Popsicles have never been my thing. While I’ll fess up to a brief, albeit intense, love affair with the Good Humor Creamsicle when I was a kid, I’ve always been an old-fashioned ice cream type of gal. The popsicles of my youth were just too icy, too chemically flavored, and caused too many brain freezes.
But that was before I met Steve Astorino of Zora Dora’s Micro Batch Ice Cream & Paletas in Beacon. Now I’m a believer. Astorino is helping to create a whole new generation of gourmet pops that come in outrageous flavors and are chock-full of fresh fruit and other local produce.
Astorino, a Culinary Institute of America grad, opened Zora Dora several years ago. He was already obsessed with the small ice-cream maker he had purchased on eBay before he went to Mexico (on his honeymoon) and fell hard for paletas, the traditional Latin American ice pops made with fresh fruit. Like a mad scientist, he started experimenting with mixing and freezing various ingredients — and he’s never stopped. Recently, he was in the back of his Beacon storefront testing out “the Gunks” — a creamy-looking concoction featuring (among other things) granola, beets, bananas, and raisins.
Popular flavors at Zora Dora’s include Pineapple Chile Lime with Sea Salt, the Muddy Hudson Coffee (coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg), and the Mango Mango. Adventurous customers love the Yellow Curry Pop, with scallions and curry. “It’s sweet and salty all at the same time,” says Astorino. With strawberries at their peak this month, expect them to make an appearance in several different pops. “The flavors are constantly rotating depending on what is in season,” says Astorino. Dearly departed celebrities also get honored with their own flavors. There was the Michael Jacksicle and, of course, the Liz Taylor. “It’s made with chocolate to show her riches, passion fruit for her legendary passion, and bananas — because she was, um, a bit eccentric,” says Astorino.
Besides the Beacon storefront, Astorino’s $3 treats are sold at local farmers’ markets (including those in New Paltz and Poughkeepsie), at DIA:Beacon and the Storm King Art Center, and on the Walkway Over the Hudson.
» Visit Zora Dora’s in Beacon, NY
» Visit Zora Dora’s Web site at www.zoradora.com
» Find more ice cream, frozen yogurt, and popsicle shops in the Hudson Valley, NY
» Visit the Hudson Valley Food & Drink Guide