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A New Kind of Crackberry Coming to Town

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Aug 20, 2007 3:00PM


The dropping temperature and pouring rain didn't stop us from getting excited when we read that three new frozen yogurt places will be opening up in Chicago in the near future. Frozen yogurt? Like TCBY? Yes, but better. This isn't just any fro-yo, as Chicagoist likes to call it. We're talking about Pinkberry (A.K.A Crackberry), which is either the best thing since sliced bread, or a huge crock of marketing shit.

Our coastal friends have been keeping us up to date on the Pinkberry craze while we waited for one to come to the Windy City (which will arrive as "soon as next year"). Pinkberry offers a type of frozen yogurt/dessert in two flavors; vanilla and green tea. Reading a few descriptions of it, we aren't quite sure what to think. Does "slightly tangy, slightly salty, and ringing in at a mere 20 calories per ounce" sound appealing?

Further adding to the confusion is the question of whether Pinkberry products can actually be called frozen yogurt. Pinkberry refuses to release its ingredients list; though the company says the product contains yogurt, questions of how much, and how much is needed to call something frozen yogurt remain. The Trib clued us in that the company's website eschews the term "frozen yogurt" in favor of "dessert reinvented." It all sounds strangely reminiscent of a certain Seinfeld episode.

Joining Pinkberry in the frozen yogurt invasion are Starfruit and Red Mango. Starfruit is the new endeavor of Morton Grove-based Lifeway and will feature a variety of kefir products. Kefir is a product similar to yogurt; the first Starfruit will open on 1745 W. Division St. next month. Red Mango is a South Korean firm that opened its first U.S. store in Los Angeles in July. It plans to set up shop in Evanston, Naperville and Lincolnshire this year. Judging from its website (and website alone), it looks like it might give Pinkberry a run for its money. Despite our excitement and first impressions upon hearing about the fro-yo invasion, we'll hold out on judging until we've tried all three.

Image via Pinkberry.