Everybody remembers their first time at Yogurtland. “What’s all the excitement about?” you wonder. “Can it really be that good?” Sample cup in hand you pace the lineup of 16 handles and arrive at a frozen yogurt flavor that makes your mouth water. Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookie. Ooh.
You pour yourself a sample and as you bring it to your lips, the aroma of cinnamon immediately takes you back to standing in your kitchen, reaching for your favorite cookie still hot from the oven. One taste and you wonder what you’ve been doing with your life. You’re not sure how, but you can distinctively taste oatmeal and cinnamon goodness in every bite. The flavor takes you away as you let go of the stress from your day and you wonder, “Who on earth is responsible for making this magical treat?”
At Yogurtland, we have a team of Flavorologists that bring all the elements of your favorite desserts to your Yogurtland cup. We know, best job ever. Nirupama, Liz and Utami make up our lean mean flavor makin’ team and we sat down with them to chat about what they love most about their job making those delicious flavors we crave. Here’s what they had to say:
Food scientist, huh?...what exactly is that?
Nirupama: Food scientists study the physical, microbiological and chemical makeup of food. They apply the knowledge of food science, which includes food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering and food technology to come up with new food solutions. Food scientists develop new food products, design processes to produce these foods, conduct shelf-life studies, do sensory evaluation of products, and conduct microbiological and chemical testing. Here at Yogurtland, we develop great tasting frozen yogurt and develop processes to produce it with special attention to quality and food safety. We want to give our guests the most memorable experiences possible!
What's your favorite part about the job?
Liz: My favorite part about being a Flavorologist is being able to work with different and exciting foods. Every time I try something new I think, "Would this be a good yogurt flavor?" One unique food stands out in my memory: the horned melon. It's neon orange with spikes on the outside and has bright green slimy sacks on the inside. Amazing to look at, but not the best in flavor.
Do you remember the first flavor you developed as a Flavorologist?
Utami: Amaretto Cookie. I still remember how excited I was developing that flavor! We blended real roasted almonds and real cookies into our frozen yogurt mix to make this flavor taste just like amaretto cookies.
Do you have any silly stories from the flavor lab? Any crazy mishaps or test batches that went hilariously wrong?
Liz: I'm a clumsy person, so a lot of my stories will relate to that. One day I dropped a container of raspberry puree and it exploded everywhere. The walls, counter and ceiling were totally covered in bright red. We started joking in the lab… I don't know if you've ever seen Space Balls, but there is one scene where the space ship’s radar is "jammed" with raspberry jam… we referenced that for a while.
Which Yogurtland flavor is your absolute favorite?
Utami: It's hard to choose one, but I always get our Plain Tart whenever I go to Yogurtland. It's creamy and refreshing at the same time.
Liz: Hmmm…this is a toughie. This one I have to stop and think about. Probably our Churro flavor – I love cinnamon. I even add it to my lattes!
Are there any toppings that you always, always, ALWAYS put on your Yogurtland creations?
Nirupama: I love fruit on my yogurt, especially strawberries. I also always get caramel cups and brownies. Both are decadent and go so well with our Yogurtland flavors.
What do you typically get (yogurt + toppings) when you visit Yogurtland?
Liz: If our Churro flavor is unavailable, my go-to flavor is Plain Tart with gummy bears, mochi, strawberries, Fruity Pebbles and sweetened condensed milk.
Any hints to what flavors you’re working on now?
We can’t give specifics, but we’ve got some new and exciting flavors coming up that are going to take your taste buds on the adventure of a lifetime!