying Frosted Cookie. I was pleasantly surprised by the light blue color. The flavor is pretty sweet like a sugar cookie with buttercream frosting. It tasted more like the frosting than the cookie. For me it was a miss because it was just sweet on sweet sugar without much else going on. Recommended toppings: Butterfinger, Cap’n Crunch, peanuts and peanut butter sauce.

The next new flavor is Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel on November 24. I know several peanut butter froyo fans who are excited to try it. The new Trolls spoon will also be released next week.

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.

Baklava Froyo, Froyo Topped with Baklava


Fro-yo girl here. Did you know that today is National Baklava Day? Baklava is good on its own – the papery thin layers of filo pastry, chopped nuts and honey or sugar syrup – but it is dense, sweet and rich.

Baklava happens to be the perfect froyo topping, for plain froyo. It’s not as sweet or rich when paired with a light, tangy froyo. I became obsessed with baklava topped froyo when I had it at Souvla in San Francisco. Mini-chain, Yalla, also serves plain Greek froyo with baklava in Northern and Southern California. And it’s been spotted at the Pago cart and GRK in NYC, Yiaourtaki in Greece and Blu Spoon in Australia.

Turkey Hill had a baklava flavored froyo but I never had a chance to try it. Turkey Hill isn’t available in California, I think.

I found a recipe for homemade froyo with baklava: http://www.kalofagas.ca/2013/08/02/homemade-frozen-greek-yogurt/

Check out my Pinterest board for pictures of froyo with baklava: https://www.pinterest.com/froyogirl/froyo-with-baklava/

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.