Growing up, Popsicles were sometimes those bright, artificially colored sugar water treats that turned your tongue all sorts of colors. More often, they were the icy homemade versions made with apple or orange juice.
Fast forward a couple of decades from right now and I'm pretty sure the sweet, refreshing pops from Locopops will be the first things my kids think of when they think of ice pops on a hot, summer afternoon (or a blustery winter one for that matter).
We go to Locopops all year, thanks to its convenient location on Hillsborough Street near downtown Raleigh, not too far from my neighborhood. We even give Locopops gift cards as birthday gifts for friends (since there's a pretty good chance we're there already). But I'm always surprised when I mention our love of Locopops to somebody and their response is "loco what?"
What Locopops are are paletas, the Mexican version of the ice pop. The first Locopops opened in Durham about eight years ago. Today, you'll find standalone shops in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. And, these days, I'm seeing Locopops for sale at other restaurants, stores and festivals across the Triangle too.
For the uninitiated, the ever-changing Locopops menu features all manner of flavors. Some are cream based, including regulars such as Mexican chocolate, cookies and cream and strawberries and cream. Others are water based and bursting with fruit. Flavors include cherry lime, mojito, grape limeade and mango chile.
I love anything chocolate. And for the first couple of years during our trips to Locopops, I stuck to the cream-based side of the menu, ordering the Mexican chocolate pop pretty much exclusively. It's a creamy blend of chocolate and spices and is absolutely delicious.
But, these days, after nabbing a few licks of my daughters' fruity treats, I'm ordering from the water-based side. There's nothing like a sweet and tart cherry lime Locopop when the thermometer hits 95 degrees (or, 55 degrees, for that matter).
Locopops is open from noon to 9 p.m., daily, at all three locations. Check its website for details.
This is the latest in our Summer Treats series. To see past posts, click here.