The popsicles need very little introduction. Everyone knows and loves the frozen dessert that comes on a stick. Soon we’ll look at where you live and what you call it. But first, did you know the popsicle was invented by an 11-year-old kid? Perhaps adults should listen to kids more often if this delicious idea managed to come out of a forgetful one in the winter. In this post we’ll take a quick look at what other inventions have come from kids. We’ll also see what the most popular popsicle flavor is! Can you guess?
Let’s start with inventions. We shouldn’t be surprised that a kid invented the popsicle. So far, kids are responsible for the likes of the trampoline (16-year-old George Nissan in 1930), ear muffs (15-year-old Chester Greenwood in 1877), and even Braille (15-year-old Louis Braille in 1824). There’s even a rumour of a kid inventing the flaming Crepe Suzette! It seems kids around the world will continue to invent impressive and useful devices as long as we let them. Young Frank Epperson’s popsicle creation would have been discovered by someone sooner or later. But it came to him in 1905.
He was living in San Francisco and, as mentioned, was 11 years old at the time. Getting distracted one evening, as young people have a tendency to do, he managed to leave a cup of soda/soft drink he’d mixed outside on his family’s front porch. This mixed drink was a common treat for kids at this time, hence the stirring stick. Overnight the mercury dropped, and the next morning he walked outside to find his abandoned drink had become a frozen icicle! Of course he had to name it, and like most inventors, he slipped his family name in, dubbing it The Epsicle. He couldn’t wait to show his friends at school and, even though it was winter, it became a quick hit.
Over time, Frank grew up to have his own children, and it’s no surprise he made his Epsicles for them. The name evolved to Pop’s ‘sicle and by 1923 he patented his frozen treat before eventually selling the rights. The popsicle would grow to be a classic summer time icon with flavors like banana, lemon-lime, grape, cherry, orange, strawberry, watermelon, and mango. Of course, like ice cream, the popsicle has many variations, all of which go by different names depending on where you’re from. Some North Americans also call it a freezer pop, while the British, Irish, Canadians, Indians, and South Africans call it an ice lolly or ice pop. Down in Australia and New Zealand, they call it an ice block or an icy pole. But the most fun name has to be the paleta, which hails from Mexico.
A slight twist on the classic popsicle, the paleta is jam packed full of fruit. You can buy a variety of flavors from a paleteria that include strawberry, lime, mango, and pineapple. Mexican ingredients like chili pepper, vanilla, and chamoy tend to find their ways into the paletas, too… For those that don’t know, chamoy is a pickled sauce made from fruit (mostly plum) spiced with chili. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a paleteria, we highly recommend the pineapple and chamoy flavor. This is a sweet and spicy pineapple popsicle that’s bright yellow with red speckles!
Of course, local communities design flavours to suit themselves, and a spicy popsicle might not be for everyone. But what is the all-time most popular popsicle flavor? Well, according to the official popsicle website, it’s cherry! And while we’re dishing out frozen dessert facts, we might as well add that this week is National Blueberry Popsicle Day. So no excuses. It’s summer, it’s hot, go get yourself a popsicle!