At some point in the near future, it is going to be warm outside. Not long after that it will be summertime, and you'll enjoy poolside shenanigans, bike rides, and walks on hot asphalt that will make you wish it was December again. Winter, of course, won't come for months so you should enjoy the next best thing: the popsicle.
In most places around Dallas, "popsicle" translates seamlessly to palates, which are evoked every time you hear the tinkling bells of the carts manned by the hardest workers alive. Those same bells were the source of inspiration for Jim Watkins, who started Steel City Popsicles in Alabama and chose Dallas as his first expansion city. Watkins' popsicle shop is expected in the space that used to hold Zubar (2012 Greenville) in late April or May. So long dance beats. Hello frozen blueberry basil treats.
If you've ever tried to make a popsicle at home, you'll know that it's not an easy task. Liquids that freeze slowly a conventional freezer allow flavor crystals to form, and the sharp, jagged edges of those crystals make for grainy popsicles that can be a rough on your mouth. That's why the pros use special equipment that can freeze popsicles solid in just minutes -- not overnight.
David Pressley is the vending and logistics manager the Greenville location of Steel City Popsicles. He walked me through their hand-made popsicle process.
"Every single pop we make passes through our team's hands," Pressley said, before catching himself. "In a sanitary way, of course." His team starts my breaking down and blending fresh fruit and other ingredients in small batches -- no more than a few gallons each. Then the mixture is poured into molds that are placed in an ethyl bath.
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This is where Pressley got a little stiff. I asked him what temperature the ethyl was kept at, but he said the information was proprietary. He did tell me that it took roughly 20 minutes for the popsicles to set up and that, "the temperature is low enough and the freeze time is fast enough that we don't get ice crystals."
So, there. We should have some ultra-smooth delicious popsicles made local ingredients soon. Well, local where possible. The list of flavors planned for when the shop opens is below, and obviously bananas and pineapple can't be sourced locally in Dallas, but those strawberries, watermelons and cantaloupes sure can.
Personally, I'm feeling that pineapple jalapeño and the cherry sour cream, but they all look interesting. Now, if we only could get the weather to cooperate. Bring the heat, we're ready.
Blood Orange Cantaloupe Cucumber Lime Hibiscus Blueberry Basil Lime Mango Pineapple Jalapeño Raspberry Lemon Strawberry Strawberry Balsamic Watermelon Avocado Banana Buttermilk Caramel Cherry Sour Cream Chocolate Chocolate Chili Coconut Coffee Lemon Peanut Butter Vanilla Bean