Friday, January 27, 2012

Frozen Yogurt and Probiotics

Fro-yo girl here. I recently asked my readers how important the live and active cultures in yogurt were when choosing to consume frozen yogurt. The results are in and 2 out of 3 respondents felt that having live and active cultures in yogurt was moderately or extremely important. So, there’s a clear majority of fro-yo consumers out there who value the benefits of live and active yogurt cultures.

According to Mintel Research News, “70% of US yogurt users say they consume it for digestive health.”

Probiotics are live microorganisms, aka as friendly or good bacteria, like the bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt. Probiotics may improve digestion and the immune system though there is still much research to be done on the beneficial health effects of consuming probiotics.

Probiotics are also available in capsule form (Whole Foods carries these capsules). I was surprised that a 1 month supply of Nature’s Way probiotic capsules is $40 - $50. I’d rather eat fro-yo than take capsules.

The National Yogurt Association (NYA) established the Live & Active Cultures seal for refrigerated and frozen yogurt. Refrigerated yogurt carrying the seal has at least 100 million live cultures per gram at the time of manufacture. For frozen yogurt, the seal indicates that the yogurt contains at least 10 million live cultures per gram at the time of manufacture. The program is voluntary, so the absence of the seal doesn’t indicate that the products don’t meet or exceed NYA’s benchmarks.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yoppi Yogurt SF Grand Opening on 2/4

Fro-yo girl here. Yoppi Yogurt is now open at 2125 Polk St. Their grand opening celebration will be on Saturday, Feb. 4. Stop in for free fro-yo from 12 - 2 PM. They’ll also be giving away free Yoppi Yogurt t-shirts and other prizes. Free fro-yo!

The Polk St. location has 8 fro-yo flavors a day and it's self-serve.

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

* YOPPI YOGURT: 2125 Polk St., San Francisco, CA

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fraiche Palo Alto Moves to Larger Space

Fro-yo girl here. Fraiche just moved from its original and very first location at 644 Emerson to 200 Hamilton (just down the street from the old location). It’s a larger space (the old A.G. Ferrari location). Today was the first day and it was chaotically busy.

I like how the new decor is more feminine and cozier. They’ve added more seating. The menu hasn’t changed much (fresh housemade Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt, Blue Bottle Coffee, steel cut oatmeal, juices, baked goods) but they added a new fro-yo machine with two new flavors: hibiscus grapefruit sorbet and Oreo cookie.

I also spotted some slices of bread from Mayfield Bakery which can be topped with various spreads including an interesting tangy yogurt spread. The savory loaf was another new addition. It’s made with Fraiche yogurt.

I was happy that the homemade mochi made the move too.

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

* FRAICHE YOGURT: 200 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet Yoguru-Kun

Fro-yo girl here. I found an old notepad of mine the other day and remembered the character, Yoguru-Kun (or Mr. Yoguru).

Yoguru-Kun is a San X Japanese yogurt character launched in May 2003. He didn’t last long (available just in 2003). He had other yogurt friends, different flavors of yogurt like banana, cherry, strawberry, orange, kiwi, blueberry, etc. Yoguru-Kun represented homemade yogurt. Check out the San X fan site character guide.

I have a few Yoguru-Kun notepads that I bought back in 2003. I wish I had the Yoguru Kun plush doll.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yogurt Goes International

Fro-yo girl here. Yogurt’s popularity continues to grow, as these international examples of fro-yo/yogurt show.

Last week, SF World Journal (a leading daily Chinese newspaper published in North America) featured an article about the benefits of yogurt consumption which included a recipe for making yogurt at home. The recipe involves using a simple rice cooker to heat the milk or soy milk. I had it translated but the instructions weren’t precise enough to share.

My local Middle Eastern market carries Russian fro-yo, Beloved brand. I only saw one flavor, peach. I’ll have to check out some Russian markets to look for more fro-yo.

A trip to the Mexican supermarket, Mi Pueblo (locations throughout the Bay Area) revealed that they sell fresh yogurt (not frozen). They had four flavors: mango, walnut, strawberry and peach. The mango yogurt wasn’t as thick as Greek yogurt. I found it way too sweet but it did had bits of mango in it. I might pour the yogurt in my fro-yo maker and dilute it with plain yogurt.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fro-yo Hot Spots in 2011

Fro-yo girl here. The fro-yo bubble has burst in the Bay Area and the number of new fro-yo shop openings has declined significantly. I once chose fro-yo hot spots based on (1) innovation, (2) quantity of new fro-yo shops and (3) fro-yo quality. This year, hot spots are based more on quantity of new fro-yo shops. Last January 2011, I selected Walnut Creek and Oakland as fro-yo hot spots.

This top fro-yo hot spot of 2011 is:

* SAN JOSE: San Jose led the way with the most fro-yo shop openings, including chains (3 new Yogurtland locations, new Tutti Frutti locations, 1 new Nubi location) and independent fro-yo shops, Gaga, Yogurt Cove and others.

Runner up hot spot of 2011:

* SAN FRANCISCO: SF didn’t have as many fro-yo shop openings as San Jose, but it did have the most innovative new fro-yo shop of 2011. The Italian fro-yo chain, Yogorino opened two locations in SF. Yoppi is still expanding its presence in SF.

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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fro-yo Girl Holiday Wrapup

Fro-yo girl here. Did you receive fro-yo gifts under your Christmas tree? Santa (and others) gave me Korres Yoghurt body butter, Meiji yogurt caramels (my favorite yogurt candy), a Cuisinart automatic frozen yogurt maker, and Jeni’s splendid ice creams at home cookbook.

Yes, I’ve been busy making fro-yo at home for the first time. It’s surprisingly easy to make good tart fro-yo at home. I’ll be tweaking the recipe and trying new things. Of course I will still be visiting fro-yo shops.

Jeni’s cookbook has recipes for many creative ice cream and fro-yo flavors. Fro-yo recipes included: lemon & blueberry, passionfruit, baked rhubarb, lime cardamom, grapefruit hibiscus, cucumber cayenne & honeydew.

Menchie’s had some special holiday items for sale, including silver chocolate coins for Hannukah, embossed with images of Menchie and a cup of fro-yo. Yum.

I decorated a Really Big Gingerbread Man from Trader Joe’s. Guess what? He likes fro-yo.

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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fro-yo Wish List for 2012

Fro-yo girl here. Happy Fro-yo New Year! It's a new year and time for my new fro-yo wish list. These are the things I’d like to see happen this year.

* Yogurtland in San Francisco. It’s crazy that SF doesn’t have a Yogurtland. The new one in Burlingame will be close but I’d really like to have one in SF.
* Pinkberry in San Francisco. Their SFO airport location is too inconvenient since it requires one to go through security. How can SF still be so deprived? This year I’m going to buy a cup of Pinkberry fro-yo and stroll onto a plane with it.
* Fro-yo popsicles. I’m still waiting for decent fro-yo popsicles that I can buy from a supermarket and aren’t from Korea.
* Mochi fro-yo. Since Mikawaya and others have figured out how to get ice cream into mochi, they could easily do the same with fro-yo. Everyone knows that fro-yo and mochi go well together.

If anyone wants to create a fro-yo flavor in my honor, make sure it has red bean.

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