I recently found a "What's In" insert in an American fashion magazine where the paleta was lauded as the new Mexican gourmet fruit bar to indulge in this summer. Hardly gourmet, let me put you on to something if you don't already know: This is old news to us Latinas, especially if you grew up in a traditional Latin home! (How many of you had paletas right after jumping sprinklers or playing jacks?)
I grew up eating paletas since my childhood days in Miami, soon after we left Cuba. Mamey, a bland-but-delicious treat when injected with sugar, is a native Mexican fruit, and was one of my absolute favorite flavored bars during hot summer days. Ever since the unfortunate disappearance of the mamey flavor, I became obsessed with the coconut one, which has real chunks of coco and is made with milk or coconut water and ice, then frozen.
Since living in DC and Atlanta, I can't find the real deal, unless I trek to a farmer's market or a bodega. When I do find them, what a treat! I recently found a pack of 12, with an assortment of flavors like coconut, strawberry, tamarindo (something I'll have to talk to you about later), limón and mango. Can you say "¡que rico!?" It was the sweetest nostalgic moment I've had in a long time—and at $6, you can't beat it!
Although I'm excited to see paletas making their way into mainstream American foodie culture, and even see the masses introduced to what most Latinos know so well, it's no surprise it's becoming a favorite. The paleta is the perfect go-to treat to refresh yourself! Pick up a few and share with your non-Latino friends—they'll love it!
For additional cooking advice from Bren Herrera, visit Flanboyanteats.com.
Do you remember eating paletas in your home country or even as a child growing up here in the States? Tell us...