The Mexican state of Michoacan is known for its excellent paletas (popsicles). A popsicle may not sound that exciting, but a truly superior paleta can mean an icy, slightly creamy block of frozen arroz con leche (Mexican rice pudding), studded with raisins, chunks of cinnamon bark, and nubbly, soft grains of rice. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, you buy them from guys with hand carts walking around your neighborhood, or from well-stocked Mexican markets. Sometimes you can find street vendors in the Bay. Quality varies depending on the manufacturer, and it’s especially confusing because there are a ton of different brands of paletas, all called something like “La Michoacana.”
If you’re near Vallejo, La Michoacana Ice Cream & Bakery can let you in on the paleta action. The pineapple paleta has the intensity and tartness of fresh pineapple, and the coconut paleta has great texture and flavor, too. Tops of paletas are icy but flavorful; the bottoms are full of chunks of fruit. They’re $1.50 each. If you like, you can get your paletas dipped in chocolate for an extra 50 cents.
You might also try the tuna ice cream (not the fish–it’s cactus pear); it’s rough-hewn in texture, with a pleasant but subtle taste, says josquared.
La Michoacana Ice Cream & Bakery [Solano County]
504 Broadway, Vallejo