Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thematic photographic - Frozen

Carmi at the blog "Written, Inc." posts a photographic challenge each week at Thematic Photographic. This week, the theme is "Frozen."

Cantaloupe flavored paleta
In Los Angeles, as in Mexico, these icy, frozen fruit bars are called paletas, and they're available in a vast array of flavors. Not just a popsicle, the paleta can be chock full of natural ingredients, chunks of familiar or exotic fruits, suspended in their own juice or in cream, sometimes with nuts or spices like chile.

In Mexico City, there are plenty of ice cream shops, but for some reason the paleta is strongly identified with the state of Michoacan. Here on the busy corner of Calle de Lopez and Vizcainas, the La Michoacana Paleteria sells ice cream and frozen ice cream bars.

In Los Angeles, the brand of La Michoacana persists - this is an ice cream bar bought from a local corner store, flavored with cucumber and chile. Throughout the streets of L.A. as in Mexico City, paleteros, or paleta-vendors, push low, wheeled carts, jingling with bells.

Sour yellow cherry flavor
But business is good enough to sustain brick-and-mortar stores, too. Some ice cream stores also sell shakes, juice or vegetable smoothies, or licuados - shakes made with milk or cream.  For a restorative, you can get a vampiro, which is a bloody-red smoothie made with beets and carrots as well as orange and pineapple juice.

Mateo's paletas
Here's the array of paletas sold at Mateos, a small business with stores in Culver City and in the Pico neighborhood.

Fresa - strawberry - and cream
The name paleta means, literally, a trowel - a play on the shape of the ice cream bar.

Paleta vendors in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

Paleta flavors can be creative, with tropical fruit like mamey, tuna - the fruit of the cactus, guanabana, or soursop; you can get them made with cajeta, the caramelized condensed milk beloved by Mexicans; the rice-and-vanilla horchata - and many more.

Explore the frozen world beyond the popsicle! Try paletas!


Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law who is from Mexico, once tried to explain this wonderful frozen concoction to me. Let's just say our language differences got in the way and it was a funny conversation. I can understand why she was not impressed by our little Popsicles.


Bob Scotney said...

How did I miss out on these in the days when I ran training courses in Mexico.

Jen on the Edge said...

I've never heard of this treat. I'm not normally all that into ice cream and popsicles, but I definitely want to try these.

Gilly said...

I'm drooling here - and its not even warm! Great photos!

smalltownme said...

All I have to say is...YUM!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Wow, those look delicious!

I've never had one.

Muse & Views Bookclub said...

They look scrumptious and the colours are wonderul!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I LOVE paletas! There is a great store in Nashville that had really creative flavors. My sister (who lived in Nashville) gave me a paletas cook book and the freezer molds for Christmas. Looks like I should get busy with some paletas!

Jess Brady said...

You've made this week's theme into a real learning opportunity! Love the pictures, especially the one of all the paletas in the store - so many different colours!

21 Wits said...

Oh I think your frozen is Delicious on first glance! Just what my tummy is now craving!

Max Sartin said...

Nice variety of frozen goodies there, great set of shots.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Beautiful pictures to go with the descriptions!
I'll pass on the peppery flavors and go with a nice rice-and-vanilla horchata, please! :)