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Ever since the popsicle craze swept the nation a few years back, the summer treat appears everywhere: at the farmers’ market, in food magazines, on Pinterest. Locally, the trend launched Aiko Pops, a frozen pop company that got its start with a mobile cart in 2011. Aiko has gained such a following that it recently opened a storefront on South Pearl Street. The shop, which sits one door north of Duffey Roll Cafe, came available when Cinque Soldi Salumeria closed in July. A quick facelift and Aiko Pops opened as a gourmet popsicle shop and quasi-deli serving a handful of sandwiches, chips, and aqua frescas.
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To date, my favorite Aiko Pop is the pear–five spice. The cooling and refreshing flavor suits summer’s heat just as the warming spices hint at fall. But there’s an ever-changing roster of varieties to try: pineapple-cilantro, plum-rose, kiwi-mint, coconut-lemongrass…the list goes on. Best of all, as a mother of a child afflicted with food allergies, the popsicles are vegan, gluten-free, and handmade (read: no creepy dyes or hidden ingredients).
Tip: Savor your pop on the tucked-away back patio, or take it to go. If you’re traveling any distance, bring a cooler to keep the treats frozen.
1284 S. Pearl St., 303-996-5400
—Photo via Shutterstock