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Popsicles are the new cupcakes

On May 24, 2010, Lee Brian Schrager (founder of the South Beach and New York City Wine and Food Festivals) predicted that, among other things, popsicles would be all the rage soon.  Well, Mr. Schrager was correct.

Popsicles are the latest trend to go viral this summer in the city that never sleeps.  I’m not talking about the popsicles of your childhood here.  As with most of our readers, when I hear “popsicle,” I reminisce about the days of yore when long summer days were intermittently broken up with the classics: Bomb Pops, Push Ups, Good Humor bars, Creamsicles, Fudgsicles, Jell-O Pudding Pops…and even those sketchy tubes of sugar water with food coloring, FlaVorIce.

Kids today, however, get to experience frozen goodness that combines all current manners of hip — take one classic comfort food that reminds people of their glory days, add some organic, unique ingredients that have been (preferrably) locally sourced and make using old-school artisinal techniques.  It has taken off faster than you can say Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha.

In Chelsea Market, People’s Pop — which actually started in Brooklyn — has a counter that sells (for a mere $3.50 or the equivalent of what a box of popsicles used to cost) flavors such as raspberry & cream, rhubarb & star anise and blackberry & sour cherry.  Not to be outdone, Popbar in the West Village is selling gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt on a stick from $3.99 to $4.99.

If you think all the goodness is going to be limited to the Isle of Manhattan and its nearby cousins, you’re wrong.  Up in Cold Spring, New York, where city dwellers often escape to hike trails around Mt. Taurus, you’ll find Go-Go Pops.  As your old econ prof would say, “It’s just supply meeting demand.”

Even restaurants have been getting in on the action.  At Dovetail, you can finish off your meal with a tamarind semifreddo popsicle coated in white chocolate (for the home cook and popsicle aficionado, the recipe is here).

Is all this too highbrow for your tastes? Lucky for you, there’s always Spongebob on a stick – just listen for the harmonious strains of your local Mr. Softee truck.

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