Fro-Yo, Then and Now


Yogurtland. Yogurt Stop. Yogurtopia. Koala Berry. Fro Yo. Orange Leaf. Whatever you want to call them, these shops are everywhere! Popping up all over our little town like chicken pox. A new batch everyday. Didn’t we just do this like 20 years ago? The whole frozen yogurt craze? Except back then the air-conditioned, frosty cafes were called “Heidi’s Frogen Yozurt” and “TCBY.” Back then we were confident it was the healthier alternative to that other wicked frozen dessert–ice cream, but a few short years later, our waistlines told us a different story. There was even a Seinfeld episode about it. Soon the chilly sugar rushes were rushed to the exit and that was that. Fool me once…

But like the pain of childbirth, we’ve forgotten that the just deserts of too many “just desserts” is the same as it has always been, even if they do now come with fancy buzz words like “Pro-Biotic” and “Active Live Cultures.” It’s still just dessert!

Costumers can serve themselves as much or as little as they want, that’s the hook. Really? You know full well that if I were to take my young brood into one of these joints and give them each a KFC sized paper bowl in which to place their desired amounts, and then set them loose in a 1/4 acre of pristine wonderland boasting bright colors and a dozen galvanized steel drums whirring and purring like siren songs, would they stop at a conservative 6 ounces? “Remember kids, we pay by the ounce, so don’t go overboard,” I’d say, but it would come out more like a Peanuts Gang adult instructing, “Mwah mwah mmm-mmm mwah mwah.” I can hear the teenage attendant now, “That will be $73.95 please.” WhatFor ice cream? I’d stammer. “No. For Self Serve Pro-Biotic Active Live Cultures.” Of course.

The truth be told, the reason I’m lashing out like this is because I am a reformed frozen yogurt junkie and I can feel myself loosing my resolve as I shamelessly waltz up and down the rows of stainless steel machines “just tasting.”

Back in the day, my sister and I would nurse large styrofoam dishes of frozen yogurt everyday after school at our favorite haunt. We loved our “healthy” dessert so much that we schemed with my mother to heave a commercial frozen yogurt machine up the steep porch steps of our home for my sister’s wedding reception. (If there are any brides out there entertaining such an idea for their reception’s spread, believe me when I say it’s great in theory, but the logistics are a nightmare times two. If you don’t believe me, comment below and I will put you in touch with my mother and she can scare you straight.)

But when the belly bloating businesses went belly up 20 years ago, well, it was like taking away television–inconceivable at first, then after a while you don’t even notice it’s gone. Well, it’s not gone anymore. It’s back. And my metabolism isn’t what it was 20 years ago.

Fool me twice…



One response »

  1. After two trips to Yogurtland with an excessive amount of disgusting looking dye-seeping candies left uneaten at the bottom of her bowl both times, my 7-year old finally whispered to me, “I think I’ll get just one topping next time.” Smart girl. She could teach me a thing or two…

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