Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Berry (Amherst/Northampton, MA)

Go Berry is Western Massachusetts' answer to the West Coast powerhouse Pinkberry, serving frozen yogurt with a variety of toppings at two locations, one on Main St. in Northampton and on Amity St. in Amherst.  Go Berry's calling card is that they use all local, fresh milk and yogurt, from Sidehill Farm in Ashfield, MA, and Mapleline Farm in Hadley, MA, and according to their website, "does not contain antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones."  I'll admit, if I'm offered local and non-local, I'll take local every time; growing up, a lot of my friends' families were in farming, and there is a huge farming culture and community in this area, so supporting them is extremely important to me.  If you're able, supporting local business and agriculture should be important to you too; after all, these are your friends, neighbors, and members of your community we're talking about here.  Anyways, I'm stepping off the soap box now.

Go Berry offers three varieties at each location, "Original" and two others.  I like the Original flavor, which is slightly tart (too tart for some, including my mother), very slightly sweet (not sweet enough for many), and very creamy.  Each is made fresh daily, and you can also buy frozen pints to take home; just be aware that if you do this, you will need to either microwave it for a short while or let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, as it will be extremely hard.  The toppings offered are far too numerous to name, but they include numerous fruits, berries and small candies.  I typically get mango and blackberry, which have just enough sweetness to provide a great contrast with the tart sourness of the yogurt.  I also drizzled some honey on it the other day, and it ended up being a little bit too sweet for me; if I wanted something that sweet, I'd just eat ice cream.

And therein lies the crux of the issue most people who don't like frozen yogurt seem to have; they think it's a substitute for ice cream.  It is not, or at least this frozen yogurt isn't.  Rather, I would say it's an alternative to ice cream, for those who are not interested in eating a super sweet, super sugary, and super high fat product such as ice cream.  This is not to say that frozen yogurt is healthy, per se, but according to their nutritional information on the website (see below) there are only 25 calories in each ounce of their frozen yogurt (and ZERO fat); Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Frozen Yogurt has about 42.5 calories and 0.625 grams of fat per ounce, Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream has 72.5 calories and 4.5g of fat, and Ben and Jerry's offerings are similar.  So, this means you can either eat twice as much (my preferred methodology) or save on calories by eating the same amount as you would ice cream.

When it comes down to it, Go Berry is very good frozen yogurt, and a great alternative to eating ice cream or other high fat, high calorie, but it will not replace ice cream.  I'll take frozen yogurt over most ice creams any day, though there are times that I just want that creamy, sweet, simple deliciousness that is really good vanilla ice cream like Haagen-Dazs'. 

Oh, and this is just my personal pet peeve, but "froyo" is annoying.  Don't say it.  Just say frozen yogurt.  Seriously, it's not that much longer.


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