Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Paleta

The Paleta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A paleta is a Latin American ice pop usually made from fresh fruit. The name comes from palo, or "stick," and the diminutive ending -eta, referencing the little flat stick frozen into each item; the stores, carts, and kiosks where they are sold are known as paleterías, and the sellers are called paleteros

Paleta flavorsPaleta flavors can be divided in two categories: milk-based and ice-based.
Milk-based flavors are creamy in texture and traditionally include vanilla, chocolate, rum, coconut, pecan/walnut (nuez), and arroz con leche, which is a type of rice pudding.
Ice-based flavors include strawberry, mango, lime, cucumber, dill pickle, jamaica, cantaloupe, pineapple, guava, and tamarind.
They are made from juices and sometimes include bits of frozen fruit. Although, most flavors are sweetened with sugar, some are not, such as pepino con chile y limón (spicy cucumber with lime).

Paletas in United States

While paletas have been sold as a street food in Hispanic-American communities in the United States for many years, the last decade has seen a growth in U.S.-based brands and marketing.
The California-based company Palapa Azul was created in 2002 specifically to develop paletas for a wider market of non-Hispanic consumers as well as the traditional customer base; the company introduced its products at the NASFT Fancy Food Show in January 2004 and received heavy national press coverage.
One company, Helados Mexico, that began as a pushcart vendor in 1991, now sells its paletas in mainstream chains such as Wal-Mart.

Another famous paleteria in the United States is Las Paletas in Nashville. The small shop owned by two sisters has been featured in numerous publications and has recently been filmed by the Food Network

Paletas and Tree Care

During the hot summer months in Los Angeles paletas are used as a fuel source and as refreshment for the Tree Care Department at TreePeople.
The work of volunteers and staff is sometimes brought to a screeching halt by the sound of bells chiming in the distance.
The bells are typically an advertisement of the "palatero," the man or woman who delivers and sells paletas. A typical paleta costs around $1 each, but some have been known to pay as much as $2.50 for a single paleta