Oaxaca

Paletas

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A paleta or ice pop on the street in Oaxaca

What: Paletas are ice pops made from fresh fruit. They are found all over Mexico, to be sure, but Oaxacans definitely have a soft spot for their own local brand, Popeye’s, which cools off customers with flavors like vanilla, limón, chocolate, sandía (watermelon), cajeta (goat milk’s caramel), and of course, that favorite local odd couple, leche quemada y tuna (“burnt milk” and tuna, the fruit of the pickly pear cactus; see also: nieve: leche quemada con tuna).

Where: Paleteria Popeye has a storefront somewhere, but chances are you’ll want this icy treat when the craving randomly strikes, which is what inevitably happens when you catch sight of one of the bright-orange Popeye carts that roam around downtown. We have heard that the shops and carts are owned by different people, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying whichever you see first.

Order: It will depend on what the vendedor has in his cooler, but you won’t get more regional than the refreshing leche quemada y tuna (8p; pictured), if available.

Alternatively: Pop into any of the La Michoacana Natural franchises all over town for a wide variety of paletas.