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Jul 30, 2007 10:41 PM

Am I the only one who finds Pinkberry gross?

Pinkberry tastes to me like frozen yogurt 1.0, like back in the 80's when Dannon first came out with those sour yogurt bars covered in chalky chocolate dip.

I get it that it's "healthier" and closer to "real" yogurt. But in the same way that carob may well be better for you than Godiva, I still don't want to eat carob.

Has everyone in the world thrown over the "faux" fro yo that we all knew as fro yo until the Pinkberry revolution came along? Is anyone with me? Toppers on Beverly Blvd.? Bigg Chill on Olympic and Westwood? Are there any more Hollywood/mid city area old school fro yo joints out there or is it all Pinkberry and the clones and I'd better just get with the program?

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  1. well i do think pinkberry tastes like some sort of a powdered mixture, it never tasted "fresh" to me.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Beignets

      Pinkberry comes from does Pazzo Gelato...

      1. re: Normal Garciaparra


        PAZZO GELATO does NOT use powder. where in the world did you get that idea?!?

        PAZZO, BULGARINI, & SCOOPS all make their base and flavors from scratch. i've had the farmer's market guys bump me with crates of fresh plums while i'm standing in line. what's more is PAZZO is still making their ice cream with organic milk and cream.

        i think the chef would die if she knew somebody said she uses powder. i feel sorry for her already.

        1. re: revets2

          Let's just say a certain person in the industry told me.

          1. re: Normal Garciaparra

            i think that's a harmful and untrue rumor that should be retracted.

            look, i know you're a huge fan of Tai at SCOOPS. i'm a fan of his product too. i'm not saying he didn't say it, but he's a humble guy and i'd be surprised if he did. and if he did, i will not return and will tell others not to return as well because it's blatantly untrue that PAZZO uses powdered product to make their ice cream. where would you buy the base for goat cheese strawberry? how could you upcharge for market fruit like santa rosa plum and black velvet apricot?

            i like you posts, normal, but you stepped over the line. it's not true and it's a harmful and disrespectful comment to the artisans at PAZZO who work so hard to craft their product. and for the record, you changed your above post from "competitor" to "person in the industry". who is that? the milk guy?

            who said they were competitors anyways?

            i challenge you to set the record straight.

            1. re: revets2

              I've not talked to the Scoops guy, I'm not on one side or the other, but, just playing devil's advocate - how can you really be sure they DON'T use a powder at Pazzo? Have you stood in the kitchen and watched each batch get made from empty bowl to complete product? I don't know if they do or don't - and, for the record, I don't think they do - but they could conceivably take a powder and add the goat cheese, strawberries, plums, etc. Just as one poster should not post that it's 100% true without proof, another should not declare it 100% false. It's not out of the realm of possibility.

              1. re: Woolsey

                thanks for playing devil's advocate, but if you know the product professionally, you know it's out of the realm of possibility. first, you would have to know that it wouldn't be just "powder" that would be offensive. it would be "paste" too. and in some cases it would be excessive use of corn syrup, stabilizers and gums as well. i have debated other gelateria owners on this board about whether you can use paste and powder and still call your product artisanal or fresh.

                *how can you really be sure they DON'T use a powder at Pazzo?*
                first, it's not hard to see what's going on in the kitchen. it's in plain view. the next time you go to PAZZO, hang out and take a look around. second, as customers, we've discussed the philosophy with the chef, staff, and owners, flavor profiles, etc. we do not have a formal business relationship, but did help advise an owner on the financing for the possibility of a second store. third, i am a former pastry chef (FOUR SEASONS BH & BOULEVARD SF) who has made a lot of ice cream. you know powder when you taste it and the evidence is strewn through the kitchen. you don't need sugar where there's powder. you don't need slabs of chocolate where there's powder. you don't need real vanilla where there's powder. and it's not really conceivable that you would go to the trouble to at that time, source your organic milk from TJs, if you were using powder. we chat with other folks who are doing similar product as PAZZO, like leo bulgarini, who has been to both SCOOPS and PAZZO. chefs like us are dismayed at others claims that they're making artisanal product when they're really doing what you reference above. buying paste or powder and adding other ingredients. it educates the public's palates to reference artificial for real.

                *Have you stood in the kitchen and watched each batch get made from empty bowl to complete product?* yes.

                that's how i know it's out of the realm of possibility.

                how do you know your fish is fresh? how do you know your produce was picked that morning? how do you know the apple isn't rotten?

                i am not partial to PAZZO or any other frozen dessert maker. but if one of my clients remarked that i must be using paste or powder when i have a slow food mission, i would feel slandered. if the poster had said, "i heard" or "rumor has it", that's one thing, but that's not how it was done.

                for normal, i wonder if this is a case of an overly devoted fan of one artisan who has gone too far beyond the boundaries. the power of the internet has given every person a voice. for the integrity of these boards, we should call people on the carpet when they make statements that are simply not true about people's businesses and livelihoods. woolsey, these are people who differentiate themselves by making a product not from powder for people they hope will understand and love that. this is their livelihood, how they put food on the table for their families, pay the shop's rent and employees. for a poster to casually make a comment read by hundreds that is unfounded and beyond opinion is not responsible. also, it can foster ill will between artisans and business owners who are really not in direct competition.

                for the record, PAZZO GELATO is not really gelato as the owners will freely admit. they call it american gelato; it's really ice cream - very good ice cream not made from a pre-fab powder and without all the chemicals pre-fab powders have. they do use a paste, however. vanilla paste. it's from madagascar and it retails for about $44/lb.

                mr. garciaparra, you're up at bat.

                1. re: revets2

                  Well, again, I don't think Pazzo uses powder. I'm not really wild about their product, but it doesn't taste powder-based to me.

                  You are correct in saying that the post should have been qualified with a "word has it" type statement if it's something coming down the grapevine. Anyway, I for one don't discount someplace because of powders or pastes. I discount them for finished product or, more importantly in Pazzo Gelato's case, service, which has been terrible whenever I've visited. (I found it to be consistently one of those if-you-look-Silverlakey-great-if-you-look-non-Silverlakey-then-f***-you places.)

                  But there's also no concrete proof so far that Scoops or any other establishment is responsible for said rumor this is all hearsay, and their name and reputation should no be sullied, just as Pazzo Gelato's should not be if this is untrue.

                  1. re: Woolsey

                    as i said before, i don't see Tai Kim of SCOOPS would ever say such a thing, but i don't know him that well. we're just good return customers. i think it's a case fan fervor gone overboard. normal's post was changed as i state above from "competitor" to "certain person in the industry". so what would the other local competition be? HOLLYWOOD GELATO? 31 FLAVORS? a lot of people who read normal are smart enough to make the assumption. i hope this helps Tai too.

    2. I don't think Pinkberry is gross, but I don't think it's the 21st century version of ambrosia either. It's what it is, it's alright. I can live without it for a few weeks, unlike most people.

      As for old-school, I know there's LA Svelte Yogurt in Silver Lake, on Hyperion and Griffith Park. And there's still a bunch of old Penguins scattered around.

      1. Nasty tasting stuff. The mochi/rice cakes are a unique touch, but for the $$ I'll go to Sakura in Gardena and buy fresh mochi.

        1. Stinkberry is, in my opinion, the worst of the frozen yogurt joints around. It's watery and gloppy, like the cheap, bargain brand ice milk one would get at school - yeah, I went to public school - but put through a soft-serve machine. It tastes cheap, but then, it is cheap - at least, it's a cheap product. A cheap product being flogged at a ridiculous price. But the tart style seems to be here to stay, at least until it's not. But there are versions that are creamier, not like the cheap, discount ice milk Stinkberry dishes out at the highest possible price point. They are sort of the middle ground between Stinkberry and the frozen yogurt of the 1980s heyday of frozen yogurt, when froyo was creamy like soft-serve ice cream and came in a variety of flavors:

          CéFiore has the creamiest version, the most like the ice cream-like frozen yogurt of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Snowberry's version is very similar. Both stores have flavors other than plain (a.k.a., sour) and green tea (a.k.a., sour and colored green for the extra dollar you wasted) - CéFiore has blackberry and raspberry-pomegranate, while Snowberry has peach. Cantaloop has mango and blueberry (big '80s froyo flashback!) and sometimes pomegranate, but their style is a little more like sorbet in texture. (Still, it's never as cheap and watery as Stinkberry's ice milk.) Yogotango has a very ice cream-like product, and it's no wonder; they sell low-fat - not fat-free - yogurt, available in the traditional chocolate and vanilla, as well as tomato, peach, and plain and wasted-dollar, er, green tea.

          If you started with Stinkberry, consider yourself lucky: You started at the bottom, and you have nowhere to go but up.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Woolsey

            I don't know who suggested it on this board, but based on the recommendation, I tried the green tea and pomegranate swirl at CeFiore and loved it.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Oh yeah. That's the stuff! CéFiore is the perfect balance between the creamy ice cream-style and the more clean-tasting, tart current frozen yogurt style. Plus, it's got the fat-free, sugar-free thing going on. It's the gold standard of frozen yogurt as far as I'm concerned.

          2. I tried it at the kiosk in the Topanga Canyon Blvd mega consumer center.I only tried the plain, but it was really icky to me. I liked the tang, but the texture was just not right.

            For a tangy cold yogurt dessert, I like the Yogurt flavored Gelato at Viktor Benes in Encino and some other Gelson's.

            I am eagerly awaiting trying Ce Fiore, though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Diana

              The original post I made became a little off-track because of the powder debate. But my main point was not digging the tart fro yo that's out there now. I like the stuff that tastes like soft serve ice cream. Anyone who has any info on THAT style it's really appreciated. Is that what the YoTango place is like? Thanks

              1. re: PinotPlease

                In the SFV, you can go to Yogurt Zone, Penguins, and Studio Yogurt. They all have great yogurt with a non-tangy taste! Lots of flavor options, especially at Studio Yogurt.