Summer is almost upon us here in Bingo, and what better way to get into the mindset than by sampling two of summer’s most classic staples–strawberries and ice cream!
Over the past couple of years, the popularity of Greek-style strained yogurt has surged, with most yogurt manufacturers offering their own version in the market (the most popular brand, Chobani, is actually a local company, based in Chenango County). Of course, it was only a matter of time before Greek yogurt started to replace traditional yogurt in other foods, and leave it to another former upstart company–Ben & Jerry’s–to do so.
Ben & Jerry’s recently introduced a line of Greek-style frozen yogurts. Unlike their regular frozen yogurts, however, the Greek ones are distinct flavors, not retreads of their more popular ice creams. While some similarities to their current lineup do exist, none of them are exactly the same. For this review, I’ve selected the two with the closest parallels–Strawberry Shortcake Greek FroYo vs. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, to see how they stack up against one another.
To get a baseline for comparison, I started with the ice cream. The ice cream has a definite cheesecake flavor, but the flavor of strawberry is present even when not getting a bite of fruit. In fact, I’d have to say that strawberry is the dominant flavor in the ice cream itself. Fairly large frozen chunks of strawberries are scattered throughout, and a graham cracker swirl runs through the ice cream, as well. I…don’t know how I feel about the swirl. It reminds me of something else that I can’t quite put my finger on, and is kind of sandy and overwhelming where the swirl is thickest. It’s also super sweet, sweeter than even the ice cream.
The Greek FroYo, while having a very similar flavor profile, is markedly different. The first thing you notice would have to be the texture–it’s very, very rich and creamy, much more so than the higher-fat ice cream. As for the flavor, it’s definitely tangier than the ice cream, but there’s almost no fruit flavor to the yogurt itself. This seems kind of bizarre for what’s supposed to be a strawberry-flavored yogurt. The chunks of fruit are smaller, too. Instead of a swirl, the FroYo has actual pieces of shortbread cookies. Ben & Jerry’s baked goods mix-ins tend to be hit or miss (The mushy-despite-being-chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces in Americone Dream come to mind), but this is one of the cases where it works. The cookies are soft and chewy, rather than the rock-hard biscuits shortbread tends to be sold as.
So, the verdict? Honestly, it depends on what you’re looking for in your frozen treat. If you’re a huge strawberry fan, I’d advise sticking with the ice cream, as you won’t be satisfied with the lack of flavor in the yogurt. If you’re looking for a healthier ice cream alternative, though, the Greek yogurt has the creaminess to satiate your craving without making you feel cheated.