Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Frozen Yogurt Fan Club

Justin Surgent/Collegian
I have never been a fan of the healthy option.

My whole life has been a struggle to find a diet that didn’t consist of candy and onion rings as primary food groups. Through the years I’ve found ways to trick myself into thinking I’m being more nutritionally conscious.
I love carrot sticks, if they’re slathered in ranch dressing. I love salad, if it’s topped with cheese, bacon, croutons and steak. I eat all sorts of fruit; it’s just mostly inside of a Pop-Tart. Something truly healthy would have to be some kind of super spy to sneak its way into my diet. But that means frozen yogurt is the head of the CIA.

Now, growing up I wouldn’t touch frozen yogurt. It seemed like ice cream’s less popular cousin, forever resigned to the back of the freezer with sherbet and sorbet. It wasn’t until I was an adult that Berry Line set up shop in Harvard Square and changed everything.

Berry Line is a venue that sells exclusively frozen yogurt with an assortment of toppings. This sort of eatery follows a trend started in California with Pink Berry that is now sweeping the country. I don’t remember why I tried it. The idea of frozen yogurt topped with fruit should have sent me running to the Ben and Jerry’s a few blocks away. But with one bite I became a convert to the frozen yogurt cult.

The first thing about this particular type of frozen yogurt, served at places like Berry Line, Pink Berry and the brand new GoBerry in Amherst Center, is that it’s not the frozen yogurt we grew up with. Fro-yo I tried as a kid just tasted like ice cream with the fun sucked out of it. This newfangled frozen yogurt, in a shocking twist, tastes like yogurt that has been frozen.

As this treat became suddenly self-explanatory it also became delicious. Nobody would ever accuse me of running a yogurt appreciation society, but when put in a cold, solid context live active enzymes filled me with joy I’d never known as part of the yogurt experience.

The other element to these frozen yogurt shops is the toppings. Through some scientific revelation, they have discovered that by chopping fruit into little chunks it somehow becomes sweeter and more delectable. True, the fruit I gravitate towards tends to be on the more sugary side, like pineapple and strawberries. But on top of this tangy, less sweet frozen yogurt, any fruit tastes like candy. Grapes! Bananas! Kiwis! Peaches! Mangos always make me sick, but I’m sure other people would enjoy them as a topping as much as I relish the other less nauseating fruits. OK, so the occasional crushed Oreo or chocolate chip does find its way into my little cardboard cup, but to be perfectly honest, it’s actually not as good as what came from the earth.

The kicker to all of this is that frozen yogurt topped with fruit is actually healthy. Or at least healthier than the entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream I ate at 3 in the morning last week in a back-to-school induced panic. Ice cream is like the best friend that is always there for you when you’re down. Emotional crisis, school-related crisis and Saturday afternoon boredom all call for massive cold calorie consumption. I am Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality when she orders a pint of B&J at the bar after a hard days work. My hair even mats like that.

But I digress. The point is that ice cream is awesome and very few people will debate that. However, the health factor is undeniable. Fro-yo makes me eat fruit. Ben and Jerry make me eat chocolate-covered potato chips.

My diet will never be a feature in Fitness Magazine and I am at peace with that. Frozen yogurt, particularly in its latest trendy incarnation, has brought me a small gift of nutrition that doesn’t have to be covered in chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles and chunks of Heath bar.
For those of you who may turn to fro-yo because of dietary issues like lactose intolerance, I can only put forth my own experience of it making me less sick than ice cream. Lactose intolerance, a love of ice cream and a love of masochism can be a wonderful combination, but I do appreciate the lack of stabbing sensation that frozen yogurt brings me. But be warned, other ice cream alternatives may be equally delicious but lack the health of fro-yo. Coconut milk-based ice creams, found totally overpriced at your nearest Whole Foods, are a magical God-like dessert that tastes richer than Steve Jobs. It also is worse for you than regular ice cream, at least if you consume it by the pint the way that I do.

The moral of this story is that I might die at an early age of complications in my physical health. The moral also might be that this new movement in frozen yogurt could be the first serious challenge to ice cream as queen of the sugary things that give you goose bumps if you rub it all over your body. With the added bonus of getting me and perhaps other college students with fried chicken-based diets to eat fruit, fro-yo is a brilliant innovation for our nutrition-starved society. Now, if only they can make it taste as good in pint form. I’ve got a lot more all-nighters and panic attacks to manage before frozen decadence goes from self-medication to the topping of a Thanksgiving pie.

Victoria Knobloch is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected].

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    hattierosasSep 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Yes most of the brands do give out samples of their products. Look for “Official Get Samples” online and get the samples. They are the best. You wont need CC.