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Taste and texture of commercial frozen yogurt -- why the difference?

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I went to one franchise frozen yogurt place a couple of months and tried their peanut butter and chocolate yogurts and didn't like either one. It's not just the taste I don't like. It has something to do with the texture. I can't explain it. The closest analogy for me is the difference between ice milk and ice cream.
I tried another franchise of that outlet and found two frozen yogurts I liked quite a bit. These flavors were peach mango tart and mango sorbet. It's not necessarily the mango flavors I like. It has to do with the texture as well.
I can't put my finger on the differences in these yogurts and I'm wondering if a Chowhound has any insight.

 
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  1. it would help to know the franchise or the *type* of yogurt. low fat? full fat? sugar or artificial sweetener? the base ingredients, sweeteners, flavorings, machine and temperature will all affect texture.

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      U Swirl. I believe all their yogurt is low or non-fat.

      1. re: SteveTimko

        well, the first issue is that since you're dealing with independently-owned franchises, there's no way to ensure that you'll get consistent product from shop to shop. the yogurt doesn't come pre-made, it starts with a liquid base that's poured into the machine and mixed with other flavorings and syrups. if there's a difference in the way the products are mixed, they won't turn out the same.

        those machines also have to be maintained properly - some places don't flush them out between batches (which they should), some operate them at the wrong temperature or speed, which will affect the texture of the final product.

        and finally, tart flavors generally tend to be icier in texture than sweet flavors because they don't contain the flavoring syrups the other ones do. *however* if the temperature or water content is off when they mix the sweeter flavors (e.g. chocolate or PB), the mix will crystallize and end up icy or gritty.

        does that help?

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks for the information. It's actually the tart ones that have the creamier texture. The least creamy texture have been the chocolate and peanut butter.

          1. re: SteveTimko

            sounds like they're mixing or freezing it wrong. you should do a side-by-side comparison of the sweet and tart flavors at that *same* location.