Public swimming pools all across Toronto are open now, just in time to deal with the sweltering temperatures. But if you don’t have time to trek down to your local swimmin’ hole or make a trip to one of several Toronto beaches, cooling off with paletas, aka Mexican ice pops, might just do the trick. Paletas are a delicious way to cope with the heat.
We are all familiar with homemade popsicles, frozen confections made from Kool-Aid or Freshie, and have even had a go at trying to make these frozen treats half-way healthy by substituting real fruit juices for coloured sugar water.
A traditional paleta takes the homemade popsicle to eleven, providing delightful and sophisticated flavour combinations you might not expect.
In Mexico, the traditional paleta is made using fresh local flavours like tamarind, hibiscus, avocado and mango, often spiced up with chili to give it a little kick. How about a cucmber-chili popsicle? Or a mango-hibiscus?
Paletas de leche are made by mixing fruit and milk or cream. The possibilities and combinations for these are pretty much limitless, but it is hard to imagine a more delicious combination that fresh Ontario peaches and cream. Or maybe for your own Breakfast at Wimbledon you can whip up a batch made with strawberries and cream. The thing that separates the paleta from the popsicle are the chunks of fresh fruit suspended in the frozen pop. When making these at home be sure to poke the fruit down at various times during the freezing process so it doesn’t all settle at the base of the stick.
Here are a few different recipes to try this weekend. You can make a tamarind and ancho chile pop, or a decadent rice pudding paleta, pineapple, avocado, strawberry or, our favourite, strawberries and cream.