Frozen treats are a staple, not only in America, but the world over. It seems no one is immune from the creamy lure of ice cream, ice pops, or paletas. However, for those of us who have special dietary requirements, such as eating kosher, understanding what we can and cannot eat is important.
What Is Kosher Dairy?
In order to be considered kosher dairy the following requirements must be met.
- The dairy product must be taken from a kosher animal. These animals include, cows, goats, sheep, and even deer. Non-kosher animals would be pigs, horses, and rabbits; along with a couple more.
- All ingredients contained within must not be mixed, or contaminated by meat. Even using the same utensil for dairy and meat is considered non-kosher. This means no gelatin in ice cream, or rennet in cheeses.
- The entire process, from production, processing, and packaging must follow kosher guidelines and use kosher equipment to ensure the highest quality.
While many people may look at these Kosher requirements and think of them as limiting, many of the staple treats Americans enjoy can, and do, exist in kosher form. From gourmet ice cream to delicious ice pops, they really do exist! One often overlooked favorite of mine is paleta.
What Is Paleta
Paletas are so much for than your average popsicle, and they are available in numerous flavors and varieties. Strawberry paleta is a favorite of mine, but spicier options like tamarind-chile exist as well! Truly the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavors of paleta.
The typical process for making paletas is simple:
- The ingredients, such as fruit, are pureed with an added splash of juice. In strawberry paleta, for example, it’s common for chunks of fruit to make it into the finished product after pureeing, unless strained out; the process can differ between cooks. However, these bits of fruit make for an extra tasty addition, especially on a hot day.
- After pureeing spices and sugar, depending on the combination, are mixed in. This is where combinations like tamarind-chili or strawberry-horchata are created.
- Lastly the mixture gets poured into mold and frozen on sticks. Additionally, filling can be added at this stage for an special center surprise.
Many ice cream shops exist that offer paletas that are one-hundred percent kosher.
A common misconception is that having to follow kosher requirements limits what people can eat; this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Without even touching on the countless cuisine options available, there are so many frozen treat options made with kosher dairy and kosher guidelines. Truthfully, when digging in you won’t even be able to tell there is a difference! If you haven’t already, I invite you to seek out a paleta place near you. Once you’ve experienced this amazing treat, you’ll wonder why it took you this long to discover it. (I know I did!)
Let us know what paleta flavors are your favorite, and what you’d recommend!