One million probiotic cultures per gram sounds like a lot. That's the amount of the healthful stuff you'll ingest when eating frozen yogurt made from powdered mix. But when eating fro-yo made from fresh yogurt, as it's made at Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar, you'll be consuming as many as 700 million probiotic cultures per gram. It's an astonishing increase, one that's complemented by other conscientious methods: Most of Qoola's products are fat-free, gluten-free, and certified kosher.
Qoola's low-calorie concoctions helps patrons feel better about indulging a bit at the toppings bar, where they can opt for lighter scoops of fresh fruit and flax seeds, or go all-out with crumbled candy bars and chocolate sauce. As committed to the health of the planet as it is to the health of its customers, Qoola uses biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable containers and utensils, and keeps its facility bright and sparkling with energy-efficient lighting and natural cleaning supplies. Qoola also proudly gives back to the community by supporting a number of charitable organizations.
A surprising amount of chemistry goes into frozen treats. Gelato, for example, traditionally is churned more slowly and contains less cream than ice cream, making it thicker and lower in fat. Sorbet relies heavily on fruit rather than dairy products, leaving it with a drastically different texture.
The Grippo family, owners of Gelateria Dolce Amore, have been mastering those minute distinctions for generations. They craft each flavor of sorbetto and gelato by hand in small batches, whether it's one of their seasonal specials or a regular daily offering. For a celebration centerpiece, customers special order cakes made from these icy treats, upon which the staff can write messages such as "Happy Birthday!" or "Sorry I replaced the fire extinguisher with a cake!" in icing.
With more than 450 stores throughout the globe, TCBY has become synonymous with high-quality frozen yogourt since its humble inception in Arkansas in 1981. Known as The Country’s Best Yogourt, TCBY serves up frozen treats packed with benefits such as live active cultures and vitamin D while remaining lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream. New additions to the menu include frozen greek yogourt, which swirls with twice as much protein as the regular frozen yogourt, giving customers a treat to look forward to after strenuous routines of bench-pressing dairy-farm equipment. Revamped store designs infuse each space with modern, colourful touches, such as bright-green chairs and hanging orange lights, reflecting the dessert emporium’s dedication to happily moving into the future with its customers.
Eschewing modernity's machine-based baking, European Breads handcrafts artisanal loaves using ancient recipes that are hundreds or even thousands of years old. Bakers start with natural and unrefined ingredients, which they ferment into dough, knead until it's the right consistency, and mould into chewy baguettes, sweet challah, and convincing replicas of Rodin's The Thinker, assuming the statue had raisins for eyes. At the tables in European Bread's airy café, guests can also help themselves to delicious European specialties such as crepes, perogies, and stuffed cabbage rolls.
After building a loyal fanbase at the farmers' market, Bonchaz set up its own shop in 2010, unveiling a tasty array of baked goods, savoury baguette sandwiches, and aromatic french-press coffee. Taking its name from a Mexican-French milk-bun pastry, the café outfits its signature treat in an array of decadent flavours kissed with a hint of coffee and lovingly torched to a golden-brown crust. The speedy kitchen staff rolls out the fluffy pastries alongside an ever-changing lineup of soups as well as sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, pulled pork, and smooth, creamy hummus.
There are two ways to watch Heather White and Lori Joyce bake their preservative-free cupcakes from scratch. Guests can pop into one of their bakeries on the days the duo is in the shop or they can watch from the family room as the ladies craft desserts from basic ingredients on their TV show The Cupcake Girls.
It took time to build up the Cupcakes empire. What started as a teenage dream for the two friends seemed remote after they went their separate ways, one pursuing a degree in animal biology, the other working in the fashion industry. When the two reconnected later in New York City by a simple twist of fate, they realized they still pined for the possibility of owning a company together. They drew up the plans, packed their bags, charted a course back to Vancouver in a cupcake-shaped hot air balloon, and started their first store.
Today, inside their retro-style locations, bakers craft cupcakes made with real butter or design specialty cakes for all manner of noteworthy occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and parties thrown in honour of winning a national cupcake-eating contest.