Uptown New Orleans’ latest entrant into the tart yogurt market, Pure Yogurt Culture, is located at 8108 Hampson Street in Riverbend, just around the corner from Camellia Grill and mere steps from the Carrollton streetcar line. Pure allows customers to swirl their own fro-yo and sprinkle on as many toppings as desired; pictured is plain yogurt topped with toasted coconut and sliced almonds. The self-service model inevitably leads to larger servings, which are priced by weight.
Intrigued by two virtually parallel businesses operating in relatively close proximity, I did a head-to-head tasting of Pure and Pinkberry, sampling mango and the plain, tart flavor (at both stores), and coconut (Pinkberry). The winner, by a mile, in all flavors: Pinkberry. As much as it pains me to favor an out-of-town chain over an independent local, the Pinkberry fro-yo has superior texture. It is smoother, creamier, and more “yogurty” than Pure’s product, which tasted a bit watery. Try both yourself; maybe you’ll have a different opinion…
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m stuck on Pinkberry. I crave that tart original goodness covered in fruit and honey and end up going a couple of times a week. Pinkberry is the new crack.
Yes, it pains me to admit that Pinkberry swirls a superior product. I WANT to like the local-independent! But damn, Pinkberry is tasty fro-yo.
I have to vote for pure hands down. I find that their topping bar is beyond superior. The fruit is beautiful and fresh as can be where pinkberry’s looks like it has seen better days. I love their plain flavor so much, it is the right amount of tartness and sweetness and it blends beautifully with the fruit flavors and the mystery who dat flavor as well. And I think that a lot can be said about seeing the owner there at every visit. He is so nice and helpful and you can tell he is passionate about his yogurt blends. Another plus is that you don’t have to wait in a huge line for overpriced product like pinkberry. There is nothing better than supporting local businesses, especially when the product is so good.
Ah, Dayna, I hear you on the local-business angle. But I’m gonna have to go with my palate on this one…
In the interest of full disclosure, let me first say that I am definitely a competitor of Pinkberry as I own a local Italian Ice Cream shop. But, that said, I also wanted to respond to your observation, Celeste, that Pinkberry is “smoother and creamier” than Pure. According to their website, Pinkberry contains monoglycerides, diglycerides, and lacteoglycerides. ALL of the these are hydrogenated fat! And, although our FDA does not require that they be labeled as such, they are also Trans Fat! Hydrogenated oils and trans fats are excellent emulsifiers…but as everyone now knows, they are not good for us to eat. Right now, the FDA only requires that trans fat from Triglycerides be reported. That’s what allows companies like Pinkberry to make claims that their product is fat free, when it’s not. In fact, they don’t even have to report the calories from the mono & diglycerides in their yogurt.
I don’t know what’s in the ingredient list of the Pure Yogurt. But, the texture of the Pinkberry Yogurt is definitely from the trans fat their putting into the yogurt.
Thanks for the clarification, Katrina. Now I know why food manufacturers stick to those hydrogenated fats despite the nutritional downside–they definitely improve mouthfeel. How about a tart yogurt gelato? (Or maybe you already make one, and I just haven’t tried it.) I’d come running to La Divina for a tart yogurt gelato!
Actually, we do make a yogurt gelato using the Bulgarian type of plain yogurt and local LA honey. I’ll shoot you an email the next time we make it!
I completely disagree – I think that Pure has more of yogurt texture while Pinkberry is more like icecream. I moved here recently and tried both, and Pure will definitely be my go-to place for fro-yo.
To add to the yogurt choices: I noticed a new place called Tutti Frutti on Veterans in Metairie. Have not tried it yet, so I can’t compare it to the others…
i’m going to have to stick with Pure Yogurt Culture…or Purpie as my friends and i so fondly call it!
i’ve never tried Pinkberry because i’m severely lactose intolerant and i can’t find any reliable source to tell me that it’s lactose-free and i’m not willing to suffer the results of a failed experiment on expanding my safe foods!
my friend got me hooked on Pure Yogurt. That day i had gotten a cone from Baskin Robins, she gave me a bite of her Pure and i went into the shop, threw away my whole icecream cone and have never turned back!
i’m also the type of person who doesn’t like the “creamy”, coating texture of real icecream.
…and i love Pure because i’m a topping whore!
Yes, Pure Yogurt Culture definitely has a less industrial product than Pinkberry and many others in the tart-yogurt category. These days, I’m hitting up the “U-Top-It” yogurt place near my house. It’s a Pinkberry clone. Tart original, plus nuts, plus chocolate sprinkles. Have you ever tried the yogurt & honey flavor at La Divina? La Divina’s fruit sorbettos are definitely lactose-free, so add them to your list. Strawberry & balsamico is a favorite….