You know those TV chefs that describe food as “sexy”? I can’t stand them. Food is not, and will never be, “sexy”. Food is good. It is delicious. I’d even go so far as saying it’s really yummy. Food is not sexy. Mango-rosewater paletas, though…they make me wanna call them “sexy”, but I’m not lame. So, I’ll call them sensual. They’re the popsicles you’d eat in front of your husband with a “Come hither” look. But, then you’d tell him, “Not so hither. Gimme some room to finish this amazing popsicle, Bro! Go tither.”
Mango and rosewater are flavors that you’ve seen used around here before. I became a fan of the combo after trying a lassi made with them and I haven’t been the same since. My wheels are constantly spinning in an effort to come up with recipes that incorporate the duo. This simplistic version of a popsicle is the latest in my mad-scientist attempt. I whipped out my popsicle mold, and got to brewing.
While paletas are a Hispanic “thang”, the mango-rosewater pairing scream Indian. It was, in fact, a lassi called “That Indian Drink,” that introduced me to the two. Mango seems to be a popular fruit the world over, and with good reason. Mangos are almost meaty in texture. They provide body and bulk to whatever recipe they’re introduced to. Mangos do amazingly well in sweet dishes, and surprisingly, hold their own in savory dishes as well. Check out how I used mangos in this Carnitas recipe. In this paletas recipe I used the Tommy Atkins mango. You can also use the Ataulfo, or honey, to add some variety. Make sure your mango is orange and not green. A very ripe mango is best for this recipe- the sweeter the better, because it will allow you to avoid the addition of more sugar.
Rosewater is typically used in Middle Eastern dishes. I love adding it to sweet recipes like this loukum. Not only does rosewater add an exotic flair, it subtly (if used correctly) enhances other flavors that it is paired with. The danger in rosewater, at least for me, is found when one gets too excited about using it. The first time I used it, I was so geeked about having it that I damn near emptied the bottle! My family looked at me like I’d betrayed them to the FEDS…not that they’re wanted by the FEDS…it’s just a saying…that I say…when I’m saying stuff…they were upset that I used too much rosewater. That’s all I’m saying. I’m no snitch. Rosewater can be found here, or in most specialty foods stores.
What do I do because I just like to be extra? I spice it up by sprinkling a little Tajín on my popsicle. I’m a firecracker, y’all. I just can’t help myself. It’s totally optional, though.
On to the sensuality! When you stop blushing, check out these other paletas recipes.
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Cool down in a sensual way the exotic combination of mango and rosewater. Use ripe mangos for the best results.
- 3 ripe mangos peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- pinch of salt
- splash of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup simple syrup*
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, insert popsicle sticks into the popsicle molds and allow to freeze for an additional 7 1/2 hours, or overnight (preferred).
Unmold* and enjoy!
Simple Syrup Recipe:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
In a small pot, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve slightly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely before use.
*Some molds release the paletas easier than others. My foolproof way to get mine out is to running really hot water over the inverted popsicle mold, turn it right side up and unmold quickly. I run hot water over them again if they fail to release easily.