The Los Angeles Times offers a litany of fun facts about paletas—fruit-filled Mexican ice pops that come in a wide array of sweet and spicy flavors—but the most interesting tidbit might be the mention of a three-story-tall pink Popsicle statue that greets visitors to the Mexican village of Tocumbo. (There must be something special about these frozen treats, because you don’t hear of too many American towns marked by giant Creamsicles or Bomb Pops.) Paletas come in traditional Mexican flavors, from cactus to caramel to cucumber-chile, but they may seem revolutionary to those of us raised on Fudgsicles:
Traditional, yeah, but to some, they might seem cutting-edge, even—or especially—at a time when pastry chefs can’t seem to stop putting their reinvented Creamsicles on restaurant menus and the ‘frozen yogurt wars’ have reached the peak of tediousness.
On the East Coast, quality paletas are available at a Brooklyn bodega called Sley Deli Grocery, and my friend Howard Draper, a touring musician and foodie, raves about a North Carolina paleta shop, LocoPops, in his blog, Food About Music. Apparently, the ice pops were so delicious that he consumed four different flavors (mojito, sorrel, grapefruit-basil, and horchata) in a mere 10 minutes.
Can anyone else recommend favorite paleta purveyors across the country? And has anyone tried making his own Mexican ice pops at home?