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Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas [Anglais] [Relié]

Fany Gerson

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Description de l'ouvrage

7 juin 2011

From the pure, radiant flavors of classic Blackberry and Spicy Pineapple to unexpectedly enchanting combinations such as Sour Cream, Cherry and Tequila, or Strawberry-Horchata, Paletas is an engaging and delicious guide to Mexico’s traditional—and some not-so-traditional—frozen treats.
Collected and developed by celebrated pastry chef Fany Gerson, this sweet little cookbook showcases her favorite recipes for paletas, those flavor-packed ice pops made from an enormous variety of fruits, nuts, flowers, and even spices; plus shaved ice (raspados) and aguas frescas—the delightful Mexican drinks featuring whole fruit and exotic ingredients like tamarind and hibiscus flowers.
Whether you’re drawn to a simple burst of fresh fruit—as in the Coconut, Watermelon, or Cantaloupe pops—or prefer adventurous flavors like Mezcal-Orange, Mexican Chocolate, Hibiscus-Raspberry, or Lime Pie, Paletas is an inviting, refreshing guide guaranteed to help you beat the heat.

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The first frozen treats in Mexico were made with snow collected at the top of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes. At first, the snow was carried down and used to refrigerate things like medicine and food, but later people realized they could pair the snow with sweet fruits to make luxurious frozen treats.
The enjoyment of frozen treats is something almost universal. They’re beloved all over the world, especially by children. The fact that they’re so widespread is quite remarkable when you consider the great variety in the different cultures and cuisines where they appear. Italians have their granitas and gelatos, Argentineans their helados, Indians their kulfi, and Japanese their mochi. And, yes, Mexicans have their paletas, which are savored throughout the country, all year round. Although paletas are the main focus of this book, I’ve also included recipes for two other types of refreshing Mexican treats: raspados, which are similar to granitas, and the beverages known as aguas frescas.
Paleterías (paleta shops), with their bright awnings and storefronts, are part of the Mexican landscape, decorating the streets with their vivid colors. And like many other fortunate children in my home country, I grew up enjoying paletas on a regular basis.
Although paletas have become popular outside of Mexico, you may not be familiar with them, so let me tell you a bit about them. The word paleta derives from palo, meaning “stick,” a reference to how they’re made and eaten. They’re essentially ice pops: delicious flavored liquids, frozen with a stick to hold as you eat them. Paletas come in countless flavors and are made from an enormous variety of fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, including spices and even flowers. They’re most commonly made in a rectangle shape. Paletas may have a smooth consistency, but they often include chunks of some sort to provide texture and trap different flavors.
In Mexico, we have two different types of paletas. The most popular type is paletas de agua, which are typically made with fresh fruit, water, sweetener (usually sugar from sugarcane), and sometimes other flavorings. Popular flavors include lime, watermelon, tamarind, mango, chile, and coconut.
The second type is paletas de leche or paletas de crema, which are made with some kind of dairy (usually whole milk or heavy cream) and flavorings or fruit. Sadly, these days most commercial paletas de leche are made with a powdered base due to the price of milk, but those that are still made with fresh milk or cream are incredibly delicious. They’re like ice cream on a stick, often studded with delicious fresh fruit, but also combined with other ingredients, such as pecans, chocolate, cajeta (goat’s milk caramel), rompope (similar to eggnog), and rice.
Although there are many flavors of paletas, the most common varieties have one main flavor. That’s probably because the majority are made with fresh fruit, which is great on its own. When other flavors and ingredients are added to fruit paletas, they’re usually there only to enhance the natural succulence of the fruit.
There are a few things that make paletas noteworthy. The first is that they are found everywhere in Mexico. They’re often sold from carts, but it’s more common to find them in paleterías. In fact, I have yet to encounter a Mexican town, no matter how small, without a paletería. These shops typically have a clear freezer you can look down into and see an amazing rainbow of perfectly lined-up paletas. I remember being really, really, really excited when I was big enough to stand on my tippy toes and peek in (although being picked up gave me a better view).
The second thing that’s exceptional about paletas is the incredible array of flavors. This is mostly because of the wide variety of fruit that abounds in Mexico, which is also one of the most exciting things about the food in Mexico. From more familiar fruits like strawberries, apricots, blackberries, melons, tangerines, and other citrus fruits to the tropical flavors of mango, guava, passion fruit, and coconut, to the exotic, like tamarind, mamey, prickly pear, and soursop, the list goes on and on. Even some of the fruits we usually think of as vegetables, like avocados, tomatoes, and chile peppers, make an appearance in paletas, as well as flowers like roses and hibiscus.
Another thing that makes paletas special is how the flavors have been adapted to the modern palate and embrace the sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavors Mexicans love. There are paletas studded with chunks of fruit and chile peppers, others made with chamoy (a pickled plum or apricot sauce), and some are even so completely covered with ground piquín chiles that you can’t even see the color of the paleta.
Lastly, I think it is truly remarkable that most paleterías are family businesses, and that these frozen treats are usually made in an artisanal way. Many families buy their produce from markets then peel, chop, and puree the fresh goods by hand. In these family-run businesses, each person has his or her task—after all, they’re helping provide for one another.
There’s some debate about the birthplace of paletas, but the most common belief is that they originated in the town of Tocumbo, which is in the state of Michoacán. If you can imagine it, as you enter the town you’re welcomed by a humongous pink concrete statue in the shape of a paleta with what looks like a bite taken out of it, and in the space where that bite was taken is a globe that looks like a scoop of ice cream. The statue is a source of great pride for the townspeople.
Sugarcane grows well in the area surrounding Tocumbo, and for years it was a mainstay of the local economy. But growing sugarcane means a lot of hard labor for very little return, so in the early 1900s, Tocumbo remained a tiny village where it was difficult to make a living. In 1930, Rafael Malfavón opened a small paletería, distributing his frozen treats to the townspeople and neighboring villagers using donkeys that carried wooden boxes that Señor Malfavón had designed especially for this purpose.
Though Rafael Malfavón may have been first, the expansion that followed has been attributed to others. Legend has it that in the mid-1940s, three men who had been selling paletas in Tocumbo for a few years—brothers Ignacio and Luis Alcázar and their friend Agustín Andrade—headed to Mexico City to open the first paletería there. They called their shop La Michoacana, and although they were illiterate, they achieved success beyond their wildest dreams. They ended up selling franchises to everyone they knew—friends, cousins, neighbors, acquaintances. Since then, La Michoacana has become one of the largest franchises in Mexico, with more than fifteen thousand outlets, and more than a thousand in Mexico City alone! So now you know why it’s said that all the best paleteros (paleta makers) are from Tocumbo, no matter where you are in Mexico.
In a way, all of these people from Tocumbo are related to one another, and even if they spend most of the year elsewhere selling paletas, most keep a home in Tocumbo to return to for the holidays. And it should come as no surprise that Tocumbo holds a weeklong feria de paletas (paletas fair) at the end of the year. You try many new and different flavors of paletas at the fair, but it’s really more a celebration of the town and its people, who have not only kept their tradition alive, but also expanded to the point where the most common names for paleterías are La Michoacana, Tocumbo, and La Flor de Michoacan, including in the United States.
While this story seems well established, another legend has it that paletas originated in the town of Mexticacán, in the neighboring state of Jalisco. In the early 1940s, a man by the name of Genarito Jáuregui, apparently a jack-of-all-trades, somehow got hold of a German machine that compacted ice. As the story goes, his compadre Don Celso de Cañadas de Obregón told him about a paletera (paleta machine) that was abandoned in the customs office in the state of Veracruz. It is said that Señor Jáuregui partnered up with another compadre, Tilde Rios, to buy the machine.
Back then, Jáuregui was managing a corn mill and several fields, so it fell to Rios to run the paletería. The paletera could only make one hundred paletas at a time, and they used donkeys to haul water to the paletería. Their business was successful enough that soon they bought a more modern machine. After a few years, many other people from Mexticacán jumped on the bandwagon, opening paleterías throughout Mexico.
In Mexico, most towns have a plaza or main square with some sort of monument or statue of a famous historical person. In Mexticacán, this monument is dedicated to the paleta, which is the town’s main source of income. The monument is a pyramid with a plaque with a carved paleta on one side. And just like in Tocumbo, Mexticacán has a festival dedicated to the paleta: the Heladexpo, one of the biggest fairs in the trade.
So you see, paletas have a long history in Mexico, and a significant place in Mexican cuisine. As far back as I can remember, paletas were part of my life growing up in Mexico. Back home, we’re blessed with an incredible cornucopia of fruits, and all of them make their way into paletas. When I came to the United States, I was so surprised, and...

Revue de presse

“The most notable contenders to the cupcake throne are macarons, whoopie pies, and, my personal favorite: ice pops. The 27-degree temps right now notwithstanding, I'm ready to crack open Fany Gerson's Paletas. Gerson's My Sweet Mexico was one of my favorite cookbooks of 2010, and Paletas looks to be equally wonderful, with recipes for ice pops in flavors ranging from coconut and mango-chile to horchata-strawberry and dulce de leche. Gerson plans to open a shop in New York serving paletas, ice cream, sorbets, and aguas frescas in late spring.”
—Publishers Weekly Spring 2011 Announcements: Top 10 Cookbooks, 1/24/11

“Lickably luscious, Paletas lets you freeze your own authentic icy Mexican treats, from the spiced (with chiles) to the spiked (with tequila)—and everything in between!”
—David Lebovitz, author of Ready for Dessert, The Sweet Life in Paris, and The Perfect Scoop
“Fany Gerson has followed up the triumph of My Sweet Mexico with Paletas, an engagingly written look at Mexico’s frozen treats and refreshing drinks.No one is better suited to introduce us to this delicious branch of Mexican culinary tradition that so deserves to be better known.”
—Nick Malgieri, author of BAKE!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  95 commentaires
87 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Really? $11 dollars for the secrets of freezing s***? 18 juin 2011
Par Casa Clark - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
My spouse's exact words after getting the invoice as we share an account; he would have never known but I got this via kindle. I've only just made the spicy pineapple, but it was seriously mind blowing. Our friend has made us some paletas from this book and they were equally as delicious and unique. The BEST $11 dollars I have spent in a while. You should get this book NOW. You won't regret it.
70 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Different Flavors and Great Sensations 23 décembre 2011
Par Laurie Davis - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I like this cookbook very much. It outlines the basic sugar syrup that is necessary to keep popsicles soft enough to bite, and the flavor combinations make for an explosion in the mouth. Since I enjoy frozen treats year round, the book is at easy access in the kitchen.

One major complaint though: In it, the author refers to a an ingredient that is a recipe in another of her cookbooks. Okay, I understand that perhaps it would have taken up too much space to reprint the original recipe and the fact that there are probably copyright issues involved, but I do think it's a bum steer to have to buy two cooks in order to complete one recipe. It is easy enough to find another recipe on the internet to complete the pop, but that shouldn't have had to happen.

Otherwise, this book would have received a higher rating from me.
32 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 WOW! For kids and adults 8 juin 2011
Par K. Gill - Publié sur
I certainly never thought I'd go gaga over a book about Popsicles, but all I can say is WOW. This book is beautiful and well-written, easy to use, interesting flavors (like spicy pineapple! or roasted banana or rice pudding!). Some pops are cream (or greek yogurt) based, others are fruit based. I heard someone mention how great an avocado pop was, and I couldn't conceive of it, now I have a recipe.

It's not just popsicles though, it's also "aguas frescas" and shaved ice. Some aguas frescas are rice based! Gotta try it!

The photography is amazing, the story is endearing, the instructions are simple, the ingredients are common. You can make these for your kids or your kids can help, and I really think popsicles are the new macaron, and have been since last summer...(2010)... So you can even impress your adult friends with what you turn out.

This is one monothematic book worth having.

This book is for anyone who wants to make an unexpected and pleasant treat for themselves or guests.

No special equipment necessary, but I've been told by many that this little machine is wonderful Zoku Quick Pop Maker and now that I have this book I have
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perfect for a hot summer day! 30 juin 2011
Par Kapir - Publié sur
Have you ever found a recipe so delicious that you licked the spatula, and once finished were even tempted to lick the blade of your food processor? That's my experience with Fany Gerson's Paletas.

I swooned when I first saw the cover. Sweet, icy, Mexican desserts? I'm sold! Aesthetically, the book is beautiful, but it's the quality of the book's recipes that really makes it stand out!

I first made Paletas de Aguacate (avocado ice pops) and found the blended result so delectable that I spent about five minutes scraping every drop from the bowl. I followed the recipe and found it incredibly easy to prepare. They take about five hours to freeze and the recipe makes six paletas when using standard size popsicle molds. Be very careful not to taste too much of the mixture, as too much tasting can result in too little mix for your molds! They taste amazing and are a wonderful mix of sweet and salty, while simultaneously being healthy. The other recipes are just as great.

Fany's explanations of each recipe are wonderfully detailed. I appreciate that she references her other recipes and suggests ways that you can really make each recipe your own. Her advice is constant, and I especially found useful her tip on how to give a yogurt-berry paleta a marbled texture.

If you don't have popsicle molds, I would highly recommend that you buy a set when you buy this book (or better yet, before!), because the recipes are irresistible and you will want to make them as soon as possible!
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great buy! 22 juin 2011
Par D. Ramirez - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I love this book! The way it is written, the stories or introductions, the simplicity of the recipes. It brought me back to the beauty of Mexico where I spent lots of summers and learned to love paletas and aguas frescas. The book is short but beautiful and has great recipes. Fany Gerson's love shows clearly in each chapter. I am already waiting for her next book.
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