In the last few years, some new places dedicated to serving only popsicles have popped up in Alabama, but they’re not making and selling just any ol’ pop. Their treats are way outside of the cardboard, grocery-store pop box and go far beyond the classic pop offerings, making them as popular with adults as they are with kids. These “gourmet” pop makers use farm-fresh ingredients to create delicious (and interesting) flavors ranging from simple to seriously sophisticated. Here are two favorites:
FRIOS GOURMET POPS
This pop-maker was founded in Gadsden, Alabama, but it has now grown to include locations in Gulf Shores, Fairhope, Guntersville, Wetumpka, Destin, and Birmingham. (And Frios keeps growing, so check out friospops.com to find more locations as they open.)
The company tagline is “Fresh, Frozen, Fun” and that’s exactly what each pop delivers.
When you walk into a Frios (or walk up to a Frios mobile cart) and check out the chalk board list of what’s available, you’ll find flavors like Blood Orange, Chocolate Banana, Spicy Mango, Avocado-Lime, Tiramisu, Key Lime Pie, Peaches & Cream, Blackberry-Ginger Lemonade, Watermelon Mojito, and more, and you know you’re in for something special. Frios has its own in-house chef who’s constantly mixing and matching, coming up with new, exciting, and often unexpected, combinations.
But the novelty of the unique flavors is just part of their appeal; they taste great too. And they taste great because they were made with the best ingredients. There is no high-fructose corn syrup, dye, or artificial flavorings in Frios pops. They’re all natural, made from organic cane sugar, whole fruit, and other ingredients (like organic milk and cream), most sourced from Alabama’s small farms and producers. (Even Frios’ popsicle sticks come from Alabama suppliers.) And many flavors are only offered seasonally, when ingredients are at their peaks.
STEEL CITY POPS
Like Frios, Birmingham-based Steel City Pops is serving up pops made with all-natural ingredients, many also sourced from area farms. SCP opened in 2012 and has since expanded to include locations all over Alabama (Auburn, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa, as well as three in its hometown of Birmingham) and has spread the Alabama pop love beyond the state’s borders, opening shops in Texas and Kentucky too.
The secret behind its pops’ popularity is simple: a simple product, a simple store, and a simple menu. But “simple” does not aptly describe the party that your taste buds throw when you take that first lick and then a bite of a SCP pop. From familiar options like strawberry and chocolate (and those that highlight forgotten fruits like honeydew) to more innovative mixtures like strawberry balsamic, cherry sour cream, and invigorating jasmine green tea, there’s something to satisfy everyone. And don’t overlook the buttermilk pop. It may sound a little strange, but it’s a tangy, creamy, dreamy bite of heaven on a stick. Check out the full menu and find locations at steelcitypops.com.
Wholesome, creative, delicious, supporting Alabama farmers, and all for only a few bucks a pop: It’s hard to beat that deal these days, so find a Steel City Pops or Frios near you and make your palate pop!
SEE ALL GOURMET POPS PHOTOS HERE