Articles & Recipes

Ice Pops: Wonderful Frozen Treats on a Stick

July 12, 2018

 

What joy, what freedom, what fun and adventure! During my first school summer break, between kindergarten and first grade, my two sisters and I (ages six and a half, four and five and a half, respectively) were finally allowed to cross busy streets together without the supervision of adults. If we had behaved well enough — that meant essentially that we didn’t fight too much for an entire day — we were sometimes rewarded with a quarter, in which case we would set off to the nearest corner store to buy Popsicles.

In those days our favorite treat cost seven cents apiece (we used the change to buy penny candies). It was always orange or cherry for me, but I recall that my older sister sometimes had the yellow banana-flavored one or the root beer version, which seemed strange to me; I always felt she was wasting the opportunity to enjoy something better. On rare occasions we split the double Popsicles and shared different flavors while we walked up the hill to our home.

My memories of those childhood excursions are vivid. I can still feel the rush of independence and the indulgence that Popsicles represented to three rather mischievous kids. Those moments are frozen in time (forgive the pun) and often recalled some fifty years later. However, while I know that the first taste of a commercial ice pop might transport my soul to those carefree days, the second lick definitely brings me back to reality: my all-too-adult and more discrim­inating present. Nowadays I want to make better, tastier, more natural ice pops myself.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to make your own ice pops. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to satisfy your family and friends with real homemade treats. Years after our childhood trips to the corner store, our mother bought some simple ice pop molds and just froze orange juice on sticks. In those days it didn’t occur to any of us to do more to brighten up the flavor — ice cold and fruity was enough to beat the summer heat. But now we tend to enjoy frozen treats year-round, and we are more demanding about everything we eat, especially things that fall into the category of indulgence.

It’s precisely because ice pops aren’t essential that they should be fun and exciting, extremely flavorful and available in as many varieties as possible. From simple and straightforward to rich and luxurious, the one thing they should have in common is delicious, extravagant flavor. In putting together this collection of recipes, I have strived to cover all the bases. I pursued delicious presentations of as many different kinds of fruit as was practically possible. I aspired to fully satisfy chocolate lovers and caramel fanatics, to give pleasure to those who love spices and to appease those whose main culinary concern is healthy eating. North American, East Asian, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean and Indian flavors, among others, are explored.

If you are feeding toddlers and small children, you can offer them healthy “less-drip” ice pops, while their relaxed parents can enjoy adult versions flavored like cocktails. I am confident that everyone will find some favorite familiar flavors to enjoy. At the same time, I hope you will be enticed to try some of the more exotic offerings. That’s the fun of food in our times: discovering new and exciting flavors from around the world while embracing our beloved local and seasonal foods. In this book, including variations, I’ve created 250 recipes for ice pops — surely enough variety for everyone. In my opinion, each one is as tasty and fun as the next.

So, relive your youth! Indulge yourself, your children, your friends and your family! In other words, enjoy making, serving and eating these ice pops.

Andrew Chase, author of 200 Best Ice Pop Recipes

 

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