Edible Manhattan is sampling some of the best Mexican paletas, or popsicles this week. Edible Magazine's Rachel Wharton filed the following report.
Mexico City native and LaNewyorkina owner Fany Gerson makes around 3,000 pops a week, pouring fresh coconut, mango, lime, passionfruit, tamarind, cucumber, pineapple and even avocado into metal molds and zapping them in a deep freezer set at negative 21 degrees. They are beautifully colored, incredibly refreshing and very delicious, and she sells them at carts around the city to introduce New Yorkers to the traditions of her home.
"A big part of Mexican frozen treats are paletas, the popsicles. They're sort of what gelatos are to Italians. You know you find them everywhere, they're part of just everyday life," says Gerson. "To me the whole idea is sort of to bring the flavors of Mexico to New York City.
The flavors include not just tropical fruits, but chiles. Many of Gerson's pops are sweet with a bit of heat. There's pineapple-jalapeno, mango-chile, tomato-chile and a chipotle fudgesicle. You can add more spice too, if you really want to be Mexican.
"We also have a little thing called Tajin, which is just salt and chiles and a little bit of dried lime, dehydrated lime," says Gerson. "And so because in Mexico you can find popsicles that are completely covered in chili, that you wouldn't even see the color inside. I thought, okay, maybe that's too much. But I still want people to experience that, you know the salty, spicy flavoring"
Gerson's also makes pops that are purely her inventions, based on what's in season or what she's inspired by. She's made apricot pistachio, candied pumpkin, burnt milk rice pudding and a seriously creamy key lime pie with a cookie crust. You can find many of them in Gerson's new cookbook on Mexican ices. But don't expect to always find those flavors at her carts.
"I have a list that grows, it goes on and. I can't even go off my list because then I forget about the list and I come up with a new one," says Gerson.
The fall issue of Edible Manhattan is all about Edible Travel through food, and to celebrate the magazine is hosting an international tasting called Edible Escape on October 19.
Learn more now at ediblemanhattan.com.