Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

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In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Frozen Yogurt's Hot, Hot, Hot

The New York Times devoted about 10,000 words to frozen yogurt today, or almost as much as that article about John McCain that has everybody so upset. And which is more important to our culture, I ask you?

The article, The Legions of Frozen Yogurt Push East by Julia Moskin, talks about New York's frenzied competition between big name frozen yogurt chains (big name in this case meaning chains that have as many stores as Starbucks does in, say, Grand Central).

Since the Korean chain Red Mango opened a store directly across from California-based Pinkberry in Greenwich Village in December, New York has become the second major battleground for the restyled, fluffed up, fruit-topped new wave of frozen yogurt.

“I’d call it a quiet face-off on Bleecker Street,” said Dan Kim, Red Mango’s president for North America. Since 2006, Pinkberry has opened nine stores in New York, Red Mango has opened four, and competitors like Flurt, Berrywild and Yolato are scrambling to stay in the game.

You remember Pinkberry from the post I did last year, Frogurt's Back with Pinkberry. The Times found an even more insane consumer comment on the treat: "God must have come down and created this place Himself."

Why the addictive behavior? Modern boutique frozen yogurts - boutique frozen yogurts? - are not your grandfather's TCBY.
The most extremely artsy — even artisanal — rendition is \eks\, appropriately located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the yogurt is made from scratch. “We start with gallons of low-fat milk, we inoculate it with the live cultures, and we sweeten it with a little organic sugar,” said the owner, Neo Kim.

Even TCBY has boosted the number of live yogurt cultures in an effort to stay competitive and Pinkberry competitor - and self proclaimed originator - Red Mango boasts 400 million live cultures per gram. That's good news for those of us with lactose intolerance. The more cultures, the more likely we'll be able to tolerate the yogurt without symptoms. And these frozen yogurts are probably low lactose, because they tend to be tarter than the sweet, fruity-flavored versions of yore.
But that perfect churn of air and water, cream and tang, sweet and sour is elusive, and subjective. Some like it fluffy; others, dense. Some find the tang of Pinkberry excessive, even aggressive; others say that yogurt without tang is just low-fat ice cream. The taste of a good plain yogurt is full of lactic acid, a natural byproduct of fermentation that also gives depth to the flavors of foods like Parmesan cheese and prosciutto. Some of the newfangled yogurts also add citric acid for flavor, lending a bright lemony flavor that is very appealing on top of the sweetness, dairy and lactic tang.

Whatever, it's a good trend and I only hope that it moves out of NYC and LA sometime very soon.

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