With summer officially in full swing, it seems criminal not to write about frozen summer delights. When I was young, I always preferred a good, fruity popsicle to ice cream. I loved the coldness, the sugary, faux fruit flavors and the thrill of trying to eat it before it melted down my arm. My favorites were the rocket shaped, patriotic red, white and blue ‘bomb pop’ which I would savor slowly, one flavor at a time, and the huge, pineapple-cherry swirled big stick which I would eat by scraping opposite sides, from bottom to top with the back of my teeth.
A lot has changed since the days when I’d chase the ice cream man down the block for a treat of colored, frozen sugar water. Popsicles have become a healthy dessert alternative and are now being made from fresh fruit and natural ingredients and feature interesting additions like yogurt or herbs. Making popsicles at home is easy and fun and there are popsicle molds available in every size and shape. My best to date is a blend of strawberries, pineapple, mint and unsweetened coconut.
Grocery stores now sell healthy versions of popsicles and there are even popsicles appearing on restaurant menus. One of my favorite blogs is called People’s Pops and is a blog that follows the popsicle making business started by three friends in New York. Reading their blog not only makes you thirst for a cool, sweet frozen treat, but also gives some great insight into the creative process as well as the trials of starting a small business.
For more adult versions of popsicles, check out David Lebovitz’s recipe for Vietnamese Coffee popsicles or Food and Wine’s recipe for blueberry-peach-tequila popsicles. And the award for the most bizarre popsicle idea is a three way tie between the pickle popsicle, the Daniel Craig popsicle and the spinach- veggie popsicle. I think it’s pretty obvious which of those three I’d choose!