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Tour de FroYo

April 21, 2014

Today is a big day. According to WordPress, what you are looking at right now is the fifteen hundredth post on the FUSSYlittleBLOG. Who ever thought there could be that much Fussy?

There will be time to look back and reminisce when the blog turns five years old next month. But today we’ve got some serious business, because there is another big day coming up soon. This Sunday, April 27 is the Tour de FroYo.

It feels good to write about one of the FUSSYlittleTOURS on this milestone post. Back in the fall of 2010 the FLB lept off the screen and into the real world as I gathered with a small handful of intrepid eaters to sample some of the region’s most beloved cider donuts. While we were searching for the very best one, at the end of the day we discovered something else. After tasting five of the same thing back to back to back to back to back, it gave everyone a much broader understanding of the subtle differences found in what many consider to be an nondifferentiable food.

If you haven’t had a chance to go on one of the earlier excursions, don’t let another one pass you by. Every spring, after the thaw, we try to sample some frozen treat. It started with the Tour de Soft Serve, followed by the Tour de Homemade Hard Ice Cream, and last year we went on the Tour de Gelato.

Without any further ado, I’m proud to finally reveal the Tour de FroYo.

Is FroYo a regional specialty? No, it’s not. The tours are evolving a bit as time marches on to include dishes that are widely available throughout the region even if they aren’t indigenous foods. And nobody can argue that the new generation of self serve FroYo hasn’t hit the area with a vengeance.

So how do we choose which five spots to visit?

Well, I listened to your input during the nominations, mapped out the notable contenders, and applied a modicum of common sense. Regrettably, there are always a few beloved shops that don’t make the day’s agenda.

Sunday’s route isn’t a particularly charming one, but I have applied the lessons learned from the past fourteen outings to help make this one of the best tours yet. The secret is front loading the eating and back loading the driving.

Here’s how it will go down. While there have been a lot of new yogurt shops to open up recently, this tour is going to be about the old guard.

Therefore, at 11:30 in the morning, the tour will commence at TCBY across the street from Stuyvesant Plaza (1512 Western Avenue). There you will meet your tour guide for the day, Maeve McEneny. She’s actually works for a real bona fide tour company, Dutch Apple Cruises, and has led tours for All Over Albany. I know you’ll be in good hands as I finish the last stretch of my Jersey sabbatical.

Maeve will have the official scoresheets. Please let us know by 11:59 pm on Friday if you are coming so Maeve has enough time to print the appropriate number of scoresheets (and that we don’t leave without you).

I should probably mention that this tour is totally free. Participants are responsible for their own food costs and transportation (but carpooling is encouraged). You also need to bring a pen, a sense of adventure, and an appetite. Five frozen yogurts in one day may not sound like a lot, but they catch up with you.

Frozen yogurt number two is a quick hop up the road, four minutes according to Google. Lemondrop is certainly the most recent shop to open on this itinerary, but with its first spot next to Trader Joe’s and a second location already in Delmar, they have a leg up on some of the newest arrivals.

From there it’s a fifteen minute drive up to 16 Handles in Clifton Park. I’ve never actually been to this shop, but I have always heard good things. Regardless, it was one of the first, and they are continuing to thrive. So let’s check them out and see how they compare.

Plum Dandy doesn’t seem so far away once you’re already up in Clifton Park. Sure it means more time on the Northway, but you can survive another twenty minutes. Actually, after your third stop, most likely you will be thankful for a little driving break.

The tour will conclude at Dante’s in Troy. Yes, you will have to go right back down the Northway again. And it will be the longest driving distance of the day. This is what I meant by backloading the driving. It may sound long now, but I suspect you’ll thank me on Sunday.

You can find the map here.

Being in Troy at the conclusion of the tour means that those who are hungry for more can try wings from The Ruck and The Ale House back to back. I’m going to send Maeve some bonus scoresheets for that just in case anyone is so inclined. Or perhaps you will want to swing by someplace else with your newly made eating buddies to get something savory in your mouth. Maeve may have some other ideas too. Sometimes the after-tour can be as much fun as the tour itself.

But this isn’t just about fun and games. It’s also about determining which of these temples of FroYo is truly worth crowing about, and gaining a broader understanding of FroYo in general. As similar as these places may seem at first glance, I assure you, an afternoon spent traveling around the region mindfully eating their wares will call out some notable differences.

So, who’s in? RSVP in the comments below or drop me a line.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Chantelle permalink
    April 21, 2014 11:00 pm

    Jess and I will be there. We’re super excited!

  2. April 22, 2014 1:18 pm

    I’ll be going.

  3. April 24, 2014 7:55 am

    Seems like you ought to do Menchie’s, not 16 Handles, if you have to pick just one in CP (they’re right across the road from each other). 16 Handles tends to taste like most of the other fro-yos around here; Menchie’s actually has a distinctly different, less-tangy character to it, and it would be interesting to see how it rates in a side-by-side comparison.

  4. April 24, 2014 11:46 pm

    Excellent news. I just heard from local Yelp legend Ryan H. (Yelping the 518 since 2005) that he and his wife will be joining the tour as well.

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