MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - As the temperatures rise quickly across the Tennessee Valley, many families will seek new ways to beat the heat. One cool alternative to ice cream is frozen yogurt, and there are many shops open in Madison County for you to choose from.
Huntsville and Madison are home to no less than six unique "do it yourself" FroYo experiences, each competing for your dollar. Each follow a similar format: take a cup, fill it up with the yogurt or yogurts of your choice, top it off with a myriad of crunchy, fruity, saucy toppings, and enjoy. You pay by the ounce at the registers and in some cases you can also take home pre-packed pints or quarts on your way out the door.
Frozen yogurt could be considered the "all-inclusive" dessert. Any of the shops in the Valley offer dairy-free, sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free and Kosher options for all of your dietary needs, which only adds to the dozens of flavors on offer. Sorbets and Greek yogurts are also often in rotation.
Toppings generally outnumber the yogurt options, ranging from your typical hot fudge and caramel sauce to the more out-there candies and even mochi (a sweet, marshmallow-like rice cake). If you forgo toppings altogether, you are still likely to have a healthy treat: the frozen yogurts all contain the same live cultures found in traditional yogurts and, when consumed in reasonable, regular amounts, help regulate your body's natural immunity and digestion.
The color schemes are usually bright and bold: Yogurt Mountain at Jones Valley startles some with a green and purple color palate; 32 Degrees in Madison features a bright shade of blue. If the colors don't grab you right away, perhaps the dancing amphibians heralding traffic outside of Sweet Frog off of Airport is enough to bring you in. The down-home farm ambience of Sweet CeCe's on Sutton may interest you more than the futuristic, plastic-fantastic tables and chairs at Bridge Street's Orange Tree.
It may sound like variations on a theme, but each frozen yogurt shop has a unique style, customer service experience and even different Muzak systems pumping tunes for your dining pleasure, making each shop a world of its own.
The frozen yogurt war is in full force in North Alabama, and while there may never be a clear winner, the only battle people in the Valley need worry about is over their own taste buds.