Taylor Barker | Contributing PhotographerSpice Rack
Frozen fantasy: Wide flavor variety, reasonable prices add to Yogurtland’s charm
Stepping into Yogurtland is like stepping into what I imagine a real-life land of yogurt would be like. The shop is like a breath of fresh air from the heat and noise of Marshall Street, with crisp, shiny white walls and a bright touch of modern decor. Employees are clad in vibrant green shirts and friendly smiles, and they greet you instantly with sampling cups and a gracious, “Thank you for coming in.”
Once passing the welcome round, however, level two of wiggling through the froyo-enthused crowd is a little more difficult. But discovering the rest of Yogurtland’s many flavors, affordable prices and tranquil seating areas is well worth the effort.
Yogurtland, like many frozen yogurt shops that have popped up in the wake of trendy chains such as Red Mango and Pinkberry, emphasizes all-natural ingredients and boasts inventive flavors like Blue Lychee Bliss and Red Velvet Cupcake Batter.
But if you don’t like any flavors you see, don’t worry. Yogurtland plans to change up its flavors regularly. It’s a healthy snack that can be personalized and piled high with as many sugary, crumbly, chewy or fruity toppings as you please.
Unlike its better-known counterparts, however, at 42 cents per ounce, Yogurtland’s frozen yogurt won’t burn a hole through your pocket every time you set your hefty cup on the scale.
Thanks to the convenient self-serve feature, people were having fun pumping out samples of the thick, creamy yogurt until they found the perfect one, or two, and sometimes three to fill their cups to the desired amount before heading to the vast display of toppings — probably the most extensive and fresh I’ve ever seen.
As I began my sampling spree, it became clear that Yogurtland’s slogan, “You rule,” doesn’t apply to having any rule over the hungry hoards crowding the shop. I finally ducked and weaved through the crowd to get a generous drop into a sampling cup. I was impressed that I could taste the authentic flavors of the rich ingredients.
Many of the flavors lining the sleek white walls at Yogurtland were typical flavors you’d find at any yogurt shop. But each flavor’s label boldly read ‘REAL’ at the bottom, emphasizing the shop’s fresh ingredients. The speckles of black vanilla beans punched up the taste in the Madagascar Vanilla Bean, and the Dutch Chocolate was like biting into a decadent piece of chocolate cake made with high-quality cocoa.
Personally, I prefer fruity flavors when it comes to froyo and was immediately drawn to Yogurtland’s dairy-free sorbet option, Strawberry Lemonade. The natural flavors of each fruit were perfectly balanced, and the sweet and sour combination was my instant favorite. Not too far down the line, Blue Lychee Bliss was another standout flavor combination that blended together in the creamy tang of the yogurt in a way that highlighted the lychee zest and the signature sweetness of blueberry.
Though Yogurtland mastered the art of enhancing the natural essence of each ingredient in its combination flavors, the sweeter, pastry-flavored options did not stand out. The New York Cheesecake and the Red Velvet Cupcake Batter tasted exactly the same, decadent to the point of saccharine, the only difference being that one was red and one was creamy white.
However, my dining partners, who both have a sweet tooth, cleared their cups of these cloying flavors. So, if you’re into super-sweet, these flavors are for you — just keep in mind sugar is the only flavor you’ll taste.
Though I enjoyed the majority of Yogurtland’s selection, there was one flavor that I was shocked I didn’t like more: the Plain Tart. The clean, simple base to every other flavor was lacking in sharp yet smooth tartness and instead tasted tangy, and more like a custard than yogurt.
Though the flavors are polarizing in terms of who will like what, there is definitely a flavor for every person’s taste buds. If Yogurtland survives Syracuse’s brutal winters, it is likely to become a prominent hot spot for froyo-loving SU students looking for a new place to call their own.
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