Serious Eats: Sweets
Sugar Rush: Gourmet Popsicles at StreetPops, Cincinnati
When it's brutally hot outside, a cold coffee provides a decent pick-me-up, and ice cream is easily justified as a necessity. But sometimes we want refreshment that isn't a caffeine or sugar overload. Enter the gourmet popsicle, and StreetPops.
Founder Sara Bornick started bringing popsicles to farmers markets in 2011, and a year later she opened a storefront in Over the Rhine, where she now features around 15 flavors at a time. Yes, an entire storefront for a very seasonal item may be a bit extreme, especially when most consumers snag them at the markets or city events on weekends. But with an overall menu of about 50 flavors as well as the ability to buy in bulk, the walk-in shop provides a bit of seating along with the nostalgia that's invoked from staring through a frosty case to ogle a rainbow of treats.
For our Hyde Park Market tour, we snagged a Peach Bourbon Sweet Tea ($3) that was remarkably balanced with all three flavors completely present and washing across our palates in equal waves. The following Wednesday in North Side, we found the Raspberry Lemonade to be just sweet enough to be satisfying without reminding us of cheap lemonade stands. All the popsicles we tried were rather smooth and not too sweet. Fresh fruit and herbs come through with each bite.
Some flavors are made with cream—like Chocolate Sea Salt, Bourbon Vanilla, Avocado, and Root Beer Float—but a good amount are both dairy and gluten free, making them a rather safe frozen dessert for those with food sensitivities. All are made in small batches, and many with locally sourced and organic ingredients. While some might complain that $3 for a popsicle is a little extreme, it's apparent in the first bite that there is absolutely nothing cheap about how these are made. And while we didn't eat all the ones in that photo above, there are a still a few weeks left of summer for us to give it our all.
StreetPops1437 Main Street, Cincinnati OH 45202 (map)