Frozen Kefir (Frokefir?): New Summer Treat Busts Out
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that was invented in the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas millennia ago. It was originally the soured camel's milk carried in leather saddle bags, which often generated an alcohol content of as much as 3%, like weak beer. Nowadays, cow's milk is used, and the alcohol has gone missing. Cousin of yogurt, kefir is now available as a soft-serve frozen kefir product at Treat Petite on Sheridan Square in the West Village. Here is a first taste test of the product.
Six varieties are available, in serving sizes running from $2.75 to $6.50: plain, roasted pineapple, strawberry banana, pomegranate, peanut butter, and coconut. Approximately two dozen toppings are available at extra cost, including things like nuts, M & M's, dried fruits, etc.
The plain, called "classic," is an interesting product, not all that different in flavor than certain of the sourer kinds of frozen yogurt. Nevertheless, there is a slight skanky edge that would say "this is making me healthy" to some, and "yuck" to others.
The pomegranate was by far the best of the three flavors we tried. Well, duh! Pomegranate being a fruit especially prized in the Caucasus region suggests that the tart red taste is a perfect match and mask for the stronger flavors of the kefir.
The peanut butter was a complete bomb, barely emerging from the sourness of the frozen kefir, too subtle to make much of an impression on the tongue other than a certain confusion. If might be better if the peanut taste was stronger.
If you're a fro-yo fan give kefir a try. If not, skip it.
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