Hot Day, Coldplay and The Most "Pop"ular Dessert for Summer 2012

Hot Day, Coldplay and The Most "Pop"ular Dessert for Summer 2012

Let me just start by saying it's hot outside, as evidenced by my car's outside temperature gauge reading 101 degrees at 11:30 this morning. While the heat has definitely been stirring up Chicagoans this week, it seems to be stirring up the "ghosts" that live in our river-cottage-turned-renovated-three-bedroom home as well. Funny thing, these ghosts seem to really enjoy Coldplay. Whether there are truly ghosts with a Chris Martin fetish in this home or just a funky audio system going haywire, we've now been awakened on two separate occasions in the middle of the night to the sound of Coldplay blasting from our living room. Last night's jam was "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" (which we don't even own in our music collection). The time before it was "Fix You". The other funny thing is that my husband HATES Coldplay, so these ghosts apparently have a sense of humor.

Speaking of things cold on this hot, hot, hot day, let's talk ice pops (i.e. Popsicles). We've had dessert trends ranging from whoopie pies, to fancy shmancy cupcakes, to cake pops, but the popsicle is emerging as this summer's hottest trend. Just look at Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez enjoying their ice pops on a romantic stroll together the other day.

The Popsicle (which is actually a brand name of ice pop) has been a part of Americana since the 1920s and recently been elevated from the Dreamsicle, Fudgsicle, Bomb Pop of our youth to gourmet sweet treats. Gourmet popsicle shops have sprouted up across the country from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Timeout Chicago reported on several places serving gourmet popsicle concoctions in selected restaurants.

Salted Caramel offers many gourmet treats, and while there is gluten present in their kitchen, all of their frozen treats are gluten free. They are available at certain Farmer's Markets in Chicagoland, including Andersonville Farmers Market Wednesdays 3-8, at their Shopette at the Andersonville Galleria Fridays 3-7, Saturday 12-4, Sundays 12-4, and the July's DOSE Market. I contact Salted Caramel, and they provided me with the following information about their popsicle flavors:

  • Chocolate Mole:  Contains almond milk and eggs in the pudding
  • Thai Mango: Contains greek yogurt and coconut milk
  • Watermelon Coriander: Dairy Free
  • Lemon Raspberry Goat Cheese: Contains goat cheese
  • Frozen Salted Caramel Cocoa: Contains milk (cream) and butter

If you are like me and looking for instant gratification right in your freezer, there are many varieties available in your grocery store's frozen food section that are gluten free. Since many are fruit-based, you'll often find them dairy free as well. Here are a few options to get you started:

Edy's: All fruit bar varieties are gluten free. I've enjoyed many of their flavors, including Wildberry, Lime, Strawberry and their new Acai Blueberry.

Popsicle (Unilever): Many of the Popsicle brand of ice pops are free from gluten ingredients, including their original orange, cherry, and grape flavors along with the beloved Firecracker and even Sponge Bob Square Pants pop-ups (which do contain milk ingredients). Stay away from the Fudgsicles though as they contain malt powder which is derived from barley.

Breyer's: Also a Unilever brand, their policy is to clearly list any gluten ingredients on their labeling. Their Pure Fruit Bars are free from gluten and comparable to Edy's and if you can't decide what flavor to choose, try their Berry Swirls.

Whole Fruit: All Whole Fruit Frozen Novelty products are gluten free. All Sorbet and Fruit Bar flavors are also dairy free, with the exception of coconut.

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