03 September 2012

Twist It Froyo

Times have changed! When I left for college three summers ago, my town had nary a frozen yogurt place. Yet Shoprite soon added a self-serve froyo station, and my brother told me that he and his friends had some froyo a 10 minute drive away, and all of a sudden, at least three froyo places have sprung up in vacant storefronts, and local water ice and ice cream places have shut down (or continue their seasonal operation). People are furiously eager to buy into this "sophisticated", ostensibly healthy and low calorie treat, with "healthy" fruity flavours and sundry toppings (cheesecake bites, brownie bites, chocolate, cereal...etc).

The standard price is 49c/ounce in both my town and Philadelphia, which makes adding any topping a huge rip-off. For example, gummy bears ($2.5/lb), dessicated coconut ($1.5/lb) and mango chunks ($3/lb) end up being $7.84/lb. If you're going for froyo, you might as well be paying for froyo, which you can't conveniently make yourself.

In any case, I'm not a huge fan of froyo because it's soft-serve froyo, stupidly pricey for self-service (as a comparison, the self-serve hot foods at Wholefoods is $7.99/lb and includes vegan chicken, real chicken, pasta salads, etc. Here, I am strongly against the people who complain about how expensive Wholefoods is, yet go out for froyo every other week), and melts entirely too fast. The cups are enormous, evidently to encourage people to buy a pound of froyo. In comparison, a 32-oz container of yoghurt ranges from $2-4. However, I do concede that if froyo motivates people to eat less sugar and fat, and stealthily transport calcium and protein to kids, it may not be such a bad concept. This, however, is just a small positive dent in the general dissatisfaction I have with the self-serve froyo business. I reckon I am dissatisfied with the ice cream store business too, and diners, and some other eateries, but I should only complain about one thing at a time.

Anyway, as I was only home for about a non-consecutive 14 days from May to August, I didn't really get to hang out with my high school friends as much as I wanted. This is saying something as I don't really have that many high school friends. I did get to play frisbee once though, and I also went with MP to Twist It, a froyo place competing with the Starbucks for the way-too-cool high schoolers. Twist It is nicely decorated with beach chairs, fish, and blue tiles (for the sea). The weighing/pay counter is adjacent to the froyo, meaning that workers can't see customers dispensing froyo unless they lean out over the toppings and cash register. In other words, both workers did not see a husband refilling (to double the brim) and hurriedly slurping up his sample cup at least three times, while his wife tottered around choosing different flavoured blobs of froyo.

But I saw him...and didn't confront him because it would've been awkward.

I tried some root beer froyo (even though SP loves root beer, it is still icky to me) and some banana froyo (bleh...), and ended up getting coffee, Irish cream, tart, and mint. They have interesting color schemes, especially with the two-colours-in-one-flavour. I got some strawberry boba for the topping, since it's not sold anywhere non-wholesale. It turns out that it's just strawberry goo, processed via spherification, like the poppy drink I got at Cube Cafe last summer.

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