Freezer features many cool treats for hot days

July 02, 2000|By Carol J.G. Ward | Carol J.G. Ward,Knight Ridder/Tribune

No doubt about it, kids (of all ages) love frozen treats in the sauna that is summer.

This summer, skip the scoop and try icy treats on a stick. Frosty, sweet, sloppy and portable, freezer pops and ice cream bars are the ideal refresher for spirits wilted in the steamy heat.

The Popsicle was accidentally invented in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson when he left a stirring stick in a sugar-and-water mixture on his porch on a night when San Francisco experienced record low temperatures, according to Good Humor-Breyers, which markets the Popsicle brand.

Epperson originally named his frozen treat the Epsicle but years later wisely changed the name to Popsicle after his children's frequent requests for "Pop's sicle."

Today the number of novelties (that's industry speak for freezer pops, cream bars and ice cream sandwiches) purchased at U.S. supermarkets annually exceeds 6 billion items, according to the International Ice Cream Association.

A quick look in the freezer case of local supermarkets shows that there's a treat for every taste. In 1998 alone, producers introduced 98 new frozen novelty products. There's even a frozen treat for dogs, called Frosty Paws, sold in the freezer case with human treats.

Kids like the bright colors and syrupy taste of ice pops, sherbet twists and new products such as Nestle's Itzakadoozie, a longer-than-usual ice pop with cherry, lime and orange ice twists around a lemon core.

Adults might be attracted to Dove and Hagen Dazs chocolate-coated (with or without nuts) ice cream bars, ice cream bon bons and candy brands such as Snickers new ice cream cone.

Among the healthier entries are Starbucks Frappuccino Bars, made with a blend of coffee, chocolate and milk with only 120 calories (20 from fat).

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