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POPsicle Cultura Waves in the U.S. {La Paleta de Fruta}

American pop culture is often succumbed to clichés and oft-time behind the times. I find that to be the case in so many facets of our daily developments and news. If it’s not “new” fashion trends (a friend mentioned learning of Eugenia Kim—a fabulous NY hat designer—and one I’ve known about for 10 years), it’s art or food. Yes, even food.

Let’s talk about food for the sake of this food blog and column. Food becomes popular in stages. Certain things celebrate 15 minutes of fame, no matter where it is originated; but of course, there are classics and timeless dishes and techniques that transcend the globe. There ingredients, plates, and the simplest culturally associated foods that need not be introduced any time or place.

The taco is one of them; a real pizza pie is another and coq au vin is a great example of that type internationally accepted, or at least, known dish.

It’d be nice if that were the case for most of what we eat, but that would hardly make our culinary findings exciting and adventurous. Case in point for today is the paleta, or fruit ice popsicle. An icy, if you will.

I recently found a “What’s In” insert in an American fashion magazine where the paleta was lauded as the new Mexican gourmet fruit bar to indulge in this summer. Hardly gourmet, let me put you on to something if you don’t already know: This is old news to us Latinas, especially if you grew up in a traditional Latin home! (How many of you had paletas right after jumping sprinklers or playing jacks?)

I grew up eating paletas since my childhood days in Miami, soon after we left Cuba. Mamey, a bland-but-delicious treat when injected with sugar, is a native Mexican fruit, and was one of my absolute favorite flavored bars during hot summer days. Ever since the unfortunate disappearance of the mamey flavor, I became obsessed with the coconut one, which has real chunks of coco and is made with milk or coconut water and ice, then frozen.

Since living in D.C. and Atlanta, I can’t find the real deal, unless I trek to a farmer’s market or a bodega. When I do find them, what a treat! I recently found a pack of 12, with an assortment of flavors like coconut, strawberry, tamarindo (something I’ll have to talk to you about later), limón and mango. Can you say “¡sue rico!?” It was the sweetest nostalgic moment I’ve had in a long time—and at $6, you can’t beat it!

Although I’m excited to see paletas making their way into mainstream American foodie culture, and even see the masses introduced to what most Latinos know so well, it’s no surprise it’s becoming a favorite. The paleta is the perfect go-to treat to refresh yourself. Pick up a few and share with your non-Latino friends—they’ll love it!

 * This post originally appeared in my food column in LATINA. 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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0 thoughts on “POPsicle Cultura Waves in the U.S. {La Paleta de Fruta}

  1. I met some of the women of Latina at the Gourmet Latino Festival in New York and they said they are excited having you as part of their magazine.
    his post brings back good old summertime fun.

  2. Please tell me that is sugar in the vase. And if it is, where did you get it? Would make a great finish to some custom sugar cookies.

  3. Ahhh, you took me to my childhood’s dog days of summer, when two of life’s delights were playing in the rain shirtless and barefooted … and sucking on a brainfreeze-giving paleta. But, speaking of Mamey, forget la paleta; you’ll have to write a post just on “batido de mamey”. You better believe that what the Devil tempted Eve with was by no means an apple (is that what popular culture says, anyway?) but a yummy mamey. No wait!, come to think of it, it was probably a juicy mango 🙂

  4. Norma: I’m so glad you got to go & meet them. I wanted to go, too, but wasn’t up there. I finally met my editor–great gal.

    Rosa: oh yes indeed!

    AJ: I’ll email you my secret!

    Val: Here it comes! Are you ready?!

    Dullah: Really!! Like these same one? Interesting. I didn’t eat them in Va as much until we’d go to Miami on fam trips. That coco is AMAZIN’.

    David: awww, Havana….wonder what it was like in those days. I can only imagine. But I beat you to the punch! I already did a post on batido de mamey! you should know that’s my fave; well helado de mamey is! look up here on the site!

  5. Jonathan: you better have lots of ICE for your cooler to keep them nice and frozen! They’re sooooooo good.

    Pieces of Arnania: me, too. Had one today! The lime one to be exact

  6. OYE ME HAS LLEVADO A MI NINEZ EN MI PAIS LE LLAMAMO POSICLE . Y HAY DE TODO TIPO DE FRUTA .PERO EL MAS RICO ERA EL DE MAMEY .OH QUE RICO .Y EL DE COCO . BUENO NO PUEDO EMPEZAR A DECIR CUALES ERAN LOS MAS RICOS POR QUE NUNCA ACABARIA GRACIAS BREN POR AYUDARNOS A RECORDAR GRACIAS DE NUEVO.

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