Taste Test: Yagoot Yogurt

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Frozen yogurts are enjoying a jolt of fresh popularity. But these suddenly hot chilled treats are a brand new breed that ain't like the generation that came before them.

In other words, instead of laying claim to the healthy name of yogurt while annihilating any authentic charms of the real thing (a la TCBY and its heavily sugared ilk), these newbies wear their tartness on their sleeves. What's more, they're also probiotic, meaning they actually contain live yogurt cultures.

Anyway, to the point, an Ohio-grown version of this tangy icy dairy vanguard has just opened up a shop out at Easton Town Center. Enter Taste Test.

What I tried: Yagoot Frozen Yogurt ($2.25/small, plain; $3.75/small, three-topping)

Everything cold is new again: Yagoot is a Cincinnati-based company owned and operated by the Busken family of Busken Bakery fame. The Yagoot website informs us that in the '70s and '80s, the Buskens sold a yogurt practically identical to this Yagoot stuff but stopped offering it when the dairy that manufactured it went belly up.

Fast-forward about three decades. Upon witnessing the mass success of "tart" fro-yos like Pinkberry and Red Mango, the Buskens decided to jump back into the yogurt pool using a facsimile of their original '70s recipe.

Kids & Cribs: When I stepped into Yagoot, the place was packed with mall-rat kids clad in the kind of "street cred" couture purchasable a couple of doors away at Hot Topic. They fit right in with Yagoot's ultra-mod, bright and bouncy music and playful design.

With its transparent, candy-colored scoop chairs, shiny silver lamps and '60s pop color scheme, Yagoot has obviously cribbed from Pinkberry's notes for providing a fun and upbeat-looking store. Similarly, Yagoot has apparently borrowed its gratuitous umlauts and its nonsense-type name from premium ice cream purveyor Hagen-Dazs.

The proof is in the Yagoot -ing: I quite liked Yagoot. Its smooth and fairly dense texture was very pleasing on the tongue and its tart and tangy flavor was right on. Of the three soft-serve varieties offered, I liked the straight-up plain best, followed by the fairly convincing strawberry, followed by the less-convincing banana.

Yagoot offers 20 possible add-ons that run the gamut from real fruit to Fruity Pebbles. Through trial and error, I found that actual fruits suited Yagoot best - especially diced mango.

Would I eat it again: Definitely. And considering it's probiotic and has only 120 calories in a single serving, it's a very nice and relatively guilt-free treat.

Yagoot Yogurt

3998 Gramercy St., Easton


Web: yagootyogurt.com

Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com