So remember how not too long ago, frozen yogurt places started popping up all over the place as the cool, new, healthy alternative to ice cream and gelato shops? I specifically remember how when I was in college a new fro-yo place opened two doors down from a different one, both of which happened to be a street away from another one. Well, leave it to New York City to take the frozen yogurt craze up a notch with a place like Culture.
Culture (full name: Culture An American Yogurt Company) manufactures all their yogurt on site. When you walk inside and order, you can actually see the machinery working in the back. Their yogurt is made from specifically selected live probiotic cultures and fresh local milk that comes from cows not treated with rBST (a bovine growth hormone). If you really want to get into the specifics, their culture contains a mixture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis. Too much info? Well too bad, because now you know. The point is that probiotics are healthy and good for you, and studies have shown that they can do things like help the immune system, control cholesterol levels, and break down fats.
To begin the ordering process here, your first step is deciding whether you want fresh or frozen yogurt –the latter of which is made from the fresh yogurt–as they offer both. Next, you pick a flavor, which can vary depending on the day. Then you pick your size (kids, small, medium, or large) and what kinds of toppings you want. It’s in the style of places like Pinkberry where they assemble your order and put the toppings on for you.
Culture does have some premade options that you can choose from, but I always prefer making my own mix, so I decided to go with the frozen flavor that day (coconut raspberry) and added chocolate syrup and mochi. Just my luck that the flavor of the day was a combination of two of my favorite flavors! And it’s always a plus in my book when a fro-yo place has mochi. I was actually pretty thrilled when I saw that they put some chocolate syrup on the bottom of my cup before adding the yogurt, because I kind of hate when they put toppings on for you and it’s all precariously piled on top and you’ve run out of them by the time you’ve had a few spoonfuls.
Upon first bite, I could tell that this isn’t your average yogurt. It’s definitely on the more tart/sour/tangy side (think along the lines of Greek yogurt). To me, that’s just a sign that they’re making true yogurt here without all the random additives. The other distinguishing characteristic of Culture’s yogurt is that it’s super creamy (think soft serve), unlike other places that serve “icier” fro-yo. So, basically all of that plus sweet chocolate sauce and chewy mochi made for a delicious, after-dinner treat.
If you’re a fan of Culture’s product, you don’t have to keep running back here for your fix. They have a fridge in the store where you can grab some pre-made products and yogurt in containers to take home. And there’s a good chance you’ll want to because tasting Culture’s yogurt makes you realize what real, healthy yogurt, fresh or frozen, can be.
Coconut raspberry yogurt with chocolate syrup and mochi
60 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011