Play with Your Food: People's Pops

Photo by Rowa Lee David Carrell, co-founder of People's Pops, teaches children how to freeze their own pops using a rare pop-making instrument from Thailand. Photo by Rowa Lee

Good friends Nathalie Jordi, Joel Horowitz, and David Carrell founded People’s Pops with the idea that every good popsicle is made with local, seasonal fruit, minimal sugar, and creative flavors. Taking inspiration from unique teas, cocktails, and world travels, People’s Pops was born. These delicious pops are especially popular among kids, which is why our annual Play With Your Food events welcome many giddy kids eager to make and eat pops of their own.

Photo by Rowa Lee People’s Pops bring a variety of local fruit – including white peaches, watermelon, limes and lemon – that the children use to make pops. Photo by Rowa Lee

People’s Pops brought a special pop-making instrument from Thailand to demonstrate pop-making for the kids. The "drum" consists of a steel metal frame with a base containing a simple brine solution (ice, water, and salt) and small metal cylinders, into which the fruit pieces and puree is poured.

The drumming sound is really the sound of ice and water crashing together as the instrument is spun one way and the other. Thai children hear this familiar sound and skip towards it, excited to watch the pops freeze and finally pull out the stick when the pops are frozen through. This is pretty exciting for an adult, as I can attest, so just imagine the magic of this through a child’s eye.

Photo by Rowa LeeJoel Horowitz, co-founder of People's Pops, shows children how to chop and puree their very own fruit-based pops. Photo by Rowa Lee
Photo by Rowa Lee Left: Baskets of mouth-watering fruit are available for children to use in their pops. Right: Children raise their hands to show they're ready to make their own pops. Photo by Rowa Lee

Children at Play with Your Food had a chance to experience the magic of this drum. Each child cut up pieces of fruit, choosing from fresh watermelon, peach, lime, and lemon. Then, after labeling their own cylinders with tape, they poured the chopped fruit and puree inside and placed them in the drum.

Then they wait. Some kids unable to contain their excitement, ask, “Is it ready yet?” Others watch in silence. Many kids take turns “drumming,” spinning the metal top frame left-and-right in the hope that the pops will freeze more quickly. A few suspenseful minutes pass and they finally get to grab their pop and taste their very own fruit-based creation.

Photo by Rowa Lee Children chop white peaches for their pops. Photo by Rowa Lee
Photo by Rowa Lee Left: A close-up view of the pop-making instrument. Right: A little girl smiles upon taking a first bite of her own pop. Photo by Rowa Lee

We're holding another session of Play with Your Food tomorrow. Bring your little ones to the 22nd Street Seating Steps to make a pop. They will love you (more!) for it.

Can’t make it to Play with Your Food? Not to worry. People's Pops is open daily at West 15th Street. Like David says, “People’s Pops is in its natural habitat on the High Line. You are supposed to eat a pop walking and enjoying nature’s scenery. It tastes the best this way.”

Photo by Rowa Lee Delicious watermelon fruit puree is measured into the pop-making instrument. Photo by Rowa Lee






































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