When summer approaches and the weather starts to get a bit balmy, the go-to cool-down treat is ice cream. And while ice cream will certainly do the trick, there’s something about an ice-cold pop that seems even cooler.
The food-loving world seems to be catching onto the virtues of frozen pops, as more and more shops and trucks are dedicating their entire menus to them. But this list is not about recognizing the everyday ice pop — it’s about noting those spots that are serving up the most outrageous and uniquely flavored ones in the country.
Persimmon Pudding, The Popshop, Los Angeles, Calif.
The Popshop serves up all-natural ice pops, made with organic cane sugar and seasonal produce, across Los Angeles. The flavors (which are all vegan) vary from week to week, including a slew of interesting combinations like spiced cider, amaretto white peach, and avocado vanilla. Perhaps the most intriguing flavor they offer though is persimmon pudding. This frozen version of the Thanksgiving treat is steamed and then chilled.
Vanilla Malt Whopper, King of Pops, Atlanta, Ga.
This Atlanta ice pop shop is owned and operated by three brothers with a love for paletas (Latin American frozen treats). They offer eight pops year-round, ranging from Arnold Palmer to banana pudding-flavored, plus a rotating selection of nearly 50 original flavors. The vanilla-based ice pop filled with malted milk Whopper candies is among the most unusual varieties available, though the pineapple habanero and habanero margarita treats come close.
Thai Tea and Sweet Potato, Fat Face Pops, Davis, Calif.
This Davis, Calif. operation offers a variety of unusual ice pops as well as small plates, sandwiches, and sodas. The Thai tea and sweet potato pop combines two ingredients that lend naturally to a sweet dessert, but uses them in a unique and interesting way. In the past Fat Face has offered bacon-and-egg ice pops, featuring vanilla egg custard and a ginger-bacon caramel ribbon.
Strawberry Goat Cheese, OnoPops, Multiple locations across Hawaii
OnoPops is a burgeoning ice pop brand available throughout Hawaii on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. The hand-crafted frozen treats are made using locally sourced, all-organic ingredients and come in flavors reflecting the cuisine of Hawaii. Alongside pops featuring local fruits, honeys, and syrups, are flavors such as strawberry goat cheese.
Arroz con Leche, Zora Dora’s Micro Batch Ice Cream and Paletas, Beacon, N.Y.
Zora Doras specializes in making funky flavored-pops taste and look like elegant, gourmet desserts. They offer both typical American-style pops and paletas. For a sweet and savory treat try the vanilla-beet pop, which is a vanilla pop dipped in roasted beet puree. If you’re looking for something a bit more different, order the Arroz con Leche pop, which is essentially frozen rice pudding with raisins on a stick. Frozen rice may seem risky in theory, but the chewy texture is absolutely delightful.
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