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Tangerine-basil ice pops will make you happy

Tangerine-basil and blood orange-pineapple ice pops

Tangerine-basil and blood orange-pineapple ice pops

Over the past few years, gourmet versions of Mexican paletas — i.e., ice pops — have been delighting the sweaty set in other Southern towns such as Nashville and Raleigh, North Carolina.

We’ve been a little slow on the uptake — until now. The King of Pops has kinda-sorta set up shop at the corner of N. Highland Ave. and North Avenue in Poncey-Highland. While the king — a.k.a. one Steven Carse — waits for the build out of his shop, he sells the pops from a pushcart at the street corner. His hours are irregular, so it’s best to check his Twitter feed for schedules and information.

But in the meantime, you can buy his frozen treats at Jake’s Ice Cream in the Irwin Street Market and also at Souper Jenny in Buckhead.

I picked up these two from Jake’s — choosing from a daily list that included chocolate with sea salt, cinnamon cream with banana and pineapple habanero.

Two bites in...

Two bites in...

The tangerine-basil pop was great — the flavor really captured the sweet, refreshing mintiness of basil and not too much of its licorice character. I liked the final bites, which had a few chopped basil leaves in them.

The pineapple-blood orange was tart and true to its ingredients, but had a troublesome fuzzy texture from the many pineapple filaments throughout.

I can’t wait to see what the king does when late summer fruit comes in. In Mexico, paletas are often made with overripe fruit from the market that’s too ugly to eat as is, but perfect for freezing.

I’m  a huge fan of the traditional paletas served at La Estrella de Michoacan at 4140 Jonesboro Road in Forest Park. (No phone, and some Spanish helps you navigate the 2-3 dozen daily flavors.)

Between the two, I’m ready for warm weather.

Have you tried the King of Pops yet? Any flavors to look for?

11 comments Add your comment


April 14th, 2010
2:28 pm

John – is that MINI you are driving?


April 14th, 2010
2:36 pm

you should try the ones at lotta frutta – I had an avocado one that was fantastic.


April 14th, 2010
2:50 pm

I agree, Fred. The ones at Lotta Frutta are great. I had a cucumber one once that was so refreshing!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Kessler. John Kessler said: Tangerine-basil ice pops will make you happy [...]


April 14th, 2010
3:49 pm

The strawberry cheesecake is delicious. I’m waiting for mango mojito to pop back up on the menu also


April 14th, 2010
9:08 pm

The Lemon Blackberry is amazing, and so is the Coconut with Chopped Almonds.


April 14th, 2010
10:11 pm

Yes, I’ve tried them at Irwin Street Market and at the street cart, and every flavor my kids and I have tried has made us smile. The flavors are so fresh and pure. One of those things that once you try it, you cannot comprehend why this hasn’t always been available to you – and never want to go back to not having it!

Steven A.

April 15th, 2010
5:05 pm

Tried the latte and the grapefruit mint yesterday. Both were delicious but the latter was probably my favorite for the same reasons John liked the tangerine basil: perfect refreshing balance of citrus and mint, strong flavors without being overpowering, and nice to have the mint leaves to chew on at the finish.


April 19th, 2010
12:30 am

Can’t think of the brand name right now, but there’s a Mexican made coconut ice cream on a stick that is DEE-licious !!


April 21st, 2010
8:26 pm

I am completely and totally addicted to The King of Pops. Favorite is a toss up between the grapefruit blackberry and lemon rosemary. Dying to try the Chocolate Sea Salt.


June 13th, 2010
7:51 pm

had one yesterday at the art b que fest. mango and habanero
it was great and the way there are delivered in neat. a cool push cart.