Yeah, we know, these days you can get an ice pop shaped like your favorite cartoon character -- and it'll be made of tofu, dipped in chocolate and might even spin on battery power.
But today we're paying homage to the oldies but goodies, the classic pops we remember from our pre-digital age childhood. These five confections have cooled down many a hot summer day for generations of American kids and luckily, you can still dig them out from behind the Sponge Bob pops at most grocery stores.
5. Push-Up Pops - These treats have been around for a while but they were made truly famous toward the end of the last century when beloved Flintstones characters were introduced to the packaging. As if pushing frozen orange sherbet out of a tube wasn't fun enough, the pops became an institution with Nestle rolled out boxes with Fred and Barney's smiling faces. The flavors were once re-dubbed Yabba Dabba Doo Orange, Bedrock Berry and Lime Rock Lime. Today the Flintstones boxes have practically gone the way of the dinosaurs, but the pops are still there, and still delicious to the last push.
4. Popsicles - the original ice pops - Much like the Kleenex brand has become synonymous to tissues, Popsicle brand has become the generic term for all ice pops. And why not? In 1905 eleven-year-old San Francisco native Frank Epperson left a glass full of water and soda powder with a mixing stick out on his porch. After an extraordinarily cold night the first ice lollipop was born. Epperson patented the "Epsicle" in 1924. Later the name was changed to Popsicle and he eventually sold the ice pop company. During the Depression the double-sticked Popsicle was invented to cut costs for kids. Today, you can choose from a variety of colors and flavors to unwrap and enjoy without your pesky siblings begging for a break of the pop. And don't forget that the sticks are printed with riddles.
3. Creamsicles - aka dreamsicles, aka 50-50 bars - Can't choose between frozen juice and ice cream? The makers of Popsicle anticipated your dilemma, so they rolled out the tasty single stick bars much to the delight of the nation. Creamiscles too have their "national day", August 14, though we were unable to track down any information as to who created it and why. No Congressional record exists on its declaration either, but people seem to celebrate all the same by buying, making, and eating creamiscles in all their colors. While the most popular flavor is still orange, you can also enjoy the ice milk at the core wrapped with raspberry and cherry flavor ice layers.
2. Bomb Pops - Still the bomb after many a year, the red-white-and-blue (cherry, lime, and blue raspberry) ice pops are replicated by almost every brand but nothing beats the Blue Bunny original. The finned pops were invented in 1955 in Kansas City, MO by ones James S. Merritt and D.S. "Doc" Abernethy. These are perfectly patriotic for your Independence day BBQ yet also appropriate for any summer day. Bomb Pops have become so integral to our culture in fact that every year, on the final Thursday of June, National Bomb Pop Day is celebrated across the country.
1. Otter Pops - But what could be better than the simple delight of the classic Otter Pop? Introduced in 1970, to compete with the already existing Fla-Vor-Ice, the simple combination on water, sugar, and fruit juice became irresistible. In addition, each little pop is assigned an Otter character - six "zippy flavors" in total. In 1996 when National Pax wanted to replace Sir Isaac Lime with Scarlett O'Cherry, nine-year-old Kevin Kee and his friends in Los Angeles picketed the company's headquarters to protect their favorite Otter. Today the line-up consists of Poncho Punch, Alexander the Grape, Strawberry Short Kook, Louie-Bloo Raspberry, Little Orphan Orange, and, thanks to Kevin, Sir Isaac Lime.
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