It’s another hot summer in Dallas, so recently I hosted a popsicle taste test with 4 tasters where we sampled popsicles from Trader Joe's, GoodPops, Steel City Popsicles, and Pop Star Popsicles, and a couple I made from the book Perfect Pops. We tasted 12 different flavors, and 2 of those stood out: the Chocolate Peppermint and Cucumber Lemon Mint from Pop Star Popsicles.
The Chocolate Peppermint tasted like Andes mints, but with thicker, higher-quality chocolate. We were smelling the cocoa as we took the wrapper off - none of the other popsicles had such an enticing smell. The Cucumber Lemon Mint was so refreshing - like a morning mint drink with crushed mint. A mojito? I could eat both of these all day long. Plus green popsicles are exciting. Pop Star can be found weekly at the White Rock Local Market.
We discovered that none of us liked strawberry popsicles as much as we thought we did, although it was the better of the 2 homemade popsicles we sampled. I made strawberries and cream and raspberries and cream, both from People’s Pops that I borrowed from a friend. The recipes were amazingly simple - blend the berries in a blender, add simple syrup (sugar and water boiled together - I used raw sugar) and then heavy whipping cream. I love cream, so I added a lot. I enjoyed eating the blended raspberries with a spoon more than I liked it as a popsicle. Maybe it was just the indulgence of eating berries and whipping cream with a spoon.
I was in a coffee shop a few months ago and a barista gave a friend and I free popsicles (Thanks Bolsa Mercado! ) It was the Watermelon GoodPop - I was amazed, as I love watermelon shakes, but not that fake watermelon flavor. We liked their cold-brewed coffee flavor - I've enjoyed having some of these for breakfast - and we weren’t fans of strawberry lemonade.
I found myself at Steel City on Lower Greenville the second day they were open. I tried the avocado popsicle, and the flavor was ok, but somehow it was too cold. I'm not sure how that's possible, but I would rather lick my popsicles rather than bite them off. We had better luck during the taste test as all the popsicles sat out for at least 5 or 10 minutes before we tasted them, and I think that could make a difference in the experience, depending on if you get a hard or soft popsicle. We really liked the caramel, which got third place overall, and the peanut butter was also delicious. Cucumber Lime and Strawberry Balsamic were just ok.
The Trader Joe’s Caribbean popsicle was not one we would try again. It had a generic syrupy flavor and didn’t compare in freshness to any of the others.
Next time I want a fun popsicle I’ll be going to Pop Star, and I might bring several home and split them with friends and eat the pieces with a spoon, as I finally found a friend who agrees that popsicle sticks are creepy. And if you cut up the Steel City ones, you can see their name imprinted from the stick, which is pretty cool: