Thursday, 2 May 2013

The froyo craze hits Bristol

A healthy froyo from Flavalanche
We all know that Bristol is very trendy – how many other cities have as many vintage shop-cum-café-cum-indie music venues as us? – so it’s no surprise that Bristol is pioneering the froyo craze. Yes, Angelberry (down by the Hippodrome) has been here for a while, but with the newly opened Flavalanche on Park Street, now we’re thoroughly spoilt for choice. It looks like the two are going to be fighting for our competition – while Flavalanche is more suitably placed for the majority of students, Angelberry regularly does 50% off vouchers. Such will be our dilemma: convenience or cost? Laziness vs thriftiness? It's a tricky one. (There are some other shops, but these are the main two central ones.)

As a bit of a froyo nut, I like to consider myself as something of an expert. A froyo connoisseur, you might say. You might not. I probably shouldn’t. Naturally I have frequented both Bristol institutions, and what is my highly esteemed opinion? Well, both have a self-serve set-up, which I love. That basically means there are a few flavours on offer, you grab a tub and serve yourself – have as much or as little as you like, and you can merge flavours to your heart’s content. However, Angelberry have more flavours on offer every day, as well as an array of tub sizes, just in case you’re reeaaally hungry/greedy.

I told you I like a lot of toppings - an Angelberry one
If you’ve never been to such an establishment, you may be thinking that’s it. You’d be wrong. You then move on to the toppings and sauces. Both Angelberry and Flavalanche offer an impressive array of both hot and cold sauces (warm crunchy nutella from Angelberry is a fave of mine – I don’t think Flavalanche have cottoned on to this yet), and toppings. I’m talking loads of toppings: fruit, chocolate, biscuits, weird lychee ball thingies, nuts, granola, sweets. It’s epic. The point is you can create exactly what you want. Is that not awesome? You then pay according to your weight. Well, not your weight. That would be pretty mean. The weight of your froyo, obvs.

As a thrifty/stingy student, this set-up pleases me greatly. I don’t half get annoyed upon frequenting other froyo places in which there are set prices for portion sizes, often only about three flavours on offer, and then you have to pay more for one topping AND MORE AGAIN FOR TWO! Madness. This can then get reeeaaally expensive, which displeases me. Don’t they know that we are a “more is more” society? Obviously we want EVERYTHING! Or maybe they do know that, hence the charging for each topping. Hmm.

Angelberry's warm nutella topping mmm
So just where has this froyo craze come from? Well, unsurprisingly, America is to answer. Pinkberry was the first, opening in 2005. Now there are froyo places everywhere you look across the pond, and over the past few years the UK has jumped on the bandwagon. You can find a fair few froyo places in London, but for a while that was about it. Last September it was announced that the UK’s frozen yoghurt market had passed the £6 million mark. And it’s growing. People love it.

What’s all the fuss about then? Well if you’ve never had it (what have you been doing with your life?), you probably wouldn’t understand. Frozen yoghurt is like a lighter, creamier, more refreshing ice cream, but – wait for it – IT’S FAT FREE! Whether you’re watching your diet or not, that’s got to be an appealing factor. And really, it’s just delicious. Also, froyo places all have cool names (like Snog, Youmoo and Yuforia.) Must be an unspoken requirement.

Flavalanche's cheesecake flavour - much more neatly done than mine (their own pic)
Realistically, it’s obviously not the healthiest snack you could choose (especially if you load yours with the not-so-fat-free topping), but when compared to ice cream, there’s no competition. Froyo is generally considered quite a girly thing, probably because girls appreciate the lack of fat and the cuteness of it all more than guys. (But I think men could still make a very macho manly froyo…)

Now that the sun is out and the city is warming up, it’s the perfect revision break treat. You may think I’ve been paid to write this by the CEO of Froyo PLC, but I haven’t. I just really like froyo.

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