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Last summer, People’s Pops introduced the city to the concept of the $4 $3.50 Greenmarket-sourced popsicle. Almost twelve months later, we’re suddenly in the midst of unchecked artisanal popsicle proliferation as crafty entrepreneurs find new and ingenious ways to impale frozen treats, making them this summer’s answer to the soft serve craze.
People’s Pops has gone and made it legal with a Chelsea Market storefront, La Newyorkina introduced their new-wave Mexican pops at the Hester Street Fair, Griff’s Gelato will begin selling frozen pie filling on sticks on May 15, and earlier this week, Popbar brought hand-crafted, customizable “popGelato,” “popSorbetto,” and “popYogurt” to Carmine Street.
Popsicles, on the face of it, aren’t really Fat Pants food. They come in prim single servings and are often made of fruit. Unless they’re concocted from a frozen mass of avocado, like La Newyorkina’s gutbusting avocado pop, they don’t demand an elastic waistband. But Popbar, with its gelato and chocolate and nut coatings, ventures into Fat Pants territory.
A visit to Popbar yesterday saw the staff still setting up its display case; the shop’s most potentially destructive items were not yet available. So instead we opted for a chocolate-covered banana sorbetto pop. The crisp, semi-sweet shell was an ideal companion for the banana filling it harbored; the combination was surprisingly rich and filling, and also not lip-puckeringly saccharine — the natural sweetness of the banana was allowed to shine, without too much embellishment. If Chunky Monkey had a younger, more diet-conscious sibling, it would be this — the taste is similar (aside from, of course, the lack of walnuts), but it’s not going to conjure any images of camping out on the couch in a stained Snuggie.
And unlike Chunky Monkey, the pop encourages hasty eating — as the sorbetto melts rapidly, its chocolate exoskeleton begins to collapse, and you’re left with fingers sticky enough to impress a five-year-old.
This isn’t a popsicle to change your life, but popsicles by their nature aren’t really known for their life-altering capabilities. It is, however, a popsicle ideal for a beautiful spring day, light enough to rate only a slim fit on the Fat Pants scale and satisfying enough to rate a contented smile. Just remember to bring plenty of napkins.
5 Carmine Street