I don’t like ice cream. But I love all other manner of frozen treats, including gelato and popsicles. I have taken to upon myself to personally try every frozen yogurt chain that allows you to mix flavors and choose your own toppings. I’m a sucker for non-traditional flavors.
I’ve been hearing about Paciugo for a really long time–apparently their gelato is insane and to die for. So when I found myself in Lincoln Square with my dear friend Katie, we knew we had to stop. It was a little more chain-looking than I had guessed; I assumed it to be a tiny Italian joint with a stern grandma-looking person behind the counter. But it was bright and shiny and open with girls in polos behind a huge gelato case. The flavors didn’t wow me, but they did have pretty neat ones, like Black Sesame Seed and Lime Chili Mango. They of course had the more traditional, mouthwatering gelato varieties, like Salted Caramel and Tiramisu, and various fruit flavors. Their website promises really delicious-sounding seasonal flavours–Eggnog Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie Amaretto, Gingerbread, Chocolate Coconut Curry; clearly I love warm, fuzzy flavors.
Anway, we chose the smallest sizes and they still let us pick three flavors, which was cool of them. Katie and I settled on Lavender Vanilla Chocolate Chip and Honey Fig, and she chose Pistachio while I chose Mint. I love lavender as a culinary ingredient, and this was floral without being soapy. The honey fig tasted very much like both, and the mint was crisp and fresh-tasting. I tried Katie’s Pistachio and it was very pistachio-y without being too sweet. All were very tasty and I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll be back come fall when the spicy and pumpkin flavors emerge.
I was inspired by our little gelato outing, along with happening upon this book:
“I can make cool flavors,” I thought. “With my impeccable palate and culinary ingenuity, I will make delicious popsicles for my friends and family.” This is my first attempt.
It’s been so hot lately that the last thing I want in my mouth is something sticky sweet and creamy. Cucumber and ginger are the freshest-tasting things imaginable to me, and I thought honeydew would be a great compliment and sweeten things up a bit. Psh, flavors are easy.
I like a lot of ginger, to the point where it’s spicy, so I wasn’t shy with it. Start with blending in a 2-in piece then add to taste from there.
So I blended everything together, and it tasted pretty darn good to me. But it still needed something; an extra pop, a little zazz.
Blueberries! Yep, those will look cool with the minty green and add a little textural interest, knowwhatI’msayin’?
In the molds the blueberries go. The mixture smelled divine at this point–I kinda wanted to add a little gin to them and make ’em a touch boozy, but alas, I had no gin on hand.
This morning I woke to these babies:
They’re very fresh and light–perfect for the sweltering heat Chicago has been suffering through these days. And aren’t they such a pretty color green? Maybe a little mint would’ve been good in these too. I didn’t add any sweetener because the honeydew was pretty ripe, but it depends on how sweet your like your pops. I’ve been on a Gatsby kick lately, so I named this after our favorite fresh-faced, delightfully frivolous East-Egger.
The Daisy Fay
3-in piece of ginger
1/2 large cucumber
3 cups honeydew melon
Blend everything except the blueberries. I liked the look of the dark green cucumber skin accents, so I didn’t blend until super smooth. Pop some blueberries in the bottom of your molds, then pour in your honeydew-cuke-ginger concoction. Freeze. That’s it.
Easy. I could do this all summer.