Monday, April 16, 2018

A Love Letter to Frozen Yogurt.

A friend asked if I wanted to go get some frozen yogurt sometime this week and of course I do. 

I. Love. Frozen. Yogurt.

As a chubby girl of the '70s I was often subjected to ice milk as a "treat" over the ice cream cups with the paper lids and pull tabs my brother and friends would get. I know my parents thought they were helping me but really what they were doing was starting me down a path of fad diets and self loathing. 

If you were ever given a cup of ice milk you know the pain of which I speak. The little cups I got were a brand called Sealtest -- Howard Johnson made ice milk too and in other areas they'd switch words around and call it "milk ice" but it was the same tiny cups of bullshit. When you peeled back the paper lid you were met with a bunch of ice crystals sitting on top of what tasted like skim milk. 

As a teen of the '80s I was naturally wary of this new invention called frozen yogurt. I was having ice milk flashbacks wondering why anyone would want "healthy ice cream" or yogurt that was frozen. Then I walked into my first TCBY and my life changed. 

The TCBY (This Can't Be Yogurt) in Tampa, Florida was located where everything else in Tampa, Florida was -- a strip mall. 

There were no toppings, no self-serve-pay-by-the-weight thing happening back then. People stood behind a counter wearing green aprons and visors to serve you soft serve frozen yogurt in a cup or a cone, bing-bang-boom.

'80s fro yo was rich, creamy and delicious. You could get vanilla, chocolate, a swirl or a featured flavor they'd offer, the one I always associate with TCBY was a very sophisticated sounding flavor called white chocolate mousse which really didn't taste like white chocolate or mousse but it was delicious. 

Overnight other frozen yogurt places were opening up all over Tampa. There was "I Can't Believe It's Yogurt" which was not a rip off at all of TCBY, and Stars Frozen Yogurt, which quickly became a favorite of my girl gang since it used to be an old dry cleaners and had a drive thru. We didn't even have to get out of our car. I'm pretty sure 97% of my senior year was spent licking a Stars vanilla/chocolate swirl in the backseat of somebody's car.

On a Stars run with Sharon and Susanne, I'm in the back with a camera and a waffle cone.
Also, I'd bet my life that Def Leppard's Hysteria is blasting.

I'm still super into frozen yogurt...its resurgence makes me very happy. I don't love that newfangled tart-yogurty-yogurt, but I do appreciate the hell out of some modern day cake batter yogurt.  

And toppings. I love toppings! Candy bars, hunks of pound cake, cookie crumbles, graham cracker cheesecake bites...all delicious.

But sometimes I miss my original. My melty, creamy, topping free licks under the blaze of the Tampa sun. 

Cake batter, you're great. But you'll never be my White Chocolate Mousse.


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  2. TCBY was amazing! I really like the taste of that so much more than the frozen yogurt now. It was always fun to imagine being decadent enough to order one of those desserts shown as Japanese yogurt sculptures for displays. Great post.