Beat the Heat: Ice lollies from Le Pops | Rock Candy

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beat the Heat: Ice lollies from Le Pops

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

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To anyone who grew up with a remotely normal childhood, coming from a relatively reasonable set of parents, there’s probably not many memories a child can have that are more fond, more gleeful than playing outside in the summer heat and subsequently being treated to a frozen Otter Pop. You remember Otter Pops. Those fluorescent, 12-inch, excessively sugary solutions frozen in a long piece of plastic tubing. There’s few iced treats that could ever generate the joy a child feels when presented with a deep purple “Alexander the Grape” or neon red “Strawberry Short Kook.” But in reality (if you’ve actually eaten one as a mature adult) you’ll realize the things are fairly disgusting. Nowadays, you need a better ice pop substitute…and with the Arkansas heat finally reaching skin blistering temperatures, you’ll want one sooner than later.

Well dear friends, look no further than Le Pops. Maybe you’ve seen Le Pops’ products popping up at various venues, farmers markets, and food truck events around town—maybe you’ve had the pleasure of sampling them in their headquarters in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall. They like to refer to their products at “ice lollies,” which is completely adorable, but rest assured they are simply genuine all-American popsicles.

When Laurie and Charles Harrison first sampled homemade ice pops in Florida in 2010, they were determined to bring a high quality product to Little Rock…and really, when it comes to ice pops, Le Pops has got the market cornered. No one is doing ice pops at this level in these parts. Le Pops is committed to using local fruits and berries whenever possible—thankfully, in Arkansas they’re got a lot of great product to work with.

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Really, it’s difficult to go wrong at Le Pops. All their flavors, particularly their fruit blends, are so simple and pure, with the fresh flavor of unadulterated fruit permeating the whole ice pop. But when I’m eating at Le Pops, there’s a few particular pops I’m partial to. Of course, anything incorporating Arkansas strawberries should be taken seriously. While their plain strawberry is delightful, I enjoy the exciting combination of strawberry with cool, herbaceous basil when I can get it. The basil is just prominent in the flavor profile to keep things interesting, but it doesn’t overwhelm the sweet fruit. Likewise, I’ve always been a fan of the combination of strawberry and balsamic. The blend of sweet and slightly sour makes for a mouthwatering pop that will make you forget about all other popsicles you’ve had in the past.

They’ve also got a fine selection of cream based pops that make for a smooth, soft ice pop that’s perfect on a hot day. I’m partial to the raspberry cream with tart, bright red raspberry chunks in a creamy, milky base. And for those wanting to keep things completely guilt free, their “Pure Sunshine” is a fantastic sugar-free blend of mango, orange, and banana—no added junk, just the natural flavor and sweetness of fruit.

When’s the best time to enjoy a Le Pop? Anytime really, but I particularly enjoy grabbing one at outdoor events. Last week I suffered through the incessant heat at the Bernice Garden’s SoMa food truck event. I sweated through the entire devouring of my Santa Lucia pie and followed this up with a bright, ice cold Le Pop lolly. I could practically feel the heat being sucked from my body—thank you, Le Pops, for saving the day. Additionally, to all you parents, we like to frequent the Peabody splash park with our young’uns when the heat gets to be unbearable. We find that a pop into their Rivermarket shop is a perfect way to follow up a few hours of sloshing around in the water fountains. No matter how you get your hands on them, get you some Le Pops this summer.

You can find Le Pops being sold at their home shop in the River Market at Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Avenue. They’re also sold at the Little Rock Athletic Club Corner Market, Pizza Cafe, Boulevard Bread, HAM, Argenta Market, All Aboard Restaurant, The Country Club of LR, The LR Racquet Club, and various mobile events around town. Check out their Facebook page for current locations and the day’s flavours.

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