After a semester in Rome, Italy, I quickly fell for gelato. So you can imagine when Paciugo opened in Fort Worth, my heart fluttered with excitement (and too much sugar). The beauty here is simplicity in their complex flavors. You’re not over stimulated with toppings, just choices and pairings of flavors like rose or violet, Texas Pecan, Caramelized Bacon, and Caramel Sea Salt. My favorite is consistently pistachio because it’s rich, sweet and nutty with a hint of salt.
Unlike ice cream, there is no butter or cream in Paciugo’s recipes—just milk. This makes each scoop only 50 calories per serving and 70 percent less fat than regular ice cream. What’s not to like?
After an intense cardio workout, I crave something sweet but don’t want to negate my hard work. This is when I head to one of my favorite fro-yo stops, TCBY. The original frozen yogurt shop underwent a huge makeover in 2011. Fort Worth was sad when they closed their doors, but when they reopened, it became a trendy self-serve option for the health conscious and not-so-healthy consumers alike. They now offer gluten, soy and dairy-free options with Silk almond milk for those with food allergies. Their tangy sorbets, which go great with the mochi rice balls, are soy and dairy-free as well.
TCBY also introduced Super Fro-Yo, which means it is 120 calories or less, must have at least three grams of fiber, seven types of live and active cultures, Vitamin A and D, calcium and at least four grams of protein. Their honey Greek frozen yogurt has all of that and four times the protein. I checked around with other frozen yogurt shops in Fort Worth, and while they have sorbet as well, I didn’t find one that offers vanilla or chocolate soy and dairy-free.
My only problem with frozen yogurt is I sometimes get too creative and end up having to pay for some gross combination that should have never happened. I should just stick with my unhealthy favorite: vanilla and chocolate swirl with a mound of cookie dough and Oreos.
As far as ice cream goes, Braum’s is my oldest friend. Sometimes when I don’t have time to get out of the car, there is nothing better than a Braum’s brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate fudge. You can’t beat the price either. And another great place to drive through is Curly’s Frozen Custard. I stop there for their “Dieter’s Delight,” which is low-fat vanilla frozen custard with caramel, pretzels and almond slivers.
But my new friend Pop N Cream makes me happy too. The smell knocks you clear into Candyland when you walk in the door. They have 24 Bluebell flavors and more than 350 types of candy. If you’re like me and love sweet and salty, pick from one of their 80 popcorn flavors to pair with your frozen treat. My picks: Birthday Cake ice cream, which is sprinkles, chocolate icing, fudge and cake blended into a multi-colored vanilla ice cream dream, and a mini bag of butter-flavored popcorn.