New York City, Manhattan especially, sports hundreds of boring, and in some cases terrible frozen yogurt and no-fat dairylike concoction places. What if there were a similar concept, but a completely different taste and texture, to choose instead?
Recently Yvo and I represented The Feisty Foodie on the Upper East Side at The Soft Serve Fruit Co., (probably) New York’s first soft-serve fresh fruit location. It’s laid out like virtually every frozen yogurt place, but of course with a huge difference: it’s all fruit puree, organic cane sugar, and a bit of water.
As such, it’s fairly low in calories, and besides being fat-free, it’s also gluten-free. So the growing number of lactose-intolerant, celiac, and most other allergic-to-something people all get a fair shake here.
Being super-important food blogger types, we were served up a sample of the four flavors currently offered: clockwise from the front, mango, strawberry, banana, and pear. There are no colorings added, so you get the actual color of the puree.
All four very nicely reflected their respective fruits, but I think I preferred the strawberry: without so much added sugar the natural strawberry is subtle yet very tasty. The mango is delicious, but rather strong; the sample amount was enough. The banana I could see ordering over and over, as real banana is far, far more tolerable than the banana flavor in a lot of things. The pear, I thought was a bit too subtle; I know it’s not a rich, strong flavor in an actual pear, but I wished there were more to it.
As one might expect, takeout is available, and you’d have to really, really want a wide variety all at once not to pick it up by the quart.
Being a press event means, of course, alcohol, but at least here it isn’t out of place: while The Soft Serve Fruit Co. doesn’t serve liquor, it does sell its wares to restaurants and bars for mixed drinks, and the bartender on hand made these for us to try: the Happy Fields, using strawberry soft serve fruit, with citron vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and a splash of soda; and the Sweet Ambition, which adds Canton ginger liquor, lime juice, simple syrup and rhubarb bitters to mango soft serve fruit.
As expected, I enjoyed these both, taking on drinking duties for the team. The Happy Fields showcased the strawberry well, and the citrus gave it a little sourness that I liked. The Sweet Ambition was also good, but pretty much carbonated mango with a little ginger burn — I didn’t pick up the rhubarb at all, but I wasn’t disappointed.
Naturally, if you want to dress up your fruit, there are many, many options. Here we see the not-so-gluten-free options: cereals, marshmallows, various dry goods. Nuts are simply not an option here, as people with that allergy are pretty much screwed being anywhere near nuts.
If you like adding fruit to fruit, well hey, that’s allowed too! Each topping is 50-75 cents on top of the $3.50-$5.00 base price for the various sizes of soft-serve fruit, so it isn’t breaking the bank. There are also hot sauces, like fudge and peanut butter (which I guess is stored separately).
And if you like, you can cone it up — no ordinary cones these, I think I’d really enjoy my soft serve fruit in a pretzel cone (for another $1.75). Had I the room for more tasty fruit treats, yes, this is my next order from the good people there.
I’m not a big fan of the frozen yogurt market, but soft serve fruit, in my neighborhood, reasonably priced? I’ll find myself stopping in here. It’s a pleasant little treat right on Third Avenue, and if the evening of this visit is any indication, it seems that the locals have found the place and enjoy it. They’re serving in the Hamptons for the summer, as well, but I’ll make do with the Soft Serve Fruit Co. a mere two blocks from my subway stop this summer.
Please note that the event was courtesy of The Soft Serve Fruit Co. and their PR. I received no monetary compensation for this review, nor was I obliged in any way to post about the event, positively or otherwise. This is my own opinion and I feel it was unbiased; you are free to take from this what you will.