By Teri Carnicelli
As Valley temperatures continue to climb skyward and our cars turn into actual ovens, we sometimes need a break in the middle of the day to cool off—both on the inside, as well as the outside.
There are plenty of places in the North Central area to get a cool treat in the heat of the day, including the most recent addition, AZ Pops, located at 5050 N. 7th St. After more than four years selling at area farmers’ markets, this family-owned business of artisan, all-natural popsicles has opened a brick-and-mortar store.
AZ Pops uses ingredients from seasonal and locally grown sources (when available) and takes prides in its all-natural flavors and handcrafted technique. There are more than 30 flavors available, and the calorie count for an AZ Pops ranges from 40 to 130.
A native Arizonan with a gourmet restaurant background, creator and co-owner Pam Raphael offers nearly three dozen traditional and unique popsicle flavors using unusual ingredients such as coconut milk, tarragon, prickly pear, rosemary, cucumbers, saffron, sesame seeds and balsamic strawberry.
You can still find the fruitful cool treats at the Uptown Farmers Market, held Wednesdays and Saturdays at North Phoenix Baptist Church, Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road. For more information on where to get your AZ Pops, visit http://azpops.com or call 602-279-0026.
Also, though June 18, AZ Pops is collecting gently loved children’s books for The Sojourner Center. For every five books donated, you can receive a free popsicle (one per customer per day). Books should be age appropriate, for birth to age 15. The books will be housed in a new library area, which will help the children housed at the domestic violence shelter keep their reading skills honed during the summer break. Look for the red plastic bin inside the AZ Pops shop.
You can also try these other local hot spots for cool treats:
8841 N. 19th Ave.
Long known for 31 Flavors, this location actually boasts 48 flavors. And in case you didn’t know, for every month ending in 31, customers pay just $1.31 a scoop on the 31st day of the month. For July, enjoy 31-percent off all sundaes. The regular price is $2.59 a scoop so that’s a sweet deal for a family.
5223 N. Central Ave.
Churn knows that the tastiest and best-quality ice creams are made with those same simple, fresh ingredients from years past. You won’t discover chemical additives, preservatives or stabilizers in Churn’s confections.
FROST, A Gelato Shoppe
Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 136
The gelato is made fresh daily in the store using ingredients imported from Italy (except milk and sugar), on equipment also imported from Italy. Choose from among more than 70 rotating flavors, displayed in stainless steel and glass cases, in the Italian tradition. There is also a good selection of sorbets, for those looking for a less caloric cool snack or for dairy-free. Gluten-free cones available.
The Gelato Spot
3164 E. Camelback Road
The gelato is sourced from the freshest seasonal and local fruits and imported Italian ingredients. Finish the experience off with a cup of Pascucci espresso with a sprinkle of imported chocolates.
Grateful Spoon Gelato
(Inside La Grande Orange)
4410 N. 40th St.
Buy it by the ounce or the pint. If you stop in between 3-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, you can get your gelato at half-price.
Snoh Ice Shavery
914 E. Camelback, Ste. 4B
Snoh Ice is a cross between ice cream and traditional shaved ice. The fluffy texture of snow is combined with the creamy flavorful taste of ice cream, making this new frozen dessert unlike anything you’ve tried before.
Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream
6054 N. 16th St.
Choose from 20 ice cream flavors, including Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, and six sorbets. You can also turn that ice cream into a sundae, milkshake, float, or an ice cream sandwich with two homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Twirl Frozen Yogurt
4700 N. Central Ave.
Select from 10 flavors of yogurt and dozens of toppings here or try one of the rotating sorbet selections, including flavors such as Hula Punch, Kiwi Strawberry and Green Apple—perfect for the hot summer days.
1139 E. Glendale Ave.
Go to Zoyo after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, dressed in your pajamas, and get your yogurt for half-price.