Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan

I really only took advantage of today’s blog as an excuse to buy popsicle molds.  Yes, I made cherry popsicles. But you can count on the fact that I’ll soon be experimenting with much more exhilarating flavours (I’m looking at you, Irish Cream!)

Actually, buying the molds was harder than I thought it would be.  I looked high and low before heading to Ming Wo as a last resort.  Of course they had a spectacular selection, and of course most of the models rung in at ~$20.  Fortunately they had one set for 5 bucks that suited me just fine.

Rumour has it that popsicles were invented by an 11 year old in the winter of 1905.  He was mixing lemonade pop from a powder out on his porch.  He left a glass out overnight (with stir-stick still in place) and awoke to find a tasty ice treat stuck inside his glass.  A little hot water loosened it and the rest is history… or so the story goes.  The story seems a little unlikely to me, and further digging does reveal conflicting stories.  Some say Frank Epperson, the ingenious 11 year old, is only credited for the invention due to his successful patenting and marketing of the “Popsicle” in 1924.

Apparently icy treats on sticks were already sold from street vendors in the late 1800’s.  They had evolved from a long tradition of frozen deserts.  As early as the 1200’s there are records of SnowCone-like confections in China, India, Iran and Rome.  Supposedly Marco Polo was served such a desert in the courts of Kublai Khan.

So I propose a new game.  It’s kind of like Simon Says for popsicles.  Split a double popsicle with a friend.  Make a rule:  when you say “MARCO” they get to lick or nibble their popsicle.  When they say “POLO” you get to taste yours.  Whoever samples their popsicle without hearing the call first gets punished however you see fit…

Of the estimated 3 million popsicles sold very year the vast majority are cherry, grape or orange flavoured.  So, if you really want a cherry popsicle you can easily buy one.  If, on the other hand, you want a cherry-rootbeer-almond popsicle, come see me.

Roof top pop

I used:

8 oz. black cherry juice

8 oz. organic rootbeer

1 tsp. almond extract

(This made four pops with some to spare)

The resulting syrup was a bit sweet for my taste, but the flavour mellowed a lot after freezing.  The carbonation from the rootbeer gave them a pleasant texture that was less dense than regular ice pops.

Refreshing!

Just don't get it on your shirt...

Gratuitous scenic photo

Nice place to eat a popsicle

It’s almost September, our summer is waning, but there are still plenty of popsicle-worthy days ahead.  Google popsicle recipes and I guarantee you’ll find some inspiration among the kajillion recipes online.  Most of them are even healthy!

Happy August Days to you,

~Sage

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