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.
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.
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?