Sisters Norma and Irma Paz grew up eating paletas
- gourmet ice pops made from puréed fresh seasonal fruits and even vegetables and sometimes mixed with cream - in their native Guadalajara, Mexico. Several years ago they moved to Nashville to open the area's first paleteria
, Las Paletas. It's well worth visiting the burgeoning 12 South neighborhood for the treats. (Star chef Bobby Flay has, and paid the price, as part of his popular Throwdown!
show on the Food Network.) As many as a couple dozen flavors will be displayed in the counter freezers at any one time, depending upon what's in season and the whims of the sisters Paz. Strawberry, lime and any of the melon family are almost always available and always a safe choice. It's hard to argue with the spicy jalapeno. Note that Las Paletas has limited daytime hours, but their pops also are available at Baja Burrito and at Hillsboro Village's Hot & Cold, the latest spot from Bongo Java and Fido owner Bob Bernstein, Irma Paz's husband, with Irma also having a hand in the operation.
"Aptly named, Las Paletas makes the best gourmet paletas I've tried yet - light years ahead of NYC's People Pops (though I do love their shaved ice) and narrowly beating Austin's GoodPop. A riff on the angular Mexican popsicles that usually feature corn syrup or cane juice and loads of artificial coloring, these icy treats forgo all that filth in favor of pure, streamlined recipes that highlight natural fruit flavors."
- Serious Eats
, July 22, 2010