Shimmy, Shimmy Locopop

Dispatch from Durham, N.C. ...

Strawberry balsamic popsicle from Locopops

Cool, refreshing and perfectly portable, popsicles are one of summer's simplest pleasures. So I was so delighted to finally get the chance to try Locopops while visiting my family in Durham this weekend.

The tiny shop, which has been open just over a year, sells Mexican-style paletas, or popsicles, and regularly has a line out the door. Owner Summer Bicknell spent three months in Mexico learning to make the frozen treats before deciding to set up shop in Durham. Locopops' motto is "Blending the traditions of Mexico with the flavors of the world."

A giant whiteboard behind a plain counter and four large freezers displays Bicknell's creative flavors, divided into paletas de crema (cream-based) and paletas de agua (water-based). At $1 for a small paleta and $2 for a large, it's easy to justify trying several flavors.

The strawberry balsamic packs an invigorating tang, while creamy lime tasted like a tropical blender drink (and I mean that in a good way). Olive oil crema and curried peach were two we couldn't resist trying — and they were both delicious. We also tried the hibiscus, tamarind, blueberry thyme, mojito, chocolate rosemary, apple mint melon, guava pomegranate, strawberries and cream and mango chili. (Yes, we ate lots of Locopops.)

Bicknell sources her herbs from the local gardens of SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces), a nonprofit group that encourages urban children and teens to get involved in organic gardening, according to a story in The News & Observer. She also buys her ice cream mix from local dairies.

Now if only she could ship them to D.C. ...

2600 Hillsborough Rd.
Durham, N.C.