Earlier in the year I served an unusual dessert treat for the Gastronauts Supper Club. As part of a South American themed evening, I made Roasted Sweetcorn Popsicles. They were popular on the night so I decided to post and tweet my recipe. As a result, I ended up chatting on Twitter to @mariapalitos_au, a paleta.
Brisbane business that specialises in a Latin American ice pop, called a
Paletas are ice blocks usually made with a juice or cream base that are a popular Latin American street food sold from carts called palateros. It makes sense that Australia would have a Latin American population – we share a hemisphere after all. Until recently though, many communities have kept to themselves and not made a big splash on local culture. But, that’s starting to change. You may or may not be aware Latin and South America are hip right now. Especially the cuisine. It must be hip, Food Safari had an episode. Enter mariaPalitos.
I’ve made the jump from cyber to real life and have met Natalia from mariaPalitos at a couple of different markets around town. Whenever possible they avoid artificial colours and flavours and use organic ingredients in their products. And the flavours! The paletas in particular are unusual in their combos: White Chocolate & Basil; Pineapple, Beetroot & Peppermint; Almond, Malt & Cinnamon and, Blueberry Lemonade & Basil (hugely popular with kids) are a few. The one I tried on a very hot Sunday was Tamarind & Lemongrass. Tangy, fragrant and sharp, it was a proper grown up’s ice block. At $4 a pop, the price was right too.
MariaPalitos started out making Paletas and over time have evolved to also produce Hot Chocolate on a Stick and Gourmet Marshmallows. Back at home, Chief Tester Anthony had a go of the hot chocolate with a Dark Chocolate & Coffee combo. Simply heat a mug of milk, place your Chocolate on a Stick in the mug and stir! In a few minutes, your good to go with a steaming cup of delicious real hot chocolate. There’s lots of great flavours in this range too: Dark Choc with Cloves, Coffee or Anise and, White Choc with Cookies & Cream or Cardamom.
I asked Natalia where the name mariaPalitos comes from and she told me that a palito is the stick inserted in the paletas and hot chocolates. ‘Maria’ is a tribute to the women in her family who are all named Maria, with the exception of Natalia, though they refer to her as Maria Natalia in jest. Natalia is slowly building the business through a combination of markets and special orders for events (she provided marshmallows as part of the goodie bags at a recent book launch at Scrumptious Reads). The attention taken in producing the products is evident in the ingredients and presentation and this flows through to the funky graphics on the stall and website.
Natalia from mariaPalitos
If your looking for something unusual as a gift or want to treat yourself to a little taste of Latin America, you could do worse than to swing past the website or market stall. The Hot Chocolates on a Stick make nice thankyou gifts without being too showy and it’s never too early to start thinking about catering for that office picnic or family re-union. Take the pressure off and the heat out by ordering up an ice pop storm. Natalia can talk with you about flavour combinations and come up with a signature flavour for your special event.
Find mariaPalitos at:
Hawthorne Markets – Hawthorne Park, Hawthorne 4171. 2nd Sunday of every month
Latin Markets – Jubilee Hotel, Fortitude Valley 4006. Last Sunday of every month
* Win * Win * Win *
Would you like to win a Treat on a Stick? TIFFIN has a great mariaPalitos prize pack of 4 mixed Hot Chocolates on a Stick to give away to a reader*.
- 1. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, suggesting a new Paleta or Hot Choc on a Stick flavour you’d like to try. It can be as simple or flavour packed as you like. The sky’s the limit.
- 2. Subscribe to TIFFIN via email or join the TIFFIN fan club via Google Friends.
*Overseas readers are welcome to enter this competition however if you win, your prize will be an Amazon voucher equal to the value of the prize pack.
*** Good Luck! ***
* The competition opens 6pm Tuesday 14 May 2013 and closes 6pm Tuesday 21 May 2013
* Both parts of the entry must be completed to be eligible.
* New subscribers will need to activate their subscription via the confirmation email.
* Current email subscribers and Google Friends only need to complete part 1.
* The draw will be random from all eligible entries. TIFFIN’s decision is final.
* The winner will be notified by email and published on this blog during May 2013.
This is not a sponsored post. Prizes are courtesy of TIFFIN.