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We have a lot to thank Mexico for (tacos, tequila and great vacations to name a few). And in this sweltering South Florida heat, the beloved ice pops called paletas might just seem like Mexico’s greatest culinary achievement.
The paleta is a square-shaped popsicle on a wooden stick. They are steeped in Mexican tradition, using real fruits, ice and natural ingredients. The treats can also be milk-based for flavors like dulce de leche and strawberries and cream.
Here are six locations where you can find these beat-the-heat summer sticks:
La Artesanal Ice Cream and Pops
3640 N. Andrews Ave., Oakland Park; 954-498-9732
This is an imaginative dessert shop with sweet and savory Mexican treats. The owner says she makes all her own paleta flavors with about 40 different fruits as options. You can also dive into other treats like their very Instagramable piña loco. It’s a halved pineapple filled with other fruits and topped with sweet and spicy additions like salsa valentina, and chile and lime powder. Or try other traditional treats including mangonadas (a blend of Mexican ice with tangy fruit flavors) made fresh each day. They have no website, but you can see them on Instagram.
Go to Mexico and you can likely find thousands of paleta locations by this same name. Michoacan is the Mexican state known as the birthplace of paleterias. Families have shared the company name, La Michoacan, with other families to open the same business, like a franchise, since the ‘40s. This particular location has 50 different flavors that include fruit and milk-based paletas.
If you blink you might miss this small eatery off Dixie Highway. The shop is in a location where other Mexican specialty restaurants and supermarkets form an unofficial neighborhood marketplace in Pompano Beach. The owner makes all the paletas in-house, according to an employee at the counter. The consistency of their fruit paletas is similar to crushed ice as you bite into it and is flavorful, yet not too sweet.
125 Via Naranjas, #45A, Boca Raton, 561-672-1055. 1919 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. paletasmorelia.com
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This paleta shop first opened in Coral Gables in 2016 and has since added locations in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The experience is all about creating-your-own paleta. Guests can choose from 16 options including passion fruit, pistachio and Oreo cookies and cream. Then, paletas can be dipped in flavors like white chocolate or crunchy hazelnut. And there’s more. Toppings can be added, too, including pieces of s’mores, graham crackers or a Nutella drizzle to name a few. All of Morelia’s paletas are kosher certified by Kosher Miami.
A love for culture and each other inspired this husband (American) and wife (Mexican) team to start a small business celebrating Mexican desserts in Coral Springs. The family-owned shop uses locally sourced ingredients when possible, offering three flavors of paletas including lime, tamarind and strawberries and cream. Latin-inspired ice cream is also on the menu including gansito (a Mexican snack cake), Mexican vanilla and flan. There are also nieves (Mexican sorbet) and raspados (shaved ice) among others.
Do some shopping and grab a paleta at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. For a decadent treat, the selection includes filled options like a dulce de leche paleta filled with dulce de leche, or a vanilla option filled with Nutella. Traditional fruit-only pops come in mango, passion fruit and coconut. You can also choose creamy flavors like mocha frappuccino, berry yogurt, and cookies and cream.