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Popular dessert from the USA arrives in Europe

Americans have been eating frozen yoghurt for years. The basic mix of yoghurt and milk offers a huge choice of flavours. Like soft ice, it’s extruded from a machine into cups of various sizes and eaten right away. What makes frozen yoghurt a real star are the dozens of different toppings on offer. Customers can choose anything from fresh fruit, nuts and muesli to sprinkle spreads and sweets. Frozen yoghurt vendors often have their own specialised shops or cafes, but the dessert is also available from self-service machines. It’s a typical city-centre snack food, but it’s also sometimes sold from mobile vans.

It’s the ingredients that make the quality

Frozen yoghurt is normally made from fresh milk and fresh yoghurt. Depending on the recipe, the manufacturer will add dextrose, guar gum powder (a thickening agent), milk protein and citric acid. The exact recipes vary widely. Some manufacturers simply mix UHT milk without yoghurt with ready-mix yoghurt ice powder. Others save on the milk and add water to a ready-mix powder. Some formulations include artificial flavourings and colourings and other additives.

 

If you really want to know what’s in your frozen yoghurt, you need to study the list of ingredients. In Germany, this must be easy to read and displayed near the vending machine. You can expect it to tell you whether the yoghurt contains such things as colouring, sweeteners and so on. The ingredients in the toppings must also be listed.

Check the price

The price must also be clearly shown. In a shop or cafe the price will depend on portion size and the chosen toppings. If you buy from a self-service machine, you can expect to pay by weight, including the toppings. Usually the price is shown per 100 gram, but, of course, you only see the final price once your finished dessert is on the scale. At that point there’s no way back, so that inexperienced customers sometimes get an expensive shock. 

Source: Hedda Thielking, www.aid.de