If you ever visit Mexico or any Latin American country don't be surprised if you see locals eating chili sprinkled mangos on a stick. Mango and Spice (specifically chili) might seem like an odd combo, but they are 2 of the most common ingredients found in sweets in Mexico and other Latin American countries. In fact, traditional Mexican restaurants will always place chili powder on your table if you order mango. Adding chili powder to your mango or any dish is not for extra heat, though. Adding chili to your mango is a matter of taste. You use it for the flavor. Locals will also add chili powder to Paletas. Paletas is very similar to North American's Popsicle.
Popsicles vs. Paletas
In North America we generally consider popsicles to be a neon-colored frozen treat that is usually loaded with corn syrup and artificial fruit flavors. But in Latin American culture, popsicles are entirely different. Popsicles in Latin America are known as paletas or 'little stick' in Spanish. These frozen concoctions are slightly sweet and are all made from organic and fresh ingredients. Paletas's ingredients are usually flowers, hibiscus, fruits, cucumbers, spirits such as tequila and spices such as chili and cinnamon. Sometime paletas are dipped in chili or chocolate to give an extra burst of flavor.
The flavors that you can taste in paletas are not the same typical flavors you'd taste on a popsicle. A real palate is made by hand and contains only natural flavors.
I like my popsicles bursting with flavor, so I couldn't resist making Kudolife's Spicy Mango and Lime Popsicle Recipe with a Latin American twist. The Spicy Mango and Lime Popsicles are a combination of Latin America, specifically Mexico's Paletas and their whole mango on a stick covered in lime juice and chili. Paletas are Mexican fruit popsicles that are either water or cream based. Paletas originated from the mid-1940s in the town of Tocumbo in the Mexican state of Michoacan. The town even has a huge stature of a plateta in their town square.
How to Make Authentic Paleta
To make an authentic paleta, you first need to puree your base ingredients with a bit of fresh juice. Next, you add your essential spices and sugar. Then you pour your mixture into a mold and freeze them. Simple! I bet making paletas is faster than creating a popsicle that is loaded with artificial flavors?
I experimented with a few different kinds of chili, guajillo, arbol, and ancho, and just plain hot sauce. I ended up going with hot sauce as the main spicy ingredient, but feel free to add your favorite chili powder instead!
Instead of using just lime juice I also used key lime yogurt. I bought the individual yogurt size cups so that I could use them as molds. After blending the mango, lime juice, water, key lime yogurt and tons of hot sauce, I pour my concoction into the yogurt cups, stuck a stick into them and left them in the freezer overnight.
After impatiently waiting for the Spicy Mango and Lime Popsicles I finally got to try them. They were great, and I found that they are definitely a play on sweet and heat! The flavors from these popsicles easily hit just about every point of your taste buds.
Spicy Mango and Lime Popsicles Recipe
- ½ of peeled unripe green mango diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of hot sauce of choice
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 container key-lime blended Greek yogurt
- Place ingredients in the blender and blend.
- Adjust seasonings to taste and add more hot sauce if desired.
- Pour in mini popsicle mold and freeze. Enjoy!