Ice cream has a bad rap, while at the same time being the ultimate comfort food. Chick flicks aren’t complete without the girl sitting on her couch, scarfing down a carton of Ben & Jerry’s while crying over her latest heartbreak. Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, has been rising in popularity over the years, as is seen by the multitudes of self-serve fro-yo shops like Pinkberry and Red Mango. It’s also seen as healthier by many—the justification being that since it’s “just yogurt right?” and “yogurt is healthy, right?”
So this week’s Food Fight features Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream vs. Yogurtland French Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.
Defending Champion: Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream
Background: By definition, ice cream has to have at least 5% fat, but is usually around 10%. The ingredients are mixed, pasteurized, homogenized, cooled, aged and hardened, producing the final product.
Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Vanilla Extract
Opponent: Yogurtland Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Background: Frozen yogurt is made through essentially the same process as ice cream, but contains lower milkfat and uses yogurt instead of cream. However, frozen yogurt is not regulated by the FDA, though some states have their own regulations.
Ingredients: Pasteurized and Cultured Skim Milk, Maltodextrin, Whey, Sorbitol, Polydextrose, Vegetable Mono & Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color, Yellow 5, Red 40
Round 1: Nutrition
If you just look at the nutrition facts, fro-yo is the clear winner. No fat? A third of the calories? More calcium? Just as much protein? It’s enough to justify your fro-yo addiction. But wait. It’s very rare that we get frozen yogurt without any toppings at all, while ice cream can be (and usually is) enjoyed on its own. Most fro-yo toppings are over 100 calories, with the exception of fruit. So unless you’re piling on blueberries and strawberries, watch out—a few scoops of peanut butter cups, gummy bears and granola can rack the calorie count up to almost 500. Also, if you compare the ingredient lists, you can see that the ice cream has way fewer ingredients. It contains what you’d expect ice cream to contain—cream, sugar, milk and eggs. The fro-yo, on the other hand, has a much longer list. And do you know half of what’s on there? Because I don’t. It does contain Red 40 and Carrageenan, both of which can have been said to be bad for you.
Round 2: Taste
Ice Cream: I could taste the quality of the ice cream. It tastes like vanilla, pure and simple. Thick, rich and creamy, it was extremely satisfying with every single spoonful. I finished my serving happy and content.
Fro-yo: The yogurt itself was okay, but the toppings were what make it good. Personally, I fill my cup with fruits, granola and nuts. My sister likes piles on all the candy from the toppings bar. No matter what your preference is, it’s universally agreed that the toppings are the stars of the show.
Winner: Ice Cream
Round 3: Price
Ice Cream: $3 for a pint
Fro-yo: $2.32 for 5 oz
Winner: Ice Cream
Ice cream is the winner of this one. It’s time we ignored the guilty stigma surrounding it and enjoyed it for what it is—a magical treat.