Monday, June 27, 2011

Paletas por favor

I tasted my first true paleta in Nashville, the city of my alma mater. One lick and I was hooked. Las Paletas , a venture run by the Paz sisters, is a small shop dedicated to the sale of Mexican popsicles. The store is like a frozen candy store, each freezer case displaying a rainbow of icy treats. Please note, paletas aren't your standard popsicle. No, no, no - these babies are homemade from fresh fruit or dairy and come in a variety of standard and exotic flavors.

My personal favorite is the strawberry/banana. Forever and always. However, for those with a daring palette or exotic urge, one could try flavors like basil, hot chocolate with peppers, hibiscus, avocado, ... etc.

Now that I've moved back east, I'm suffering from paletas withdrawls. Freeze pops just won't do. But there's nothing more refreshing on a scorching day than a ice cold fruity pop. So what's a girl to do?

D.I.Y. Making authentic paletas takes a bit more time but the payoff is well worth it. Plus, you can invent your own popsicle creations. There's no rule book for these treats. That's part of the fun. So feel free to drizzle, dabble, plop, and pour to your hearts desire. The key is fresh ingredients.

Mint and ginger? guava? strawberry rhubarb? cilantro and lime? nectarine? watermelon?

Here are a few recipes for inspiration:

pineapple chili paletas
cantaloupe and cucumber
avocado ice pops and greek yogurt pops with berries

For those of you short on patience, look at this cool kitchen gadget: the zoku quick pop maker. If just absolutely can't wait, this little machine promises to mold and freeze your paleta in under 7 minutes!

For the rest, any standard popsicle mold will do. Something like this is all you need.

Actually, these aren't even real popsicles. This is a painting by artist Joel Penkman from his collection of fine art foods. The multi-stripe effect may be a bit beyond my skill level but hey, stars the limit.


1 comment:

  1. yummmmmm!~ nothing wreaks of summer more. are you making these for lucy? or do you have your private stash? how about an adult version---frozen margaritas?