This week’s battle pairs two frozen favorites against each other to find out which one can melt the competition. Aside from being equally delicious frozen treats, ice cream, and frozen yogurt have unique characteristics all their own.
Determining which is superior, however, can cause a brain freeze. If you were forced to pick one for the rest of your life, but can’t decide, here’s a food fight to help you make up your mind.
Did you Know?
Ice cream has quite the history. The Roman Empire enjoyed an early form made by combining ice and different flavors of cream with fruit and milk while the Chinese made a version with milk and rice as far back as 200 B.C.
If you think that’s old, variations of yogurt have been around since the Neolithic period or about 6,000 B.C. though it was only finally exported to the U.S. from the Middle East during the early 1900s.
Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, has been a relatively new creation with TCBY (originally, “This Can’t Be Yogurt,” but later changed to “The Country’s Best Yogurt”) claiming to be the first commercial frozen yogurt producer. It opened its doors in 1981.
Calories (Vanilla, per 100 grams)
Ice Cream: 207 calories Frozen Yogurt: 159 calories
Ice Cream (varies, but generally): Milk or half-and-half, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Commercial ice cream will have far more ingredients including corn syrup, whey, guar and other gums, and carrageenan (an extract from seaweed), but to be labeled ice cream, it must contain at least 10% milkfat.
Frozen Yogurt (varies, but generally): Milk, cultured milk, sugar, vanilla extract.
Like ice cream, frozen yogurt can also include corn syrup, various gums, carrageenan, and other additives. Some may use Greek yogurt or other minor variations.
Taste and Consistency
Ice cream: Unique in texture as it’s soft, with a hint of icy roughness. The initial taste is sweet and creamy, but then the softness settles in feels like you are jumping into a tub of chilled whipped cream, the cold shock awakens the senses, but the cream quickly melts away into a thick milky puddle of sugary goodness.
Frozen Yogurt: It’s not yogurt, but it’s not exactly ice cream either, although it has similar characteristics. At first, the consistency is a bit firmer than ice cream, but not as creamy. The first spoonful of froyo almost disintegrates instantaneously, leaving behind a smooth, somewhat tart, somewhat bland aftertaste.
What’s Working For You
Both: A bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt on a hot day can be an absolute godsend. Adding fresh fruit and other toppings can enhance an already delicious snack while supplying some calcium.
Frozen Yogurt: This treat is often treated like ice cream’s diet-friendly alternative because it’s less fattening than normal ice cream. Just go easy on the toppings.
Ice Cream: Other than supplying you with your daily dose of dairy products and soothing your tonsils after a tonsillectomy, ice cream isn’t doing much for health.
What’s Working Against You
Both: Like any dessert, eating too much ice cream or frozen yogurt can have ill effects on teeth, weight, and overall health.
Ice Cream: contains more fat and calories, due to the increased sugar and heavy cream.
Frozen Yogurt: This might sound healthier, but the process of freezing the yogurt eliminates the probiotic enzyme found in regular yogurt, meaning that your digestive tract won’t get the probiotic benefits regular yogurt delivers.
Winner: Ice Cream
While colorful, modern frozen yogurt proprietors from Pinkberry to 16 Handles tout many fascinating flavors and toppings, ultimately it’s all to disguise the fact that you aren’t eating ice cream. If magically all calories were equal, would you ever choose frozen yogurt over ice cream? Of course, you wouldn’t.
The additional fat found in ice cream shouldn’t be treated as a negative but as a positive. It satisfies some rich, primal desire for fat your body desires, but your head denies. And that’s ultimately the difference. Frozen yogurt speaks to your consciousness while ice cream speaks to your id. It’s up to you if you want to follow your heart or your head.