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Main ingredient(s) Ice or milk, fruit or other flavoring

A paleta is a Latin American ice pop usually made from fresh fruit. The name comes from palo, or "stick," and the diminutive ending -eta, referencing the little flat stick frozen into each item; the stores, carts, and kiosks where they are sold are known as paleterías, and the sellers are called Paleteros. Paletas can also be found in many hispanic convenience stores, grocery stores and juice bars.

Paleta flavors[edit]

Paleta flavors can be divided in two categories: cream-based and water-based.

Milk-based flavors are creamy in texture and traditionally include vanilla, chocolate, rum, coconut, pecan/walnut (nuez), mamey, and arroz con leche, which is a type of rice pudding. Ice-based flavors include strawberry, mango, lime, cucumber, dill pickle, Jamaica, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, guava, and tamarind. They are made from juices and sometimes include bits of frozen fruit. Although most flavors are sweetened with sugar, some are not, such as pepino con chile y limón (spicy cucumber with lime).

Paletas in United States[edit]

While paletas have been sold as a street food in Hispanic-American communities in the United States for many years, the last decade has seen a growth in U.S.-based brands and marketing. The California-based company Palapa Azul was created in 2002 specifically to develop paletas for a wider market of non-Hispanic consumers as well as the traditional customer base; the company introduced its products at the NASFT Fancy Food Show in January 2004 and received heavy national press coverage. One company, Helados Mexico, that began as a pushcart vendor in 1991, now sells its paletas in mainstream chains such as Wal-Mart.[1]

Las Paletas, a paleteria in Nashville, TN, was started in 2002 by two Mexican sisters. Las Paletas produces flavors such as avocado, hibiscus, basil, chocolate with chili, and pineapple with hot chili. They have been featured on the Food Network multiple times and in magazines all over the country.

El Paisanito Paletería y Nevería [2] opened in 2006 in Hubbard, Oregon and moved to nearby Woodburn, Oregon in 2010. The paletería is run by a family from Michoacán, Mexico, the birthplace of paletas. They carry a variety of flavors of paletas made with fresh fruit, such as strawberry, tamarind, watermelon, mango, pineapple, cucumber with chile, hibiscus, nance, guava, coconut, banana, and walnut. They also have several ice cream flavors, including corn, rice, coconut, strawberry, raspberry, and cheese.

Paletas Betty[3] Paletas Betty is a paleteria owned and operated by Betty Alatorre de Hong, a native of Michoacán. With multiple locations in Arizona, Paletas Betty specializes in seasonal handmade paletas and fresh beverages.

Another paleteria in the United States is Las Paletas in Nashville. The small shop owned by two sisters has been featured in numerous publications and has recently been filmed by the Food Network.

Locopops is a North Carolina paleteria with locations in the Research Triangle.

King of Pops was founded in 2009 in Atlanta, and quickly became popular throughout the South (Atlanta, Athens, Charleston, Charlotte, Richmond). The company sells paletas focusing on local, organic ingredients. They are sold primarily out of small pushcarts, underneath a colorful rainbow umbrella.

Harrison Beverage, Inc., based in City of Industry, California, is a leading West Coast USA manufacterer of ice pops in both cream-based and water-based formats that are marketed largely to the Hispanic community, but gaining general popularity.

OnoPops, LLC., located in Honolulu, HI, hand-makes gourmet paletas using fresh, all-natural local ingredients and locally inspired flavors.

El Paraiso Ice Cream is one of the oldest paleteria in the United States. In 1984, El Paraiso Ice Cream was established in San Antonio Texas. El Paraiso Ice Cream has a variety of flavors including classics like strawberry, coconut,and chocolate but also unique flavors such as pickle, orchata (rice) and mango with chile. The idea of El Paraiso Ice Cream was born to Mexican immigrants, a husband and wife team, that lived in Chicago Illinois. The entrepreneur couple moved to San Antonio Texas to open up the paleteria store front which manufactures and sells both retail and wholesale.


  1. ^ History of Helados Mexico company website. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
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  3. ^ [2]