Artwork by Sam Bolton for Yahoo Food.
By Joanna Prisco
Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week is Ice Pops! 50 Delicious Fresh and Fabulous Icy Treats by Cesar and Nadia Roden, two family members with a passion for Popsicles that they translated into trendy food carts in both New York City and London.
As the story goes, for artist and illustrator Nadia Roden, it was a case of love at first sight.
“In the summer of 2009, in Woodstock, N.Y., I came across a photo of a transparent ice pop with a leaf frozen inside it,” recalls Roden in the introduction to the cookbook. “It looked so beautiful and it immediately sparked my imagination, which started running wild with all sorts of flavors and concoctions that could be frozen in ice.”
Not content to keep her creations to herself, Roden “filled sketchbooks with ideas for flavor combinations and turned our kitchen into a lab,” she wrote. “I filled our Soho loft with freezers and a special machine from Latin America and experimented with all sorts of flavors and textures.”
At first, she looked for simple combinations that might pair well together, “like oranges and lemons, or milk and honey.” But soon enough, Roden found herself integrating herbs and spices for added complexity, such as basil with cantaloupe melon or start anise with grapefruit.
Buoyed by the response she received from friends and family who tasted the many test versions, Roden decided to launch a mobile cart to sell her ice pops at two locations in NYC. When the cart began to draw a substantial cult following, Roden called upon nephew Cesar, who had previously launched successful street food events in the U.K., to help.
When Cesar’s visa ran out, rather than find a replacement for her No. 1 employee, Roden decided to take a break from the ice pop life to focus on raising her daughter. After shipping Cesar all the equipment and original cart, he re-launched the business with his own line of gourmet ice pops under the name Ice Kitchen in London.
Having successfully caused chilly sensations on both sides of the pond, the aunt and nephew collaborated on combined recipe testing for their cookbook “to show people just how good an ice pop can be.”
The resulting treats range from blueberry swirled with yogurt to clementine, white wine and rose to ricotta-based cassata. Fortunately, all are deceptively simple, fast and easy to prepare — which is a good thing, as they tend to disappear very quickly once unveiled to friends.
Visit Yahoo Food throughout the week for a how-to and creative recipes from Ice Pops!
Check out other cookbooks from Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: