A group of us used to get together for an ice cream date once a week (they still do, I think-just without me ::tear::), which started because Baskin Robbins used to have $1 scoop night. If you know me, chances are you know of my love affair with the peanut butter chocolate ice cream at B&R. I think it’s genetic. I’ve been eating it as long as I remember. I digress. Ice cream date night with the girls (and sometimes boys) evolved to be not exclusive to B&R; we branched out and tried other ice cream, yogurt, and gelato places (the last time I was in town it was Sub Zero, where they use liquid nitrogen to make your ice cream right in front of you). If it was frozen and delicious, we were all over it. When the frozen yogurt craze was coming on a few years ago, some friends turned me on to Golden Spoon and because it was delicious (and also fat free), it became a regular haunt. As we started branching out more, we went less frequently, and when we discovered yogurtland, we pretty much stopped going at all.
Yesterday, out of boredom and curiosity, I started looking at the websites of establishments I visit when I’m home in Arizona, specifically in the East Valley, where I’m from. I had always thought of the possibility that frozen yogurt, ice cream, and gelato could have gluten in it. I figured most flavors were safe if they didn’t have obvious offenders in them (such as cake or cookie pieces), and I mostly go for fruity flavors or just chocolate anyway so I figured I was safe. But I thought I should still check it out and I didn’t have anything else to do.
Naturally, I started with my favorite-yogurtland. I looked at yogurtland’s website to see if they had allergen information listed. They didn’t. But they did have all the ingredients of their yogurt (for almost all the flavors) listed, which I really appreciate. Much to my disappointment, I discovered that their yogurt is made of some really unsavory ingredients (high fructose corn syrup and all kinds of artificial junk, specifically).
I started to wonder what was in the yogurt (and gelato and ice cream) at these other places. I began to research and email. Golden Spoon was one of the next places on my list. There are 100+ Golden Spoon locations between the US and Japan, nine of them in Arizona, and eight of those in the East Valley alone. I received a response from Golden Spoon almost immediately! I’m very impressed, Golden Spoon; good customer service brings me great joy and makes me want to return, rather than go somewhere else. Keep it up!
I wanted to share the results with you, in case you’re as concerned with what you eat as I am.
Thank you for your recent email. We appreciate you taking the time to give us this valuable feedback.
Many of our flavors are gluten free, but below is a list of the flavors containing gluten. I hope this helps.
FLAVORS CONTAINING “GLUTEN”
Cookies N’ Cream
Golden Spoon Franchising
30212 Tomas Suite 365
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
PH: (949) 709-2750
FX: (949) 709-2799
CELL: (949) 510-5325
In a follow-up email I asked her about artificial colors and preservatives, as well as corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. She sent me the list of ingredients. Here they are:
Grade A pasteurized cultured skim milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, maltodextrin chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, or other natural and artificial flavors. Contains 1% or less of the following: Microcrystalline cellulose gum, natural and artificial colors, contains Active Live Cultures: S. Thermophilis, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus.”
After emailing them because I couldn’t find the info I was looking for on their website, I discovered a list of awesome FAQs. Oops! My bad, Golden Spoon. Thanks for not being jerks and actually giving me the info anyway. You rock even more for that. So you can find all this information on their website, but here is my personal analysis of Golden Spoon
Their dairy has some important seals and certs, including:
The Kosher seal-I’m not Jewish, but I sure do love the Jewish people. I’m glad those who keep Kosher can enjoy the deliciousness of this froyo
The NYA (National Yogurt Association) seal, meaning it contains live and active cultures-did you know there was a national association for yogurt? Me neither.
Their milk is also rBST free.
Though sweetened with white sugar and/or corn syrup, only 8 grams of the 14 grams in the 4oz size are from sugar. The other 6 grams are from the (skim) milk
They use no artificial sugars (though that is a con for some people who cannot or choose not to have sugar.
Their yogurt is fat free (except for the Heath Bar flavor, but it’s still 99% fat free and I don’t like Heath anyway so I could care less)
50+ flavors! I do love variety, after all. Who doesn’t?
They address many important questions about ingredients and such on their website
When I emailed them, they replied quickly and were knowledgeable as well as friendly (even when I was a dummy and didn’t see the info already on the website)
Their stores are independently owned and operated (as they are franchises), so when I give them my business I am keeping more of the money I spend in my local community.
They have a well-designed website.
Sweetened with white sugar and/or corn syrup (but no HFCS! Yay!)
No non-dairy options (thought according to their FAQ, 25% of lactose intolerant individuals can eat yogurt with little to no problems)
No sugar-free options
Some artificial flavors
Some artificial colors
So all in all, it’s not bad! Even the cons aren’t all that…conny. It’s delicious, there is no HFCS and most flavors are GF-the most important two qualifications for me. Plus, all the stores are independently owned and operated because Golden Spoon stores are franchises, which is another big plus for me. Even if they are a big chain, it’s still supporting the local community and economy.
It’s certainly a better choice than yogurtland, at least. Sorry, yogurtland. I will admit that I do enjoy the self serve aspect of yogurtland, and GS doesn’t have that, but it’s not vital, especially if the staff are friendly (which they always have been, from what I recall), there’s no problem for me.
Unfortunately, dairy has been giving me stomach problems, so this may turn out to be in vain for me (::le sigh::), but maybe it will help other folks. :)