Look, frozen yogurt isn’t that great, okay? I’m not saying it’s awful, but it is not a food that deserves to be accompanied by a chorus of feminine squeals every time it is mentioned.
And The New York Observer is backing me up on this. There’s a piece about the rise of frozen yogurt and how it is – as I have always secretly felt – really, really overrated. When I saw this I breathed a sigh of relief, took a gander at the writer’s name (Kim Velsey) and I murmured “you and me, Kim. We are in this thing together.”
I think I meant, “a life defined by not being like other girls, insofar as we have no desire to hang out at Pinkberry eating a substance seemingly defecated out of a machine. Insofar as we do not really want to eat robot poop with cookie dough bits mixed in, basically.”
It’s an increasingly lonely life. The Observer notes:
It was not until one day in Union Square that I realized, in a moment of disquieting clarity, that frozen yogurt shops were everywhere. A Joyride frozen yogurt truck idled by the park, Diet Lite Ice Cream was visible just down 17th Street, and a Yelp search revealed that a Pinkberry, a Tasti D-Lite, a Red Mango, a 16 Handles, a Yoqua Bar and a Yogurberry were all within a five to 10 minute walk. None of which were deemed satisfactory by the friend at my side, who urged us on toward Flavaboom on Sixth Avenue, where one could get the nonfat flavors twisted together and heaped with cheesecake bites and cookie dough.
Nearly skipping with anticipation, she raved about frozen yogurt the whole way there. It was alarming. How could she be so into frozen yogurt? I wondered. How could anyone? This was a dessert, after all, that oozed out of self-serve machines. It was served in a tub. Like margarine. It was nicknamed fro-yo.
THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.
And I frankly suspect that women -and it is always women who rave about these shops – don’t really enjoy it nearly as much as they pretend to. I think people really want an ice cream sundae, or any kind of ice cream, really, and they are eating pinkberry as a sad substitute, and exclaiming over it loudly to make up for the fun they are not having. The fun they would be having if they were eating actual ice cream. Or gelato. I mean, gelato is served on the worst stick spoons in the world, and it is still a more pleasurable experience than eating frozen yogurt.
Hearing people exclaim over frozen yogurt is like being at one of those parties where everyone is shouting to express joy that they were invited to the party, but no one really appears to be enjoying themselves.
I suppose there is, admittedly, a possibility that someone out there genuinely prefers frozen yogurt to ice cream. And, look, if you genuinely love the taste of frozen yogurt, fine, eat it, you and your weird taste buds have a ball.
But I suspect that 90% of the time women choose frozen yogurt because of the signs bleating about its “all natural properties”.
Which are real in the way Lindsay Lohan is Elizabeth Taylor. Even chains that claim to be “all natural” are generally filled with artificial flavorings. Unlike, say, Chobani which I do love, they’re not even made from real yogurt. There is nothing inherently healthy about picking frozen yogurt over ice cream – though it does contain less calories if you do not begin madly mixing in cookie dough. However, as the Observer states:
Pinkberry’s signature product, Swirly Goodness®, ran afoul of the law in California for marketing itself as all-natural yogurt. California asserted that it was neither all-natural (indeed, it has artificial colors and flavors) nor yogurt, which according to that state’s laws must be made from milk fermented with particular bacteria and mixed offsite. Pinkberry’s original tart flavor (its most basic) contains nonfat milk, sugar, nonfat yogurt (pasteurized nonfat milk, live and active cultures), nonfat yogurt powder (nonfat milk, culture), fructose, dextrose, natural flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, and rice starch.
“Pinkberry is made with REAL nonfat milk, not from cows treated with rBST hormones, and REAL nonfat yogurt, among many other natural ingredients,” the company’s website assures worried readers who may be wondering: “Is Pinkberry ‘good’ for me?” In other words, frozen yogurt is based on a true story, a fictionalized version of a natural product.
So. I am glad we have figured this out. Namely, we’ve figured out that you can stop pretending to be obsessed with frozen yogurt and just go out and get a proper ice cream. Where should we go first?
Picture via @pinkberry