Friday, September 30, 2011

Vancouver Fro-yo Report

Fro-yo girl here. While I wasn’t able to go to every fro-yo shop in the greater Vancouver area, I think I covered the downtown and West End area. This is what I found:

* Saporito, 1703 Robson St. (West End): Gelato place that replaced Blueberry. Blueberry served fro-yo and Saporito has one fro-yo machine and one fro-yo flavor, original tart. I wanted to try it but it was closed for the week.
* Footo Delights, 820 Homer St. (Downtown/Yaletown): Tiny Asian owned bakery cafe that replaced Froyo Swirl. They have one flavor of fro-yo, original tart, and some interesting toppings (but no mochi).

* Yogen Fruz, 1286 Robson St. (West End): I was surprised to only find one Yogen Fruz, looked like a typical YF, on the small side
* Qoola, 1116 Denman St. (West End): Their original location, with 4 fro-yo flavors, it just closed (for good). I managed to try it (just in time). They have 4 other locations.
* The Milkman, 1689 Johnston St. (Granville Island): Has sweet soft serve fro-yo (chocolate and vanilla) and Canadian style mix in yogurt (yogurt base mixed with frozen fruit in a machine).

I did get lost on the way to Pinkberry’s Vancouver location (its first in Canada). Why can’t it be closer to downtown? I hopped on a bus to take me across the bridge into West Vancouver.

Overall, I was surprised by the lack of fro-yo, the lack of tart fro-yo flavors and the lack of self-serve fro-yo. There’s only one fro-yo shop in the downtown area. The West End has the highest concentration of fro-yo shops which isn’t surprising considering that’s also where most of the Korean restaurants are. There are more gelato shops than fro-yo shops and some of these had yogurt gelato.

Maybe people are too busy eating $1.56 slices of pizza? I was expecting a more vibrant fro-yo scene in Vancouver.

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Noosa Yoghurt Review

Fro-yo girl here. Noosa Yoghurt is an Australian style yoghurt, made with Australian yogurt cultures and Colorado dairy. It’s a thick, tangy, all natural yoghurt available in six flavors: honey, blueberry, mango, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb and peach. A tub is 8 ounces.

* Honey yoghurt: thicker, creamier and richer than the Greek yogurt I’ve had, almost cheesy, the Colorado honey is delicious, the flavor is very tangy, the cheesiness was a bit odd. It’s not non-fat.

I found Noosa at QFC for $2.39. It’s currently not available in the Bay Area. You can find the locations that carry Noosa by visiting their website.

4 out of 5 stars.

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

* QFC: 417 Broadway E, Seattle, WA

Thursday, September 22, 2011

iPhone Fro-yo Apps

Fro-yo girl here. Did you know that there are 300,000 mobile apps in the Apple app store? Of course fro-yo apps exist. There are three categories of free fro-yo iPhone apps:

1. Store/fro-yo chain informational/promotional apps: OrangeLeaf, SkinnyMinnys, Spoon Me and LaFroyo’s apps are similar to what you’d expect to find on a fro-yo store website. They list store locations, menu items, special offers, and connections to social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter). SpoonMe’s app also serves as a mobile loyalty card.

2. Fro-yo games: SwirlIt has Froyo Flip, a simple memory matching game. Wicked Spoon’s game involves using a spoon to flip fro-yo into a fro-yo cup. The cup gets smaller with every level. There’s also the wind factor. It’s a hard game, moderately interesting. Make Froyo lets you design your own cup of virtual fro-yo. Amy’s Froyo2 is very similar to Make Froyo (you build your own cup of fro-yo) with crazier flavors (sweet corn) and toppings (cucumber).

3. Fro-yo finders: Flavors of the Day (FOTD) is lame and never seems to work, probably because no one is submitting flavors. The app is supposed to let you find the flavor you want in your area.

Make Froyo is my favorite fro-yo app. There’s something relaxing about choosing a cute cup, swirling fro-yo, adding toppings, choosing a cute spoon and eating your creation. The swirl always looks pretty and you can customize with toppings, including mochi.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yogurt Candy Review: Meiji Yoglet

Fro-yo girl here. Meiji, the Japanese maker of Chelsea Yogurt Scotch candy, also has another yogurt candy. I’m not sure what it’s called because the name on the box is in Japanese and the back calls it Japanese Cookie (Yoglet). The shelf tag calls the candy, Yoguret Tablet. Tablet is a more accurate description than cookie.

The yogurt tablets come individually sealed in the same type of packaging used for cold medication and Chiclets. You pop the candy out from the back through the foil. Each box comes with 18 tablets. Each tablet is the size of a penny.

The candy is hard, firm and smooth, like SweeTarts. They have a powdery, yogurt taste, tangy. It dissolves in your mouth.There’s something about the candy that makes me think of Flintstones vitamins. It tastes more like a vitamin than a candy.

Ingredients: sugar, condensed yogurt powder, vegetable oil, agar agar, bifidus, citric acid, calcium, yogurt flavor, emulsifier.

A box of 18 Yoglet tablets is $1.99 at Nijiya Market.

3 out of 5 stars.

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

* NIJIYA MARKET:1737 Post St #333, San Francisco, CA

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Popping Boba vs. Mochi Poll Results

Fro-yo girl here. I recently asked readers, which do you prefer as a fro-yo topping: mochi or popping boba? The poll results are in and mochi won easily, with 54% preferring mochi, 26% preferring popping boba and 18% that hadn’t tried both.

Good choice, readers. The chewiness of mochi and the sweetness complements fruit and tart fro-yo so well. Mochi goes well with sweet fro-yo too.

Popping boba are thin skinned spheres filled with flavored liquid. When you bite into one, the juice “explodes.” Popping boba look like fish eggs and come in flavors like mango, lychee, yogurt, strawberry, passionfruit. This new type of boba appeared first in boba/bubble drinks and then gained popularity in fro-yo shops. I haven’t seen them for sale at grocery stores, though you can buy them online at Amazon (but it seems like the smallest size is a 7 pound tub).

I’m not a fan of exploding food (except for Pop Rocks) and prefer the jellies that also crossed over from the boba drinks world to the popping boba. Or I’d prefer tapioca pearls on fro-yo to popping boba.

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yogurtland's New Flavors: Blackberry Lemon Mint Tart & Oatmeal Cookies

Fro-yo girl here. Yogurtland recently introduced three new fro-yo flavors. I talked about their new PB+J flavor in my last post. Here’s what I think about the other new flavors:

* Blackberry lemon mint tart: There’s a lot going on, so it’s certainly an interesting flavor. However, I find that fro-yo flavors that try to blend three flavors in one have too much going on. Mint is also a difficult flavor to pull off, especially for a tart fro-yo. It’s a unique flavor but I can’t say that it’s one that I like much.

* Oatmeal cookies: Highly recommended. It’s creamy, smooth, rich and comforting. The spices (cinnamon and ?) remind me of their pumpkin pie fro-yo only without pumpkin. Don’t miss this one. Make it even better by topping it with cookies (I like the mini Nutter Butters).

Yogurtland is currently making the best cookie inspired flavors out there (Chocolate Mint Cookies! Oatmeal Cookies!). They put real cookies in their cookie flavored fro-yo.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

PB+J Fro-yo

Fro-yo girl here. Back to school time has inspired the creation of pb & j fro-yo. Pinkberry was the first to introduce this quintessential back to school flavor. Their peanut butter fro-yo can be paired with organic strawberry jam and toasted breadcrumbs. The new luxe topping, peanut butter crunch, would be a good choice as well. Yogurtland's PB+J fro-yo features jelly in the fro-yo and real peanut butter.

Both Pinkberry and Yogurtland have captured the flavor of real peanuts and produced creamy, smooth, tasty fro-yo that's sure to please kids and those who like peanut butter flavored desserts. Yogurtland's PB+J has a more interesting flavor because it's saltier than Pinkberry's. I didn't notice the jelly but it's probably responsible for the pretty pinkish color of Yogurtland's PB+J fro-yo. Pinkberry's PB is sweeter, more of an indulgent flavor than Yogurtland's. Pinkberry has better toppings (loved the toasted breadcrumbs), including toppings chosen to complement their peanut butter fro-yo but when it comes to the fro-yo only, I'd pick Yogurtland's version.

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

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jamba Juice Whirl'ns Frozen Yogurt

Fro-yo girl here. I finally tried Whirl'ns, the frozen yogurt line Jamba Juice started testing in the Sacramento region in December 2010. They expanded the offering to SoCal next and recently started offering it in the Bay Area. You can find locations that carry Whirl'ns by visiting the Jamba Juice website. Note, no SF Jamba locations carry Whirl'ns. The closest location to SF with Whirl'ns is the remodeled Westlake location in Daly City. They just reopened today.

Whirl'ns offers custom mixed flavors (Blueberry Pomegranate Peaks, Swirly Strawberry Vanilla, Minty Chocolate Chip, Magnificent Mango Pineapple, Jazzy Java Chocolate, Awesome Apple Cinnamon) or plain (tart, vanilla or chocolate). The mixed flavors feature lowfat vanilla, lowfat chocolate or non-fat tart fro-yo.

I tried the blueberry pomegranate flavor since it is made with the tart base. The fro-yo is mixed in a machine. It's similar to Yogen Fruz but YF has a more flavorful yogurt base. The fro-yo is thick and very creamy without having that nice refreshing edge that some tart fro-yo has. It's sweet and tangy but not very tangy. Frozen blueberry pieces added texture. The taste reminds me of a firmer version of a Jamba Juice smoothie. I prefer Yogen Fruz for mix-in fro-yo but think Whirl'ns is decent.

Prices: Small $3.50, Medium $4.75, includes one topping. The toppings include granola, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate, almonds and bananas.

They currently have a seasonal flavor that I'm excited about Great Pumpkin Swirl and there were $1 off coupons at the store (good for any Whirl'ns fro-yo).

* JAMBA JUICE: 340 Westlake Center, Daly City, CA

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Various Fro-yo Shop Closures

Fro-yo girl here. I've added to the fro-yo graveyard list. The list is much longer now than it was at the beginning of the year.

Yogurt Bees finally closed (I say finally because I was surprised they managed to stay open as long as they did). Adding tapioca drinks and expanding the menu didn't save the business.

L'Amour Frozen Yogurt in Palo Alto posted a sign saying that they were closed while the building is under renovation. Will they reopen? Their Facebook page doesn't say. I can't imagine that they do half the business they used to with Yogurtland down the street. Also, they no longer maintain their website,, so it seems doubtful that they will reopen as L'Amour Frozen Yogurt. Maybe they'll turn into an Asian crepe place.

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

* YOGURT BEES: 46809 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont, CA
* L'AMOUR FROZEN YOGURT: 276 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fro-yo Picture from Chicago

A certain bear at Bare Berry in Lincoln Park. Happy Labor Day!

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

* BARE BERRY: 1211 W Webster Ave., Chicago, IL

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chicago Fro-yo Report: Fro-yo Scene Heats Up

Fro-yo girl here. What a difference a few months make...the Chicago fro-yo scene is red hot and it's not just because of the popularity of self-serve fro-yo.

1. Fro-yo (and kefir) on the go: Starfruit Cafe's Kefir Truck starts cruising the streets in June. Culture fro-yo truck, from the founder of Berry Chill, joins in late August. Follow the trucks on Twitter, @StarfruitCafe and @Culture

2. Pinkberry finally opens in July, taking over the old Berry Chill space. A second store in Old Town is slated to open on Sept. 9th with a free fro-yo event on Sept. 8 between 5 - 8 PM.

3. The growth of self-serve fro-yo, with Forever Yogurt leading the charge. Forever Yogurt has three locations with 12 more on the way. Yogurt Avenue, Yogurt Pier, Berry Moon and Royal Berry also offer self-serve fro-yo.

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