Popsicles at the Park
I am aware that gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but that didn’t stop me from eating two popsicles this past Sunday at Lili‘uokalani Park. In fact, my husband also ate two, and the next time we walk the park, popsicles will be a priority.
It’s all Jonathan Bockrath’s fault. Bockrath owns Alii Ice on Banyan Drive in Lili‘uokalani Park where he has opened “Pandamonia’s Paleta Palace”. There, he is producing popsicles that will, frankly, ruin you for anything at the grocery store.
These are not your ordinary popsicles. Feast your eyes on the slideshow above and you will see what I mean.
In a spotless kitchen (I took a tour), Bockrath is making popsicles the Latin American way (paletas). Paletas are, I learned, usually made from fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, or fruit in combination with sweetened, condensed milk. He learned to make them from a Brazilian friend.
I sampled first an Avocado-Lime pop, which was deliciously creamy with a tiny bit of tanginess. That was followed by Jaboticaba-Beet (pretty adventurous, right?). I would venture to say that even people who think they don’t like beets would like that combo.
My husband, a big haupia fan, tried one of those first—and he’s pretty particular about his haupia, but said it was great. He followed that up with Carrot Cake. I managed to get a bite of that and darned if it didn’t taste like a piece of frozen carrot cake. Yum!
Other wild flavors include Li Hing Mui, Coconut Raisin, Lychee Cream, Passionfruit, Apple Banana and Cherry Banana Cream; we are eyeballing the Sweet Potato and Star Fruit on our next visit. Bockrath said the Cucumber-Mint is very refreshing and low-sugar.
He uses locally-grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
Don’t fret about your diets, park walkers—there are sugar-free popsicles available, too.
Bockrath is also building a fountain inside Alii Ice, which will be, as I understand, a replica of the old Elsie’s Fountain that used to be on Mamo Street in Hilo. I was treated to a sneak peek and cannot wait until it opens.
Walking Lili‘uokalani Park is always a delight, but now it’s even sweeter.
Location: 21 Banyan Drive, Hilo. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesdays and Sundays, 8–11 a.m. and 3–5:30 p.m. Hours may vary occasionally depending on special events and weather.