Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ben & Jerry's Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt

I had such a good time at the launch of the Ben & Jerry's Core flavours last year that I jumped at the chance to go to another one of their events. This one was the launch of three flavours of frozen yoghurt made with Greek-style yoghurt.

This time I confess I was a little apprehensive. It was being held in a Greek restaurant in Covent Garden which gets quite negative reviews, and while I love Greek food (garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, what's not to love?) and love frozen yoghurt I did fear that crappy food would mar the experience.

However, I engineered things in my favour by arranging to meet a friend for a drink beforehand, thus ensuring that whatever else happened it wasn't a waste of tube fare. It was pretty tempting to stay drinking rosé in a quiet bar, but I did tear myself away at the appropriate time.

My heart sank as the waitress who greeted me in the restaurant stared blankly at me. Fortunately, a better-informed member of staff overheard and led me downstairs where, he said, "everyone" was waiting for me. Everyone turned out to be a small number of bloggers (several more trickled in after me) and several bottles of prosecco. The prosecco was very pleased to see me.

Generally I think the fact that we were in a windowless room that I suspect is usually used to store extra chairs put a bit of a damper on things. Certainly the atmosphere was a bit subdued.

But then the food started to come out and a bit of perkiness was restored. The food was very, very good! Some of the best tiropitakia I've had (lovely chilli kick), delicious fried halloumi, succulent meatball/kefte sort of patties and lots of good-looking (but unwieldy, so I didn't try it) aubergine.

I muscled my way into a very pleasant conversation with Dom from Cocoa Runners and Judith from Mostly About Chocolate and started to enjoy myself.

The buzz of nervous PRs gave the first indication that something had gone slightly wrong with the actual frozen yoghurt tasting. When the bowls came out it was clear what the problem was - the fro-yo wasn't fro, it was really just yo. The freezer wasn't working.

Still, it gave me enough of an idea of the flavours that I had a look online when I got home and discovered that Ocado had the Greek-style yoghurts half price. I popped two of the flavours in my shopping and prepared to do some independent "research".

Greek Strawberry Shortcake (Greek-style yoghurt, strawberries & shortcake chunks): strawberry ice cream is generally my favourite, and the Ben & Jerry strawberry cheesecake ice cream is a favourite among strawberries so I was very interested to see how this compared. This has a good, fruity flavour and subtle yoghurty tang. Unfortunately the tub I bought had too high a proportion of fairly bland shortcake pieces, although I suspect that varies a bit from tub to tub. It's a bit lower in calories than the strawberry cheesecake (190/100g instead of 250/100g) and has half the fat, so it is a slightly healthier option if you are keeping an eye on those things. I'm not sure that it is enough of a healthier option to displace the strawberry cheesecake in my affections though.

Greek Vanilla Honey Caramel (Greek-style yoghurt, vanilla & a honey caramel swirl): this looked to me like a direct competitor to the Yeo Valley organic Greek-style honey frozen yoghurt, which I really like, but I think the caramel swirl gives this one the edge (the Yeo Valley one is slightly lower in calories and fat). It has a lovely creamy texture and a bit of a tang.

Overall, I think the emphasis on these is "ice cream", not "frozen yoghurt". They don't taste particularly worthy and they avoid some of the pitfalls of some of the other supermarket brands I've tried (rock-hard, weird elastic texture, floury aftertaste). In a perfect world they'd have the really clean, pronounced tang of the softserve fro-yo from Snog or the one from Itsu, but if you don't have my taste for really tangy yoghurt this will definitely appeal.
Banana split - banana, Ben & Jerry's Greek Style frozen yoghurt and chilli-glazed nuts - these are really quite small scoops.


Joanne said...

Well I'm glad the event didn't end up being a TOTAL bust - at least you got some good Greek food out of it!

grace said...

'The prosecco was very pleased to see me.' ha!


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