'Greekin' Out' with Ben and Jerry's New Frozen Greek Yogurt
Last week SE editor Erin forwarded me a coyly worded invitation to Ben & Jerry's new product launch. It declined to name the new flavors but suggested I might leave the event "Greekin' out with excitement!", so I wasn't too surprised when I arrived to find the team's Flavor Gurus (yes, that's a real job title) unveiling their new line of Greek frozen yogurt flavors. The new line incorporates 25% real yogurt and is currently available in four flavors: Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla Graham.
I spoke with Flavor Guru Kirsten Schimoler, who explained the thought process behind the new line. With the growing popularity of Greek yogurt brands like Total and Fage, as well as the cult-like devotion to frozen yogurt chains such as Pinkberry and Red Mango, the company felt that the time was right to roll out a line of frozen yogurt that would combine the tartness of real Greek yogurt with the indulgent quality of Ben & Jerry's full fat ice creams. Here's what we thought of the new flavors.
This yogurt has a light strawberry flavor, with only a few chunks of fruit—most of them are blended in—so it's not likely to put off the seriously strawberry ice cream-averse. The pieces and crumbs of shortbread add a little textural variation. It's a nice strawberry ice cream, though perhaps a little richer than many standard frozen yogurts and not particularly tart or Greek yogurt-like. Still, we'd happily eat it, as long as we weren't expecting tartness.
Raspberry Fudge Chunk
Here at SE headquarters, this flavor was a favorite. The texture is creamy and smooth, with a nice raspberry flavor and a little more yogurt tartness than the Strawberry Shortcake. Ok, so it also doesn't hurt that it's loaded with big chunks of good-quality dark chocolate.
Vanilla Blueberry Graham
There's something about this flavor that tastes like classic frozen yogurt. When I tried it I was instantly transported to my youth, when chains like TCBY were still new and exotic. This version is creamy and smooth, with the blueberry and vanilla coming through in equal measure and a generous swirl of sweet and crunchy graham cracker crumbs. It's still sweeter than hardcore yogurt fans might like, but tasty nonetheless.
Banana Peanut Butter
The editors of Serious Eats weren't so convinced by this flavor. The banana tasted a little artificial to us (some described it as reminiscent of banana Runts), and the tartness of the yogurt clashed with the sweetness of the banana flavor and the crunchy peanut butter swirl. If you really like banana-flavored products, though, this might be up your alley.
All four flavors will be available in stores this month and in Ben & Jerry's scoop shops by the end of the spring.