I don’t know how up-to-date you are on the latest and greatest popsicle news, but my supermarket is now making mango frozen fruit bars that are seasoned with Tajin. That is correct: The best mass-produced grocery store popsicle just got even better, because it now comes dipped in a delightful mixture of chilli powder, salt, and crystallised lime.
Seasoning fruit with chilli powder is not a new move — you can find mango, pineapple, and many other fruits seasoned this way in Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam, just to name a few. But if you live in a mostly-white pocket of the United States (or anywhere else), it’s possible you have never encountered such a combination before. (I used to think I was real smart for seasoning my melon with salt, then I moved to Los Angeles and was immediately humbled by chilli-powder mango.)
This is all to say that seasoning something fruity with something savoury is a good idea, and that your popsicles (and summer) will be greatly improved if you take your cues from Outshine and start seasoning your ice pops. The contrast of sweet fruit, smoky chilli powder, tangy lime, and salts creates a flavour party in your mouth, and everyone is invited. I have been sprinkling Tajin on mango, pineapple, and strawberry Outshine bars, and it has gone very well. (If you can find — or make — Mexican paletas, use those.)
Tajin is very easy to find, but pretty much any chilli salt mixture will work. You can also (very easily) make your own. Beyond chilli salt, Jamaican jerk seasoning would also be delicious, as would this overproof rum salt from our very own Vaughn Stafford Grey.
Raid your spice cabinet, and do a little ice pop tasting. Have fun with it! That’s how I discovered that the Red Boat fish sauce salt absolutely banged on a watermelon popsicle (and actual watermelon). If that sounds too wild for you, start with plain salt (like Maldon, or a chunky Kosher). Salt makes almost everything — including popsicles — taste so much better.