By Stacy Fisher
Luckily, the acid-wash jeans and parachute pants are a thing of the past (I think), but for those of us that grew up in the 80’s, fro-yo is welcome nostalgia. As a product of the 80’s it is easy to recall nights spent after school at our local corner frozen yogurt store. This trend has been updated since then, and has ushered in a whole host of new Thurston County area fans.
In the age of self-scanner shopping lines and internet banking, frozen yogurt’s appeal now lies in its do-it-yourself aspect. Grab a cup, squeeze any amount of frozen yogurt you want out of a machine, dish out spoonfuls of various toppings, weigh the bowl on a scale and pay for the dessert — per ounce. Most stores encourage you to serve yourself as much as you want, combining flavors if you wish, and pile on the trendy toppings.
People used to adored fro-yo for its resemblance to ice cream. The new wave of frozen yogurt, however, celebrates the true taste of yogurt. The taste is considerably lighter, with a sweet-and-sour appeal. Many frozen yogurt shops offer products filled with live active bacteria cultures, often called probiotics. These cultures can add a lemon-lime like tartness to the product, aid in healthy digestion while also containing immune enhancing attributes. Also, it is not uncommon to find dairy-free and gluten-free options and kosher yogurt.
Frozen yogurt typically has less fat than traditional ice cream and though there is plenty of candy, chocolate syrup, and other fatty and sugary options to add into a cup of frozen yogurt, most shops offer healthier alternatives including fresh fruit and nuts. Many stores also have toppings that you may have never seen, including mochi and a popular item called boba balls (popping bulbs that are round gelatin orbs full of fruit juice) which you just need to try for yourself. Much of the appeal lies with the variety of treats that top your yogurt. You can choose to be as healthy or indulgent as you wish.
On a recent family trip to a local frozen yogurt establishment, we were surprised to see such unique and exotic flavors such as green tea, cheesecake, carmel, tart, rootbeer, mango, pomegranate and much more. These shops seem to have taken the trend from local coffee shops, in creating atmospheres that are welcome to families and all ages. Admittedly, there does tend to be more teenagers than seniors visiting these shops, but the neon colors are not lost on this 80’s child. Grab yourself a cup of this guilt-free bliss, and enjoy.
Following is a listing of some of our area frozen yogurt shops.
- 1110 College St SE, Lacey, Wa 98503
- 8825 Tallon Lane NE #E, Lacey, WA 98516
- 111 Tumwater Blvd SE, Tumwater, WA 98501
- 5729 Littlerock Rd Ste B101, Tumwater, WA 98512
- 1520 SW Cooper Point Rd, Olympia, WA 98502
- Capital Mall, 625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia, WA 98502
- 5500 Corporate Center Ln SE, Lacey, WA 98503