Featured Dish

FroYo at Ayelada

It may feel like summer is starting to wind down, but there are quite a few hot and muggy days left to get through. Maybe you’re looking for a cool treat to balance out the weather, but something like hard ice cream or soft serve is too heavy and unhealthy. If that’s the case, a great lighter option that you should check out is Ayelada in Latham.

Ayelada is different than your standard TCBY or 16 Handles type of frozen yogurt chain for a lot of reasons. First, the yogurt is made fresh each day, rather than being from a pre-packaged product. Because of this, I think you avoid that somewhat waxy taste that can come with commercial frozen yogurt brands. Secondly, the fruit flavors taste like actual fruit, rather than just the generic “red berry” type of taste that seems to be in everything fruit inspired these days.

On a visit earlier this summer, I ordered a watermelon yogurt, which had a delightfully simple and crisp flavor. This could have been some bright pink yogurt with a sickly sweet first impression. Instead, it was lightly flavored, reminiscent of real fruit, and I felt like I could keep eating more of it without being overwhelmed with sweetness.

Watermelon Frozen Yogurt at Ayelada, with Mangoes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Graham Cracker Crumbles, and Lavender Honey
Watermelon Frozen Yogurt at Ayelada, with Mangoes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Graham Cracker Crumbles, and Lavender Honey

Plus that fresh fruit topping was phenomenal. I can’t tell you how many times I go to a TCBY and the fruit is super wilty and has been sitting out all day, or all of the good pieces are already picked out from the sad mushy leftovers. This was not the case at Ayelada – the chunks were juicy and fresh and among some of the best fruit I’ve had all summer.

Another reason that this place is superior is the serving style. You don’t make your own creation here, which may bother people who want to go heavy on the serving size and toppings. Instead, you order a size and then request the specific toppings you want. The price is based on the size of the dish rather than the weight. However, I much prefer this method because the toppings are safely behind a glass partition and kept in neat condition – no kids running their dirty hands through a container of sprinkles in front of you (something that I have sadly seen more than once at other locations).

At the register you can add some other garnishes like a drizzle of flavored honey. On this trip, they had a lavender honey that added just the right amount of emphasis to the sweetness of the other components. It was kind of nice to add something lighter to the yogurt rather than being confronted with only the chocolate syrup and fudge and caramel type of sauces.

The flavors change every week (there are usually four flavors, including a plain “original” tart), so you won’t necessarily be able to get this exact watermelon flavor that I adored from earlier in the summer. For reference, the flavors as of this writing are original, cookies & cream, triple berry, and nutella. You can check the website or social media accounts of the store to see what they’re offering, but I have no doubt that everything here is delicious. And comparatively guilt-free. But mostly just delicious, and that should be enough reason to add this to your end of summer schedule.

 

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