Stick Figures

Artisan ice pops are the coolest

When it comes to icy desserts, sticks beat scoops.

The coolest people in town are licking fruit-filled ice pops instead of ice cream this summer, mixing local fruit into refreshing, unexpected combinations.

Two of our favorite places combine herbs and spices to create paleta-style pops. Both options are low in sugar; the seasonal fruit used by both is usually sweet enough. You may get a brain freeze, but in 100-plus-degree temperatures, that might not be so bad.

The Dairy Godmother, Del Ray's favorite custard shop, has gone dairy-free for a new line of ice pops called Pop Culture (pictured; $2.50). Owner Liz Davis mixes fruits, herbs, tea, wine and coffee for creations like pineapple cilantro, farmers' market currant and Moroccan mint tea. Davis is having so much fun that she plans to give the pops their own stand-alone shop.

Hocking ice pops from a bike cart, Pleasant Pops just debuted at the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market. The paleta-loving college friends who launched the company make flavors like cucumber chile, strawberry rhubarb and a peach ginger made with fruit from Toigo Orchards.