Anyone who knows me I must be kept away from eating frozen yogurt everyday during the summer. Who doesn’t love it? So many flavors of the tangy sweet yogurt, cold, topped with your favorite toppings. Everyone has their favorite flavors… Be it plain with berries or strawberry with bits of cookie and gummy worms.
Though first commercially sold in New England in the 1970s, the history of frozen desserts dates back thousands of years to Asia where water ices were first made. Roman literature describes how the Emporer Nero was treated to exotic fruit juices and wines chilled with mountain snow yet it was not until the 13th century when Marco Polo introduced Asian water ices to Italy did the popularity of frozen desserts spread across Europe. Within a few centuries, European colonists introduced ice cream in the U.S. Frozen yogurt took off in the 1980s, reaching sales of $25 million in 1986.
Before the big cupcake boutique explosion, in Seattle, there was frozen yogurt. Each different place had a variation in tastes. Some are more sweet, less tangy to be a closer match or a healthier alternative to ice cream such as Shy Giant in Pike Place Market. Most are tangy and slightly sweet like traditional yogurt which you can find at Red Mango and Utopia Yogurt in Uwajimaya (and other locations), who boasts their nonfat frozen Greek style yogurt. They have the usual flavors- plain, taro root (a tuber native to southeast Asia with a light purple flesh with a nutty, sweet flavor similar to coconut), green tea, and pomegranate. The tart taste, nearly guilt-free ‘nonfat’ label, and fresh fruits for toppings makes this one my personal favorite! Some are equally tangy but a little too icey, such as Crazy Cherry in Capitol Hill.
Recently, KC and I ventured to the new Yogurtland, located across the street from Seattle Central Community College. First off, what a great location for a dessert spot! After a long class or hours of studying, frozen yogurt would seem so refreshing and relaxing. It was a Monday and not a lot going on Broadway so I wasnt expecting the huge crowd inside when we arrived! There were probably a hundred kids ranging from 18 to 25 (I only included 25 because I was almost obviously the oldest person there!), all lines up to choose their flavors. No one seemed to mind the long line as you just chat with everyone around you. This is a self-serve location with about ten different flavors ranging from plain and vanilla to offbeat ones such as chocolate mint and red velvet cake! Being self-serve, you get to choose as many flavors as you wish! I chose Madagascar vanilla, pineapple-guava tart, and taro. I topped them with fresh blackberries, strawberries and granola. KC chose the vanilla, strawberry and key lime pie and topped hers with cookies, gummy bears and mochi balls. I was expecting the price to be outrageous as I tapped into my inner fat kid when filling my cup yet the price is more reasonable as you serve yourself. Mine was only $3.65 and it was way more than I needed! They almost perfected the taste as it is sweet yet still tangy and wasnt icey at all. All of the fruit was fresh, ripe and with over 20 different topping options, everyone can find something that suits their taste even if you want one, just one gummy bear!
KC, frozen yogurt and Kombucha. Three of my favorite things!
While Utopia will continue to be my favorite, I will definitely frequent this new Yogurtland more often as we spend a lot of time on Capitol Hill! I need to be careful not to get overindulged too early in the year or by the time summer actually makes its way here, around August, I’ll be sick of it!
Wait…Who am I kidding? I’ll eat it every day!