What best captures the flavors of summer in Minnesota? There’s a strong argument for the State Fair, with its bacon, butter, cheese, and Twinkies. Perhaps it’s the hot, spicy street food from the numerous trucks that line city streets during lunch time. A cold pint of Summit? Fresh berry jam? The list goes on and on. How about another option for tasting a seasonal variety of local flavors: the popsicle. Specifically, a popsicle at 10,000 Licks.
10,000 Licks is the brainchild of Andi McDaniel and Sarah Newberry, who funded the project through a Kickstarter campaign last summer. The campaign received well over the original goal of $10,000, and the money funded, among other things, a proper freezer cart, biodegradable packaging, molds, and vendor permits. Currently 10,000 Licks is in its second season and Sarah can be found with the cart at various farmers’ markets, events, and private parties. This year, 10,000 Licks included an Ice Pop CSA, which meant that customers could pay to pick up a different box of flavors every other week. The best part about 10,000 Licks is that it sources many of its ingredients locally.
The flavors are unlike anything you’ve tasted in a popsicle before, and while certain classics will appease the shy and the unadventurous (strawberry rhubarb, coconut) I would recommend going a little out of your comfort zone – you’ll be rewarded. When I visited the stand they did not have Vanilla Beet (which I was curious about) but they did have Sweet Corn and Cantaloupe Ginger. The Sweet Corn, which Sarah told me raises a lot of eyebrows, was perfectly creamy, and the corn tasted so natural as a sweet flavor that I didn’t think twice about it. It was like tasting a corn bread & vanilla ice cream milkshake. Does that sound weird? There’s really no way to correctly describe how delicious and at the same time unprecedented the flavor is. Similar to this garlic ice cream, take my word for it or try it yourself! The Cantaloupe Ginger was tart, and very gingery. I love ginger, and I was happy to discover that this popsicle did not scrimp on ginger’s spicy kick.
For $3, you get the perfect treat with which to wander around shopping on a sunny Saturday morning. The flavors change every time the cart is out and about, and you can rest easy knowing that like Minnesota’s countless outdoor markets, these pops, too, are naturally delicious. For more information on 10,000 Licks, including where to find the cart, check out the website here.