They’re freshly made, bursting with flavor and served on a stick. Gourmet Popsicles are the latest epicurean snack popping up nationwide, and they’re the perfect treat for cooling down in summer’s sweltering heat. Our favorites incorporate local and seasonal ingredients — and some even use whole fruits. Have a lick:
The handmade paletas at Sol Pops (www.solpops.com) in Portland, Ore., come in nearly 40 seasonal flavors — like best-selling strawberry lemonade, savory basil lemon and creamy piña colada. Look for their bright-blue cooler trikes selling at area farmers markets all season long.
Served from an old-fashioned ice-cream cart at San Diego’s Little Italy Mercato Saturdays throughout summer (they also have a store at 3330 Adams Ave.), Viva Pops’ (www.ilovevivapops.com) flavor combinations include strawberry basil, lavender lemonade, mango chili and mojito.
L.A.’s Popcycle Treats (twitter.com/popcycletreats) tweets the exact location of its fresh-fruit freezer, which is peddled around the city’s Hollywood and Silver Lake neighborhoods on the front of an orange, custom-built bicycle and filled with frozen pops such as salty cucumber and vanilla grapefruit chamomile.
Tucked into a tiny French Quarter storefront in New Orleans, Meltdown (twitter.com/meltdownpops) wows crowds with flavors like salted caramel and blueberry lavender coconut milk, though loyal customers swear by the Vietnamese iced-coffee pop — an afternoon pick-me-up of frozen dark roast and sweetened condensed milk.