As we head into the summer months, it’s no surprise thoughts are turning to frozen treats. Recently, photos of a variety of popsicles were shared on Twitter and people were encouraged to share what the popsicles were called when they were kids. There were many names for the same product depending on when and where the respondents grew up. It made for an interesting and fun few days on social media, but it also got us to wondering about the origins of the popsicle. For no matter what they were called or how they were made, frozen fruity treats were a major part of everyone’s childhood.
Oddly enough, the first popsicle was created by accident in 1905 San Francisco when an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson left a cup of powdered soda flavoring and water on his back porch overnight. The next morning, he found the mixture had frozen around the wooden stick he’d been using to stir it. As curious 11-year-olds are wont to do, he tasted it and the rest is history… almost.
The Epsicle Ice Pop, as it was originally called, remained a family recipe for nearly 20 years before Epperson debuted it to the public. The story goes that his children convinced him to remain them to Popsicles (portmanteau for “Pop’s sicles”). These frozen drinks on a stick were a hit at balls, fairs, and amusement parks.
After acquiring a patent, Epperson partnered with a company that would help him distribute his creation nationwide and The Popsicle Corporation was born. During The Great Depression, they introduced a double popsicle using two wooden sticks that were sold for just a nickel. They would stop making that particular variety nearly 50 years later when consumer feedback stressed it was too messy for children.
The popsicle, of course, is still going strong today and offered in many forms including frozen yogurt, pudding, sodas, and juices. No matter what they’re called or how they’re packaged, they remain a staple among summer treats.
If you’re interested in adding a bit of crunchy to your favorite popsicle, check out our Pretzel Crisps® Mini Fruit Popsicles recipe. It’s super easy to make with any store-bought or homemade popsicle and it makes for the perfect summertime dessert!