Freezer Monkeys popsicles perfect summer treat
By Chris O’Neal 07/23/2015
Childhood memories come soaring back with a popsicle in hand. From red, white and blue bomb pops to orange creamsicles, the treats were as abundant as watermelon in the hot summer months of my youth. Now forget about those. As adults, we who crave the cool taste of a frozen treat need something that packs a little more of a sophisticated flavor. Cue Freezer Monkeys, the popsicles for young and old alike.
Chef and owner Tiffany Buchanan worked in restaurants for 18 years as a pastry chef before deciding to launch her own business, often making popsicles for her children using farmers market ingredients. After taking a 13-week course in business development at Women’s Economic Ventures, Buchanan launched Freezer Monkeys in 2012.
As a chef, Buchanan says that she has always been experimental.
“I was really fortunate to work with some great chefs who had seasonal menus so I was always constantly pushing the limits on different flavors,” said Buchanan.
Her experience shows in the six varieties she has available year round, which include blueberry orange blossom, a dark blue pop with floral extract of orange blossoms; strawberry buttermilk, inspired by a panna cotta dessert she made as a pastry chef; and a raspberry Thai chili that borders the line between spicy and sweet, to name a few.
At the Ojai Farmers Market on a warm June Sunday morning, Buchanan offered a seasonal varietal alongside her regulars: a pixie tangerine pop and a pixie tangerine creamsicle variety, $3 each. Opting for the creamsicle, the bright, fresh tangerine juice melted with the vanilla cream inside and made for the best reward for biking in the early summer heat.
Every Sunday, Buchanan browses the farmers market for seasonal items to pair. This Sunday, she’ll have a plum with Japanese shiso mint leaves, and as the varieties of fruits and produce change with the seasons, so do the popsicles she serves alongside her regulars.
It should come as no surprise that popsicles are next in the ever evolving world of artisan culinary endeavors, but popsicles may just be the one that sticks (pun intended). After all, as Buchanan says, “It’s really hard to be in a bad mood when you’re eating a popsicle; it’s kind of a mood lifter.”
Freezer Monkeys can be found in Whole Foods, Lassens and 16 other supermarkets in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Buchanan is often selling them herself at the Ojai Farmers Market every Sunday and at the newly launched farmers market at The Collection at RiverPark on Thursdays. For more information, visit www.freezermonkeys.com.