With at least two more months of summer left, it's not too late to enjoy paletas

Photo by John Anderson


11800 N. Lamar, 775-1353
Tuesday-Saturday, noon-8pm; Sunday, noon-6pm

A few years back, a young entrepreneur from South Texas brought the paletería concept to Austin to the delight of many, including myself. Unfortunately, Austin wasn't quite ready for it, and La Paletera stores closed quietly, one by one. The only option for those of us who love the frozen treats on sticks was to keep an eye out for the men pushing their little carts along the city streets. Manuel and Laura Flores were among those looking to share their favorite summer treat with their young children, but the products they found were not entirely to their satisfaction. So they decided to make them themselves.

That's the genesis of PopSoCools, a family-owned and run paletería on the north side of town. The Floreses make a growing variety of all-natural cream-based and water-based popsicles, including some pretty interesting and innovative creations. Fruit flavors include such traditional standbys as lime, watermelon, tamarind, and strawberry. My favorite kind – the ones made with fruit and chile – are also represented with mango-chile, tamarind-chile, and "El Cucuy," a heat-defeating weapon that combines cucumber, lime, and chile. Among nontraditional flavors, they have kiwi, pineapple-basil, hibiscus-mint, and even soy-coconut for those who crave something creamy without dairy. The Floreses sell their PopSoCools from their North Lamar storefront and on Saturdays at the Sunset Valley Farmers' Market. Thankfully, plans are afoot for a permanent South location. They are also available for special events and parties and will deliver anywhere in the city. With at least two more months of summer left, it's not too late to enjoy paletas. Hopefully this time they're here to stay.

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