Temple of yogurt goodness
There's nothing more satisfying than travelling a good distance for something edible and then have it hit all the right spots. That's precisely what happened at Menchie's Frozen Yogurt at 511 Bloor Street West today. Now I love anything with yogurt. I love it plain straight from the carton or with just a dash of flavoured agave syrup and nuts. So it's no surprise that frozen yogurt is also one of my favourites. Now this is where Sean and I differ. He dislikes anything yogurt or yogurt-related with a passion. But not any more.
We were invited for Blogurt - a meeting of some of the city's bloggers to get a taste of Menchie's and participate in a competition to create our own winning mix. That's the beauty about this frozen yogurt parlour. You get to choose from a variety of flavours (a rotating set of 18 varieties) and then have a chance to top it with your choice of fresh fruit, nuts, chocolate, sprinkles, sauces...the list goes on. If you have a sweet tooth, you're going to be in a massive dilemma. Then your creation is weighed, you pay and sit down in the funky green and pink interiors and enjoy. You're totally in control and shell out only for the amount you want.
Get your yogurt, then head to the toppings section.
What's even better is the frozen yogurt is created locally by a dairy in Ontario with real Canadian milk and is free of any GMOs. Yogurt by itself is fairly healthy and Menchie's' product contains the healthy active cultures as dictated by the National Yogurt Association and is certified kosher. They also offer sugar-free and fat-free options and all varieties are gluten-free so those suffering from celiac disease can enjoy a bowl full without any worries. The franchise is extremely popular in the US and is frequented by Hollywood stars like Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. Recently Canada's own , Justin Bieber stopped by one of the locations as well with Selena Gomez.
And there's more toppings AND a range of sauces.
Now the competing bloggers first had an initial taste of the flavours and toppings and then had some time to decide what would work best together. Sean approached the Yogurt Bar with caution unsure of whether he would take a liking to any flavours. Filling his bowl he was soon licking his spoon and lips in delight. He was in frozen yogurt heaven and couldn't believe how great it tasted. Menchie's had converted him. Soon we were torn between the Cake Batter and Tart Green Apple flavours. Add to that the Peach Sorbet, Pina Colada and Banana Bread and we were scratching our heads in complete confusion.
The toppings and sauces didn't make it any easier. So we decided to keep it really simple and layer Pina Colada, Peach Sorbet and Banana Bread flavours. We were thinking of the name Tropical Thunder so we topped it with strawberry sauce, cubes of pineapple and kiwi and added some shredded coconut and peanuts for texture. Other contestants like Communal Table created delicacies like a Chunky Hunka Monkey Love, Cook Speaks Eats whipped up Some Like It Tart, The Fashionista Foodie had Tartinista and Community Foodist baptised his entry Everything But The Bacon.
Tropical Thunder and Sean taking it down.
As the judges tasted each of the 15 - a feat in itself as each creation got bigger and more decorative, we all sat around chatting, getting to know each other and tasting what each one had created. Sean and I pretty much realised at this point that there was no chance of winning. Then came time for the top there to be announced and we all joined in banging tables to create a faux drum roll. Third place went to The Fashionista Foodie and second place to Kitchen Mischief's banofee-inspired dessert. By some stroke of luck Sean and I took first place. I was so excited that I leapt out of my chair. It was so unexpected.
What's even better were the prizes. Third place got $50 worth of Menchie's, second got a whole month's supply (a maximum of 10oz per day) And what did we get? A lovely iPod Shuffle. In my opinion, a perfect gift for food lovers. Now no excuse for skipping the gym because there's no music to run to. But you know what that means. The more we run, the more we can indulge in. My stomach is smiling already.
The Grand Prize