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Monday, December 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Yogurt, chocolate, beer and cheese
The four major food groups in Madison in February

A Red Mango yogurt store will open in mid-February at 627 State St., the block between Lake and Frances Streets.

Red Mango, an international chain that started in Korea, has 60-some outlets across the U.S. from New York City to Hawaii; it sells a natural, nonfat frozen yogurt billed as having "beneficial live and active cultures" with fewer than 100 calories per serving. No high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients.

Red Mango's four flavors (original, pomegranate, citrus and a seasonal, which is now cocoa) can be personalized with toppings including fresh fruit, nuts and granola, and, for those looking to mar the all-natural vibe, Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch.

Also on the menu is probiotic iced tea - teas with a strain of beneficial bacteria trademarked as "Ganeden BC30" added to them. Probiotics are thought to aid in the digestive process, but they don't add any flavor.

Foodie chatter indicates that Red Mango is a worthy challenger to the popular Pinkberry chain. The grand opening is scheduled for Feb. 13, with free yogurt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The chocolate and beer pairing session at the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest last weekend was the hottest seat at the event. If you missed it, you'll have another chance with a Valentine's-themed chocolate, cheese and beer pairing class at Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St., on Feb. 11, led by Gail Ambrosius and Bill Anderson. Ambrosius chocolates will be paired with Belgian and French ales, among other brews, and cheeses will include Dante and Moody Blue from Wisconsin. Other highlights (though pairings aren't finalized) may include a Samichlaus (a 14% ABV lager brewed once a year by Austrian monks, possibly the globe's strongest lager) with an extra-aged gouda and a cognac ginger truffle. Cost is $35/person, and reservations are required; 608-255-2430.

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